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I am a graduate of Montclair State University with a Bachelors degree in music education and a minor in sociology. I have also received an Associate's degree in music from Brookdale Community College and have been playing the French Horn since I was 10-years-old and the piano since I was 14-years-old. I have also played a variety of other instruments including the trumpet, trombone, flute and clarinet.
I have performed with the NJ Conservatory in Beethoven's 3rd Symphony and 9th Symphony. I have also conducted intermediate, concert and beginner bands and have given both group instrumental lessons and one-on-one private lessons. These group and individual lessons include clarinet, French Horn, trumpet, flute, trombone, saxophone, violin and percussion. I am most diverse in brass instruments and piano. I have also worked with students with special needs and students who do not have English as their first language. Currently, I am teaching general music to students in from grade kindergarten to fifth.
While still in high school, I performed at Carnegie Hall with the New Jersey Youth Orchestra, the New Jersey all shore band, the pit band for the high school musical productions, and received the Band Director's award in my senior year of high school. I have also performed in several other orchestras, bands and chamber groups at all musical levels including professional. I have accompanied choirs on piano in middle school and high school level.
I was on the Dean's list at Montclair State University for six semesters and all four semesters at Brookdale Community College and received the NJ STARS scholarship and graduated Montclair State University and Brookdale Community College with honors.
*** Lesson Details ***
I believe it is very important that students know music theory along with performance knowledge. During lessons, I like to spend time going over music theory with the student, depending on what their instrument and age level is. This includes learning scales (major and minor), chords, reading music and anything the student shows an interest in. It is very important that students learn the basics of music to perform an instrument. I also incorporate learning pieces/songs in the lessons. The songs and pieces that I incorporate in the lessons are songs that are at the student's performance level and is something they are interested in learning. I believe it is important that students learn the fundamentals of music and have fun at the same time.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Room with piano seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide some music books or sheet music along with some CDs and a music stand. I would like for students to provide instruments and possibly some music books or any music they may want to learn.
*** Specialties ***
Brass, band, piano
* Principal Horn - Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia)
* Principal Horn - Chamber Orchestra of New York
* Recordings for NASCAR, Sony Classical, and Naxos Records
* Active Clinician, Chamber Musician, Orchestral Musician, and Soloist
* Performances with Dave Brubeck, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, Mannheim Steamroller, Patti Lupone, Leann Rhimes, Josh Groban...
I have a Bachelor Degree in Horn Performance, with outside studies in Piano and Composition from Indiana University. I have been performing professionally for 20 years, and privately teaching and coaching for 12 years. Experience includes:
* Faculty Westminster Choir College - 2003-2006
* Faculty Summertrios festival - 2002-Present
* Coach and clinician at Rutgers University, University of Central Arkansas, Kutztown University, Eastern Michigan University
My approach to teaching is based largely on students' goals. While I do work with a variety of ages/levels, step 1 is always ensuring a proper foundation of the basics. Additionally, I am well versed in Nutrition, Fitness, and establishing a healthy mindset. Integrating this with a focus on body awareness and problem solving aids students in developing a highly efficient and analytical strategy for horn, sports, academics, and life in general.
*** Lesson Details ***
The first 3 lessons with any student is a trial period. By the end of the third lesson, I encourage the student to assess whether or not they have learned something, and whether or not they feel comfortable with me as their teacher. During this trial period, I will be assessing how motivated the student is to reach his or her goals on the instrument, how attentive and responsive they are during lessons, and how well they prepare the work they have been assigned each week. Once fully accepted into the studio, the following expectations are in place:
- Students should arrive at the lesson on time, warmed up (when possible), and ready to play.
- Students will be responsible for purchasing their music and bringing it to the lesson.
- Students are expected to practice no less than 3 days per week. This is the bare minimum. Specific amount of time per practice session may vary anywhere between 15 minutes and 3 hours, depending on level, material, and specific goals.
- I am to be made aware of any life or health issues that may interfere or affect the performance of the student.
- In addition to their instrument and all appropriate music, students should bring the following with them to each lesson:
pencil, metronome (or smartphone metronome app), a notebook of manuscript paper (their lesson book), a stand mirror (only if specifically requested)
****Please contact for availability. I do not use the calendar function on this website.
Thomas J. W. is an active music teacher, composer, adjudicator, and clinician in the greater Philadelphia area. He has over fifteen years experience as a concert band director, marching band director, jazz improvisation instructor, choral director, private instructor, and marching drill writer. His directing career has included small rural band programs, small metro programs, large high-achieving suburban programs, and non-profit youth bands. In addition to his band compositions, he also has over forty unpublished vocal arrangements to his credit, most written for use with collegiate men's a cappella groups.
Thomas has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from The Pennsylvania State University. He holds a teaching certificate in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has taught at the secondary level in both states. In addition to both instrumental and choral ensembles at Penn State, Thomas was a student leader in the Penn State Blue Band and a member of the brass section of the Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps in 1993 and 1994. He served as an Associate Director of the Warren Junior Military Band of Youngstown, Ohio from 1995 to 2005. He also served as a visual staff member for the renowned North Penn Marching Knights of Lansdale, PA for one season in 2004.
He is a current adjudicator with Cavalcade of Bands. He is a member of MENC, PMEA, NJMEA, ASCAP, CASA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the National Band Association. He appeared in the Marquis Who's Who Among American Educators in 2004 and 2005, an honor rarely bestowed upon teachers, as students who appear in the Who's Who Among American High School Students must nominate them. He currently is a music teacher at the Center for Performing and Fine Arts of the PA Leadership Charter School in West Chester, PA and resides in Downingtown, PA with his wife and two sons.
Thomas will happily work with students on the autism spectrum or students with ADD.
*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are tailored to the needs and interests of each student. If a student is involved in school music ensembles, we will work with their lesson books from school in addition to material outside of the books, including SmartMusic, Noteflight, and teacher-created materials. We will focus on building proper tone production and individual technique - something that often is difficult to learn in a large ensemble setting.
I am capable of starting a beginner student on any band instrument including percussion, any classical string instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass), and piano. I can begin a student on drum set and work with them through their first method book, but I would then recommend they find a specialized drum set teacher after a period of six to twelve months.
For advanced students, I work from selected conservatory etude books on developing advanced skills and can work with students on audition pieces for honors bands/orchestras or college auditions.
My lessons are a half-hour once a week, with the option of working for 45 minutes or 60 minutes.
*** Specialties ***
music, band, orchestra, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, violin, viola, cello, string bass, piano, Percussion
classical, jazz improvisation
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."