Thomas West

Thomas W.

Downingtown, PA

About Thomas W.

Background check: Last verified 06/21/2016
Thomas passed a background check on 06/21/2016 that included the following:
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Thomas teaches: Ages 6 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: August 1998
Last sign in: Today


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 In addition to his band compositions, he also has over forty unpublished vocal arrangements to his credit, most written for use with collegiate men's a cappella groups.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 taught over 600 online and local private music lessons in 2016.

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 Drum Corps International and 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

Photos and Videos

Conducting my school orchestra in West Chester, PA


Professional Vocalist
Apr 2011 - Present
KeyStone A Cappella

I am the musical director, arranger, and tenor vocalist for a part-time professional contemporary a Capella group based in Philadelphia, PA.

Director of Education
Aug 2009 - Present
The A Cappella Project - Philadelphia

I sit on the board of directors of this non-profit organization, organizing and executing all of their educational programming.

Instrumental and Electronic Music
Aug 2008 - Present
Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School

I currently teach all band and orchestra classes in grades 6-12 and digital music composition in grades 9-12 for a unique Center for Performing and Fine Arts program.

Band Director
Jul 2005 - Jun 2007
Lindenwold Public Schools

I taught all band activities, grades 9-12, at Lindenwold High School, Lindenwold, NJ. This included marching band and jazz band.

Band Director
Jul 2004 - Jul 2005
North Penn School District

I taught 7th and 8th grade band and directed the pit orchestra for Penndale Middle School. I was also a visual staff member for the renown North Penn High School Marching Knights.

Band, Chorus, and General Music Teacher
Jul 1998 - Jul 2004
Muncy Area School District

Taught all band, choral, and general music classes, grades 7-12, including marching band, concert band, jazz band, chorus, and keyboarding


BS Music Education
Aug 1991 - May 1998
The Pennsylvania State University

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency


Music K-12
Nov 2005
New Jersey Department of Education

I am permanently certified to teach any music courses in grades K-12.

Music K-12 Level II
May 1998
Pennsylvania Department of Education

I am permanently certified to teach any music courses in grades K-12


Who's Who Among American Educators 2005
May 2005
Who's Who Among American Educators 2004
May 2004
Dean's List
May 1998
The Pennsylvania State University


Jazz Education Network
Jan 2011

JEN was formed in 2008 to help bring together the jazz arts community. It hosts an annual conference with concerts presented by students and professionals, a student jazz festival, workshops, research presentations and an exhibition area with manufacturers, retailers, schools and other jazz related organizations. JEN also offers many educational programs, from an outreach program, to mentoring and scholarships.

National Band Association
Sep 2000

The National Band Association, founded on September 11, 1960, is the largest professional organization for bands in the world. It was organized for the purpose of promoting the musical and educational significance of bands and is dedicated to the attainment of a high level of excellence for bands and band music. NBA is an organization open to anyone and everyone interested in bands, regardless of the length of experience, type of position held, or the specific level at which one works. The membership roster includes men and women from every facet of the band world. NBA is today’s professional organization for band directors, and it stands ready to serve all members of the association through a variety of projects and initiatives.

Pennsylvania Music Educators Association
Sep 1996

PMEA is a statewide nonprofit organization of over 4,500 members, dedicated to promoting the musical development of all Pennsylvanians. The present membership evolved from a small group of band directors dating from 1933. Today, the organization includes those engaged in music instruction at all levels, from preschool through college and university, as well as those in the music industry, merchandising and publishing. The organization promotes and supports quality music education, learning and performance as well as promoting and supporting music education in schools and communities. PMEA is affiliated with The National Association for Music Education, NAfME.

National Association for Music Education
Jan 1995

Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America
Apr 1992

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) is an American collegiate social[1] fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men "who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America."

24 Reviews on Thomas W.

Write a Review
Hiren B. Mar 5, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Cameron Feb 19, 2017
· Trombone · Online Mr. West is wonderful, so knowledgeable. My daughter is looking forward to her trombone lessons with him.
jennifer W. Jan 26, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Jeffrey Jan 18, 2017
· Trombone · Online Great, knowledgeable and patient!
Samara Jan 2, 2017
· Flute · Online Thomas is very nice and very open to suggestions regarding what we should work on to achieve my flute aspirations. Very pleasant experience!
Tricia S. Nov 14, 2016
· Violin · Online
Thunder S. Nov 7, 2016
· Violin · Online Very good for an 8yr old beginner!
Karen F. Oct 24, 2016
· Euphonium · Online
Ann Holmes Oct 23, 2016
· Oboe · Online Thomas West is a delightful person and a good teacher. Thank you.
Ann Holmes Oct 9, 2016
· Oboe · Online I learned a lot! Thank you Tom.
Thomas West
Thomas W.

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