Thomas West
Allentown, PA
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Thomas West

Thomas W.

Allentown, PA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I have been singing with contemporary a cappella groups and barbershop quartets for over 20 years and can coach students on the basic and intermediate levels of vocal percussion

About Thomas W.

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 will happily work with students on the autism spectrum or students with ADD.

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

About Me

Thomas J. W. is an active music teacher, composer, adjudicator, and clinician in the greater Philadelphia area. He has over twenty years of experience as a concert band director, marching band director, jazz improvisation instructor, choral director, orchestra director, private instructor, arranger/composer, and marching drill writer in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has served as a music adjudicator for Drum Corps International since 2016. He has served as a music, visual, and jazz judge for the Cavalcade of Bands Association since 2008. He also performs as a freelance clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist. He currently is the music department chairperson, instrumental music teacher, jazz studies instructor, electronic music instructor, educational technology coach, and blended learning coordinator for Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School's Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Tom has been pioneering techniques in Blended Learning for Music Education since 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Penn State University and a Certificate in Modern Band from Lebanon Valley College, where he is currently pursuing a masters degree. He was an Associate Director for the Warren Junior Military Band of Youngstown, Ohio from 1995 to 2005 and holds memberships in NAfME, PMEA, JEN, ASCAP, and CASA.


Write a Review
47 Reviews
Anneliese & Sophia C.
Profile-location-online Online

He’s very patient and kind especially for 2 active little girls.

Posted Apr 22, 2020
Cindy T.
Profile-location-online Online

Thomas is honestly an amazing musician and teacher. He was really patient with me. Despite having to deal with major timezone differences (as I live in Myanmar), he took the time to figure it out. Also, he helped me figure out the stuff it took me months to figure out. He also really knows what he's doing. I learned so much in that hour of practice. 10/10 would recommend him.

Posted Jul 1, 2019
Lorraine Anne
Profile-location-online Online

Fabulous! What a great teacher! And SO KNOWLEDGEABLE about all kinds of music! THANKS! looking forward to all my lessons!

Posted Apr 28, 2019
jia L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Tom was my 10-year-old daughter's violin teacher, he is very kind, patient and professional.

Posted Apr 26, 2019
Kimberley B.
Profile-location-online Online

I love my lessons. In only a few lessons, Thomas has given me some tips that I have been trying to figure out for years. He is very kind and knowledgable.

Posted Feb 7, 2019
Nora L.
Profile-location-online Online

We were in a tough position getting ready for a performance that we were not prepared for. It was a big help to have a few sessions with Thomas.

Posted Jan 23, 2019
Russell C.
Profile-location-online Online

My son was very nervous about his first online lesson. His instructor had him start right in on the lesson, which helped my son quickly get over his nerves. By the end of the lesson, he was all smiles and feeling very confident about his ability to play a very hard piece for his solo contest. He is looking forward to his next lesson.

Posted Jan 15, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Thomas is so thorough & detailed oriented/ great with first-timers

Posted Jul 22, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

extremely helpful!!

Posted Jul 16, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

I really enjoyed by first lesson with Mr. West, he was very knowledgeable , it was a lot better than I expected.

Posted Mar 27, 2018
Gene K.
Profile-location-online Online

After well over a year with Thomas, he is still the best instructor! Patient, insightful and generous in his knowledge and experience- looking for a great teacher? Thomas is the one.

Posted Feb 28, 2018
Terese R.
Profile-location-online Online

iI just finished doing a lesson with Thomas, and he has helped me tremendously wiTh my scales and embrasure building

Posted Jan 3, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Excellent. Great lesson

Posted Dec 20, 2017
jia L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mr. West is very knowledgeable and patient, my daughter enjoyed the lessons!

Posted Nov 17, 2017
sarah S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very pleased with the first lesson. Our daughter has rare special needs and he was terrific with her

Posted Oct 1, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

First lesson was a great success, Mr. West got straight to work and had my son sounding much better after only half an hour. Looking forward to my son gaining skill and confidence with Mr. West's guidance.

Posted Jun 22, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Mr. West is wonderful, so knowledgeable. My daughter is looking forward to her trombone lessons with him.

Posted Feb 19, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Great, knowledgeable and patient!

Posted Jan 18, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Thomas is very nice and very open to suggestions regarding what we should work on to achieve my flute aspirations. Very pleasant experience!

Posted Jan 2, 2017
Thunder S.
Profile-location-online Online

Very good for an 8yr old beginner!

Posted Nov 7, 2016
Ann Holmes
Profile-location-online Online

Thomas West is a delightful person and a good teacher. Thank you.

Posted Oct 23, 2016
Ann Holmes
Profile-location-online Online

I learned a lot! Thank you Tom.

Posted Oct 9, 2016
Ann Holmes
Profile-location-online Online

It was excellent! Thomas is very good and I learned a lot. I thank you very much! I appreciate it very much! 😊

Posted Sep 25, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

My son was very pleased to have learned a new technique during the lesson.

Posted Sep 8, 2016
Gene K.
Profile-location-online Online

Thomas always does a great job on my lessons. He is professional, patient and and all around pleasure to work with.

The decision to take lessons online has really worked out.

Posted Aug 31, 2016
Dan L.
Profile-location-online Online

Mr. West is an amazing teacher! He helps you figure out your notes, pieces, scales, etc., etc., and even takes the time to write out music sheets! I look forward to every lesson with him! -Spring Z. (Student)

Posted Aug 21, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

I am really pleased with Tom's approach and simplification of cello basics others have made so complex! The instruction was easy to follow leaving me with the ability to play 3 scales the first lesson (with practice of course). I felt like there was hope for someone like me taking up cello so much later in life.

Posted Aug 18, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

It seemed like a great first lesson. My son was comfortable and got directly to learning. We are confident that Mr. West will have him caught up with the rest of the 7th grade band in no time!

Posted Aug 17, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great introductory lesson and Izabella is very excited. Thank you.

Posted Aug 5, 2016
Chase T.
Profile-location-online Online

Thomas did a great job teaching the lesson. He really knows his stuff and how to teach it! He wasted no time chit chatting and got right into instructing our son. Our son is looking forward to his next lesson.

Posted Jul 5, 2016
Warren G.
Profile-location-online Online

Great lesson, Thomas took the time to take a song I wanted to learn to play and create notes so I may play them.

Posted Apr 12, 2016
Olivia M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Today was our first lesson with Tom. He was very pleasant, professional and made my daughter feel
Very much at ease. She is looking forward to her next lesson!!

Posted Jan 6, 2016
Mark McKibben
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Tom is absolutely wonderful!! I highly recommend him.

Posted Nov 15, 2015
Ellie S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mr. West is great.He is my teacher at my school and has helped both my cello playing and my Trombone Improv so much. He is really knowledgeable and dedicated to helping his students excel in their area of interest.

Posted Aug 4, 2015
Heidi Bingham
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Thomas has been a great teacher for my son. He knows how to interact with him to get him interested and involved and inspire him to work hard.

Posted Aug 4, 2015
Chris Voparil
Profile-location-online Online

We have found Mr. West to be knowledgeable, patient, and very good with advanced beginner/intermediate young musicians. (My son is 12 and fairly new to the trombone.) Mr. West is organized, professional, and has a good step-by-step plan for improving their playing. We recommend him highly!

Posted Aug 3, 2015
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 17, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 26, 2019
Gene K.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Oct 24, 2018
Terese R.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 15, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Oct 25, 2017
Risa S.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jul 5, 2017
Gene K.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 21, 2017
Hiren B.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Mar 5, 2017
jennifer W.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 26, 2017
Tricia S.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Nov 14, 2016
Karen F.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Oct 24, 2016

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos


Instrumental and Electronic Music
Aug 2008 - Present

Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School

I am the Music Department Chairperson and teach all band and orchestra classes in grades 6-12, jazz studies in grades 9-12, and digital music composition in grades 9-12 for a unique Center for Performing and Fine Arts program. I also direct the award-winning extra-curricular ensemble the CPFA Jazz Mavericks.

Professional Vocalist
Apr 2011 - May 2021

KeyStone A Cappella

I was an arranger and tenor vocalist for a part-time professional contemporary a cappella group based in Philadelphia, PA.

Director of Education
Aug 2009 - Jan 2017

The A Cappella Project - Philadelphia

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

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


Masters in Music Education
Jul 2019 - Present

Lebanon Valley College

BS Music Education
Aug 1991 - May 1998

The Pennsylvania State University



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


Drum Corps International
May 2016
Drum Corps International is a cooperative association of its member and participating organizations: We seek to promote and inspire unparalleled excellence in music and performing arts throughout the world.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 2014
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.
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."

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