Thomas West

Thomas W.

Downingtown, PA
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Lesson Details

French Horn

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I can help beginners get started or coach advanced students who are preparing for auditions.
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Thomas teaches

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About

Thomas passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Thomas delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 6+ and special needs

Teaching since:
August 1998

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 In addition to his band compositions, he also has over forty unpublished vocal arrangements to his credit, most written for use with collegiate men's a cappella groups.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

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Experience

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

Education

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

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

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

Awards

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

Affiliations

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Photos & Videos

Conducting my school orchestra in West Chester, PA

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Introduction to Thomas J. West, online music educator
My primary instrument

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27 Reviews

Write a Review
Risa S. Jul 5, 2017
Clarinet · Online

Jack Jun 22, 2017
Trombone · In 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.

Gene K. Jun 21, 2017
Piano · Online

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.

Ann Holmes Sep 25, 2016
Oboe · Online

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

John Sep 8, 2016
Trombone · Online

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

Gene K. Aug 31, 2016
Piano · 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.

Dan L. Aug 21, 2016
Flute · 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)

Rebecca Aug 18, 2016
Cello · 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.

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Sam Aug 17, 2016
Saxophone · 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!

Izabella Aug 5, 2016
Piano · In home

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

Chase T. Jul 5, 2016
Trombone · 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.

Warren G. Apr 12, 2016
Clarinet · 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.

Olivia M. Jan 6, 2016
Piano · In 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!!

Mark McKibben Nov 15, 2015
Cello · In home

Tom is absolutely wonderful!! I highly recommend him.

Ellie S. Aug 4, 2015
Cello · In 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.

Heidi Bingham Aug 4, 2015
Trombone · In 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.

Chris Voparil Aug 3, 2015
Trombone · 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!

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