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Thomas J. West Music

Live webcam private music lessons, music education articles, compositions, clinician services, reviews


Why Your Child Should Start Learning an Instrument

Posted on August 29, 2016 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

There may be a reason why musos think they have it all. Studies show that adults with some childhood musical experience perform better on selected cognitive tests than adults who had never studied music, and this advantage seems to become more prominent as we age.


Physical Skills

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New Feature Article: How to Purchase an Intermediate Level Musical Instrument

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

In preparation for an online Google Hangout Q&A that I will be doing next week, I have written a new feature article. I regularly get questions from parents and my friends on Facebook about how to step up from a student model instrument to an intermediate or professional one.  In this article I answer the most common questions I typically receive, including:

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Avoiding Repetitive Strain Injury For Musicians

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

For anyone who has taken the time to become proficient at a musical instrument (a process that takes on average about 10 years), there has been a point in their experience where they experienced some kind of physical discomfort from repeating musical phrases over and over. Some of this discomfort is the process of building the muscle support necessary to perform the musical task, but overuse of the body ca...
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The Value Of Efficient And Organized Musical Practice Routines

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

My blog started out back in 2008 as a series of practice tips and featured articles about the neurology of musical practice. The basic observation is that many elementary band and orchestra directors tell...

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The Power Of Music

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The following is a guest article.

Like so many children, I rebelled when it came to taking music lessons. I would not practice no matter how insistent my parents were. Like so many adults, I have lived to regret it. I did become a ballet dancer, which is closely related to the love of music, but I wish I had learned to play an instrument.

This is why I am overjoyed t...

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Sing Your Heart Out - 5 Ways To Have A Different Kind Of School Tour Experience

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This image has been used under the Creative Commons licence courtesy - click image to visit

Editor's note: This is a guest article featuring some interesting alternatives for teachers and paren...

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When Communication Doesn't Work

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Many times as teachers (and as parents) we feel we are communicating our expectations to young people clearly. Many times we are, but it simply hasn't been said enough times.

Or maybe, we need to make sure that our intended audience is paying attention.

Many times as teachers (and as parents) we feel we are givi...

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Audience Etiquette - Teaching Grown-Ups How To Behave

Posted on October 1, 2011 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

epic win cell phone bassoon

Some friends of mine on Facebook are passing this image from the infamous Failblog site around. It is, as this site has thrown into the internet vernacular "full of WIN".

As a music teacher of a performing ensemble, I have had the experience of an audience member disrupting the mood of the concert with ...

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Question: Should Students Listen To Music While Doing School Work?

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (2)

jumping music

Today, a student at my cyber charter school that I've never spoken to before sent me the following internal instant message:

Hi Mr. West,

I wanted to know what your opinion is about students listening to music while doing school work? I asked one of my other teachers and she told me that you would probabl...

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