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Thomas J. West Music

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

Video Gallery

The following videos were created by Tom and hosted on YouTube. There are a variety of videos here showcasing Tom's music compositions as well as providing music practice tips for both teachers and students.

 
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  • Fight of Fancy Clarinet Trio (2015) Grad...
    by ★ Owner on January 31, 2015 at 11:41 AM
    1076 Views - 0 Comments

    Purchase online: http://bit.ly/TJWflight

    Become a patron: http://patreon.com/thomasjwest

    Private lessons: http://bit.ly/TJWzoenprofile

     

    Flight of Fancy is an original piece for three Bb soprano clarinets depicting the excitement, exhilaration, freedom, and flowing nature of flight. Clarinetists will find the rhythmic and diatonic patterns to be enjoyable to perform, while the audience will remain engaged through the flurry of polyphonic activity.

  • Music Theory Basics, Part 1 - Major Scal...
    by ★ Owner on June 1, 2014 at 8:13 AM
    1047 Views - 0 Comments

    This is the first in a series of videos teaching basic concepts in music theory and music composition for aspiring musicians who already know how to read basic music notation and want to learn how to write for instruments or the voice. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License CC BY-ND http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/

  • Great Performances: Geoff Gallante Perfo...
    by ★ Owner on February 25, 2015 at 2:15 PM
    1042 Views - 0 Comments

    I am surprised that it took me this long to hear about trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante. Close your eyes and listen to the playing of a professional trumpet player who is most likely in his 20's or 30's. Open your eyes and see an 11-year-old boy. This performance from 2012 is impressive, to say the least. Geoff picked up his brother's trumpet at age 4 and has gone on to perform all over the country with pops orchestras, military bands, and jazz ensembles of all kinds. Definitely a name that will be in public prominence in years to come.


    What amazes me about Gallante is not so much his mature sound or his musicianship, but the fact that he has already developed the breath control and muscular flexibility and strength of an adult player. It just goes to show that aptitude married with opportunity can yield amazing results if nurtured early in a child's development.


     

     


    This article (c) 2015 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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  • Great Performances: Ole Edvard Antonsen ...
    by ★ Owner on February 16, 2015 at 10:22 AM
    1035 Views - 0 Comments

    image: www.oleedvardantonsen.com


    Ole Edvard Antonsen is a Finnish trumpet virtuoso who has performed with some of the world's most renown orchestras and jazz artists with equal aplomb. His performances go beyond virtuosity into that rare realm where the player is such a master of their craft that they communicate emotionally with apparently effortless ease. Far more than just flawless technique, Antonsen keeps his audiences hanging on his every move.


    In this performance, Antonsen not only delivers a superbly clean performance of one of classical music's most popular cornet solos, he makes a show of it with seemingly "casual" valve work accompanied by smiling eyes and a sense of whimsy. If you think the introduction is impressive, be sure to hang in there for the 1:40 mark.

     

     



    This article (c) 2015 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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  • Great Performances: Hong Kong True Strin...
    by ★ Owner on January 17, 2015 at 11:01 AM
    1033 Views - 0 Comments

    I often seek out genre-appropriate videos of "Happy Birthday" to post to the Facebook walls of my musician friends. I typically find some very entertaining ones, but this one really stands out because of its skill and artistry as well as its entertainment value. The Hong Kong Pure Strings desecribe themselves as "Possessing the passion towards string music and fanatics in performance," The Hong Kong Pure Strings are a collection of professionals whose mission is to bring contemporary string composition to a wider audience by performing easily-accessible yet virtuosic music. 

    Their "Happy Birthday Variation 1" contains several small vignettes written in the style of some of classical music and grand opera's most recognizable settings. See if you can place them. And by all means, share this video on a musician's Facebook wall for their birthday, with many happy returns!



    This article (c) 2015 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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  • Great Performances: University of North ...
    by ★ Owner on August 18, 2014 at 8:19 PM
    1029 Views - 0 Comments


    Many people in the music education world are familiar with hybrid shows such as Stomp and Blast, combining traditional band, drum corps, and percussion performance with theatrics. Similarly to Stomp, this performance by members of the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble utilizes an array of coffee cups, lids, stirrers, and cardboard sleeves to create an entertianing, yet musically intricate display. It is safe to say that they have fully explored the sonic capabilities of a common coffee cup. I recommend listening to this with either speakers or headphones with a full spectrum response so that you can fully appreciate the timbural differences they explore throughout.


    This video was introduced to me this past weekend as part of a pre-season judges clinic for the Cavalcade of Bands Association. We used it and other videos to talk about the elements of adjudication, including musical, visual, and effect concepts. In the world of adjudication, where ranking and rating is what we do, we gave this performance a second place ranking. I will share the first place ranking in another post.


     

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  • Beam Me Up! (Grade 1 elementary band 201...
    by ★ Owner on June 27, 2014 at 7:08 PM
    1023 Views - 0 Comments

    http://bit.ly/TJWbeam

    http://patreon.com/thomasjwest

    A fun, adventurous piece for elementary band, Grade 1. Featuring the actual moment when the transporter beam is fired up! This piece introduces students to the dotted quarter-eighth rhythm, eighth note triplet, eighth-sixteenth combination for snare drum, trills for the woodwinds, and utilizes mouthpiece buzzing and scooping for the upper brass and an F3 to Bb3 glissando for the trombones. Works well with reduced instrumentation. Purchase online at http://bit.ly/TJWbeam Become a patron and support future compositions: http://patreon.com/thomasjwest

    This music (c) 2014 Thomas J. West, ASCAP - All Rights Reserved

  • Great Performances: James Hill Plays Uku...
    by ★ Owner on August 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM
    1021 Views - 0 Comments


    A friend of mine posted this video on my Facebook wall, knowing full well I wouldn't be able to resist posting it on my website. I am always on the lookout for people doing innovative things in music performance, and this is definitely unique. It's probably not an innovation that will revolutionize - well... anything, but it is still entertaining, to say the least. There really is no limit to the human capacity for exploration and curiosity, and no limit to the musician's search for the next new cool sound.


    James Hill is a Canadian ukulele wizard who specializes in mixing styles, genres, and sounds. This video is a cell phone shot from the audience at a show in Felton, California in 2011. The audience clamors for an encore, and he gives them a unique one: ukulele played using a pair of chopsticks and a comb. There's quite a lot of lead-in (he starts playing around the 3:50 mark), but his explanation of what he's doing, full of improvised quips, is worth watching. 

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  • Neil Gaiman's Commencement Speech 2012: ...
    by ★ Owner on August 20, 2013 at 9:41 PM
    1020 Views - 0 Comments


    Freelance author Neil Gaiman's commencement speech at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia is a testment to education in the 21st century. The old rules no longer apply. Each of us is in charge of our destiny in ways that our parents could never have envisioned. It truly is a time where, with persistence and the willingness to fail, we can discover what we love to do and go out there and do it for a living.


    "When life goes wrong," Gaiman states, "make good art. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutant boa constrictor? Make good art.... someone on the internet thinks what you're doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art." 


    His commencement speech highlights what truly are the new rules of the game: love what you do, and do it a lot. Share it with those who will listen.


    Enjoy all 19 minutes of this excellent speech.

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  • Great Performances: Gustavo Dudamel & Th...
    by ★ Owner on January 25, 2015 at 3:31 PM
    1013 Views - 0 Comments

    Gustavo Dudamel

    This particular recording has been floating around the internet for two years, but it continues to demonstrate Gustavo Dudamel's committment to making classical music more accessible to people of all walks of life. The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra is the top performing ensemble in the Venezuela Youth Orchestra System. "El Sistema" has gained much traction in America's inner cities as a way to revitalize and empower underprivilidged youth to connect and fall in love with quality music performance. Gustavo Dudamel himself is a product of El Sistema and has gone on to a career as an internationally renown conductor. 


    This performance thumbs its nose at the stuffy, formal traditions of orchestral music and makes Leonard Bernstein's score for "Mambo" from the legendary Broadway show West Side Story come to life in all of its intended youthful vigor. This orchestral transcription remains very faithful to Bernstein's show score, which I have had the pleasure of performing as part of the pit orchestra for a production of the show by the Penn State Thespians many moons ago.




    This article (c) 2015 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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  • River Run (Chamber Music 2014) Thomas J....
    by ★ Owner on June 1, 2014 at 8:24 AM
    1008 Views - 0 Comments

    http://bit.ly/TJWriverrun Support this composer: Patreon http://patreon.com/thomasjwest Written for a very eclectic group of wind instruments that I taught during this particular school year, River Run is technically a grade 3, but contains 2nd parts that are intended for performers at the grade 2 level. The percussion part and French horn part are optional. More by this composer: http://bit.ly/TJWcompositions This music is (c) Thomas J. West, ASCAP. All rights reserved.

  • Cornestone (Brass Quartet 2014) Thomas J...
    by ★ Owner on June 1, 2014 at 8:25 AM
    1002 Views - 0 Comments

    http://bit.ly/TJWcornerstone Support this composer on Patreon: http://patreon.com/thomasjwest This brass quartet was written to be performed with the teacher on trumpet 1 and students in their second year of study on the trumpet 2, French horn, and trombone parts, grade 1.5. The French horn part exceeds the normal playing range for a grade 1.5 piece because the student it was written for was working on producing a full octave in the key of Concert Bb. The French horn content in measures 24 and 25 could be played down the octave as needed. Score sample (pdf): http://thomasjwestmusic.com/files/cornerstone-sample.pdf (c) 2014 Thomas J. West, ASCAP. All rights reserved.


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