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Greetings students, parents, and staff of PPSEL,

My name is Thomas (Boyd) Sweeney and I am proud to be the new music teacher here at Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning. This will be my first year teaching at PPSEL and I am excited to be a part of the PPSEL family. I hold a bachelors degree of Music Education from Colorado State University-Pueblo, where I trained as a classical clarinetist, as well as jazz guitar and alto saxophone player. I am a composer of jazz and swing music and have had several wonderful opportunities to have some of my pieces performed by CSU’s jazz band, including a performance in 2011 at the Greeley Jazz Festival. I hope to one day acquire a masters degree in jazz composition.

I have an immense passion for music, but my love for teaching is even greater. I believe wholeheartedly that, through music, a child’s mind can be opened to a whole new world of discovery and that music can nurture a child’s heart. I consider myself very privileged to have the opportunity to explore the world of music with the students here at PPSEL.

In my free time I enjoy composing and performing music, listening to jazz, classical, and rock n’ roll, playing hockey, camping, and shooting archery. My favorite classical composers are Claude Debussy, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Carl Maria von Weber. My favorite jazz musicians include Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Benny Goodman. I am a lifelong Colorado Avalanche fan and my favorite nights are spent cheering on my team with friends and family.

I look forward to meeting each and every one of my new students. It promises to be an amazing year.

Students will be learning music according to the Colorado State Standards:

Expression of Music

The expression of music is the demonstration of human thought and emotion through the medium of performance, which is a product of knowledge and skills gained in the study of music.

Creation of Music

The creation of music is the demonstration of learned skills in the composition, improvisation, and arranging of music. Creating music involves writing music, fashioning new music from an existing piece of music, or forming an entirely new piece of music.

Theory of Music

The theory of music is the understanding of the distinctive language, conventions, mechanics, and structure of organized sound. Investigation of music theory allows for a more complete understanding of all aspects of the musical process, including musical performance and composition.

Aesthetic Valuation of Music

The value of music focuses on the knowledge needed to make an informed evaluation and to provide a well-thought-out critique about a musical piece. It also addresses the beauty, heart, and soul: the aesthetics of music. Valuing music will permit individuals to distinguish between a scholarly and an individual judgment of music.


I am absolutely thrilled to be the music teacher here at Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning. I believe that music can teach more than just notes and rhythms. Music can inspire a child to express themselves creatively, teach students about cultures and customs from people all over the world, and help maximize a child's passion for learning.

My own passion for music began as a kid when I learned how to play the clarinet. From then on, music has permeated almost every aspect of my life. I attended Colorado State University-Pueblo, where I earned a bachelors degree in music education. While teaching has always been, and will always be, my greatest passion, I also love to perform. Although trained classically as a clarinetist, my true love has always been jazz music. I have been performing and composing big band jazz charts for as long as I can remember. I am excited to share my expertise with our students here at PPSEL. When children open their hearts to music, I truly feel the world becomes a better place for it. I am proud to be a part of that tradition.

In my free time I enjoy playing hockey, shooting archery, and performing with all kinds of music ensembles. When I’m not performing music or at the rink, I am usually reading a good book, watching a movie, listening to music, or rooting for my favorite hockey team, the Colorado Avalanche.

Mr. Sweeney