Tom Smith completed a B.A. in music at St Catharine's College, Cambridge University, graduating in 2008 with a starred first. Tom received the Peter Le Huray Prize twice from the College, as well as the Donald Wort Prize from the university music faculty for performance in examinations. He also received the music faculty's William Barclay Squire Prize for his dissertation on John Stevens and the institutionalization of jazz in Britain. Tom subsequently earned an M.Mus with distinction from King's College London in 2011, supported by an AHRC fellowship.
Tom joined the PhD program in Historical Musicology at Columbia University in 2011. He was editor-in-chief of Current Musicology and was co-chair of the 2015 Current Musicology Anniversary Conference. Tom's dissertation centers upon understanding music as it is heard through American law in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, with particular focus upon aspects of tort, criminal, health, and contract law, as well as the law of evidence.