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Brian Kay


Intermediate Brass Methods, Volumes 1 and 2

by Brian Kay

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intermediate trombone method book - trombone sheet music

Designed to motivate todays’ students with a “balanced diet” of musical challenges.

See below for extensive .pdf Sample Pages


As a private trombone instructor teaching students of all levels, I was frustrated to find that too many of my students lost focus and motivation in the intermediate years - even after completing two levels of beginner band methods in fine form. I tried many combinations of books - several of which I enjoyed playing from myself as a kid. But nothing passed the “real world” test of having today’s kids consistently love them, thrive with them, and progress with them. Perhaps your experience has been similar?

After trying everything I could get my hands on, I decided to work towards producing my own books. This was a more substantial process than I ever would have imagined, but I did make two volumes of intermediate methods, and it has been wonderful to use them. If you would like to consider using these books for your students (or yourself), you can read more about them in the charts below. Volume 2 is currently available only in a rough draft edition (details below). I hope to have the final version available within one year's time.

A generous number of sample lessons (.pdf) are linked to below. You can use them to check out the book yourself, or have a student start on them before their order arrives. There is no substitute, however, for a student having the printed, bound book in their own hands, and deciding that working through it and finishing it is a worthy and achievable goal!

Thanks for taking a look. I hope you will decide to give them a try, and afterwards, I welcome your feedback, and suggestions for future books or revisions.

Each Book is

About The Volumes


Intermediate Method, Volume 1

Volume 2, Rough Draft Edition

Available for:

Trombone, Trumpet, Euphonium, and Tuba

Other instrument books are almost identical to the Trombone version, with appropriate octave transposition, etc.

Trombone only.


12 two-page lesson groups

12 three-page lesson groups

Each lesson groups contains:

  • An anchor piece – one substantial classical or folk tune which presents the most sophisticated musical challenge of the lesson group.
  • A legato/lyric selection.
  • A primarily “tunes for technique” approach with some etude and pattern-based scale or arpeggio studies.
  • A variety of key, rhythmic, and range challenges.
  • A blues scale-based etude.
  • A bugle call or fanfare type piece.
  • A legato/Lyric selection(s)
  • Classical and Folk music tunes for technique.
  • Pattern-based scale or arpeggio studies.
  • A variety of key, rhythmic, and range challenges.
  • An easier piece or two for balance, and to build confidence and momentum.
  • A swing tune.

Range Building

Emphasizes range development from D above staff to F and G above staff.

Emphasizes strengthening range around F above staff, and building up to high Bb


Develops keys of Ab, C, G, and D (in addition to more familiar keys).

Reinforces keys of Ab, C, G, D, and introduces key of A. Slight emphasis on sharp keys to prepare a student for youth or community orchestra playing.

Rhythmic Challenges

Strongly reinforces syncopation, 6/8, and cut time rhythms. A rhythm supplement at the end of the book has a duple, triple, and swing exercise for each lesson group.

Introduces 5/4 and 5/8. Heavy rhythm challenges are primarily in rhythm-only exercises integrated with each group. Includes swing, odd meter, and complex sixteenth note rhythmic exercises. Upcoming rhythm challenges in the book are introduced previously in the rhythm exercises.

Other features

  • Includes tunes with a need for “catch” breathing.
  • A succinct, four-minute warm-up routine covering long tones, legato, and lip slurs.
  • Introduces F-attachment positions with an exercise or two each lesson group.
  • Introduces tenor clef gradually with a few exercises per lesson group.
  • Later lessons include the Hungarian March, Mozart Requiem, and other potential audition selections.

Before starting the book, a student should:

  • Have solidly completed two volumes of a beginner band method, or equivalent.
  • Be ready to expand range above the D above staff.
  • Be ready for a fairly steep learning curve. Starts out at Beginner Book 2 level, but quickly increases range, and other physical and mental challenges.
  • Be able to play an F above staff comfortably, and ready to expand beyond.
  • Be comfortable with syncopation, 6/8, and sixteenth-note based rhythms.
  • Be eady to transition to truly advanced physical and musical challenges.

After completion, a student is ready to:

  • Be an elite middle school player.
  • Function at a basic level of competence in most high school or community bands.
  • Continue on with more advanced work.
  • Begin work at the elite high school/college level (Guilmant, Larsson, Tyrell, Bordogni, Mantia, Blume, Blazhevitch, etc.)
  • Be a leader in most high school or community bands.
  • Audition for youth or community orchestra.


Full, self-published edition.

Rough draft edition is in fully usable form, and has worked well in my personal teaching studio for several years. I plan to add duets to the final version, and am saving the final proofing for after I make this and other adjustments. I have decided to make this version available because it has proven itself to work well, I am unsure when I will be able to finish the final revision, and I believe there is a great need for a book at this level. I hope to have the final version available within the next year or two. Please see the sample pages before ordering so you know exactly what to expect.


$12 plus $3 s/h

$12 plus $3 s/h

Special Offer


Includes coupon for $5 off final version when published.

Praise for Volume 1

"This is exactly what kids should be playing!"

Larry Isaacson
Trombone Professor and Brass Instructor, Boston Conservatory Former member, San Francisco Symphony and Empire Brass Quintet

"Congratulations on putting together such a bright, clean, positive collection of music and ideas for this level of player."

Norman Bolter
Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Professor, New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music

"I like this book. This book is good!"

Kenny Leftin
Seventh Grade Student


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Sample Lessons (.PDF Format)

Feel free to print as many as you like for free distribution, and/or refer your students to this page.

Intermediate Method Volume 1
Intermediate Method Volume 2, Rough Draft Edition (Trombone Only)

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