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Brian Kay


Intermediate Brass Methods, Volumes 1 and 2

by Brian Kay

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Designed to motivate modern students with a balanced diet of musical challenges.

See below for extensive Sample Pages

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Praise for Volume 1

"A terrific resource for younger players.  It progresses logically through keys and rhythms allowing players early success on the instrument."

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 and Principal Trombone of the Boston Pops 1975-2007 (retired), Professor at New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory at Berklee

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

Kenny L.
Seventh Grade Student

Each Book is

  • Written by a private teacher expressly for private lesson use.
  • Succinct. Designed to be completed in one year by a strong student, with time left over for solo work, or other supplementary areas.
  • Comprehensive. Aims to give a player all the material they need to progress to the next level, without missing any key skills. However, as mentioned above, it is assumed that most teachers will supplement with a solo and/or other areas of personal interest.
  • Flexible. Simply presents a balanced diet of progressive challenges for the student and teacher to solve in their own way.
  • Pedagogically sound. Concepts are introduced progressively, then developed, and reviewed regularly.
  • Designed with youth in mind, but also excellent for adult instruction.
  • Field tested. Used in my own private teaching studio, and modified where needed.
  • Enjoyable. Emphasizes “tunes for technique” over etudes, and uses music that I love to play myself. The layout is designed to be fresh and visually appealing.

About The Volumes


Intermediate Method, Volume 1

Intermediate Method, Volume 2

Available for:

Trombone, Trumpet in Bb, Euphonium (Bass Clef), 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.
  • Rhythm Exercises

Range Building

Emphasizes range development from D above staff to F and G above staff (and corresponding notes for trumpet or tuba).

Emphasizes strengthening range around F above staff, and building up to high Bb. A "Moderated Range" version is available with a slight trimming of the high range demands.


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

Reinforces keys of concert 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 warm-up routine covering long tones, legato, and lip slurs.
  • A succinct 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 ready 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.


Printed Book: $18 plus $4 s/h (USA Only)

Download PDF: $6.00

Printed Book: $18 plus $4 s/h (USA Only)

Download PDF: $6.00

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Sample Lessons (PDF Format)

These may be used and freely distributed in printed or electronic form.
Intermediate Method Volume 1
Intermediate Method Volume 2 (Trombone Only)

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