Youth Brass Ensemble
Brass Studies at NEC Prep

Eli Epstein, Brass Department Chair

Faculty Directory: French Horn | Trumpet | Trombone & Euphonium | Tuba

From Eli Epstein:

Welcome to NEC Prep Brass! I'm very proud of our faculty, made up of some of the world’s finest brass musicians. These veterans of the BSO, Boston Pops, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, and Empire Brass are committed educators who are totally excited about teaching young brass players!

Ensemble experience is a huge motivator for young brass students. Since they only play a single line of a composition, it’s very exciting and empowering for a brass player to be an integral part of an ensemble. NEC Prep Brass offers large ensembles, such as Youth Brass Ensemble and Trombone Choir, as well as smaller quartets and quintets. These small chamber ensembles range from younger, less experienced groups all the way up to two honors brass quintets, team-coached by members of the NEC Prep Faculty Brass Quintet.

One-on-one instruction is the best and most efficient way to learn how to play a brass instrument. Private lessons with NEC Prep Brass faculty ensure that your children will develop healthy and strong fundamental technique and musicianship, and be inspired to be the best they can be!

Schedule a placement!

Private Lessons

Private instruction is the foundation of a sound musical education. At NEC Prep, the depth and expertise of our faculty assure a great match for our students' individual needs. Private lessons of 30, 45, and 60 minutes are offered for students of all levels (including beginners!) on trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba.

A unique feature of our private lesson program is that it includes the opportunity to participate in workshops, recitals, evaluations, and our annual concerto competition, which give every student valuable performance experience and feedback from a variety of teachers.

Prospective brass students take a placement with Brass Department Chair Eli Epstein, who will advise each student regarding an appropriate studio teacher placement and path of study. Private lessons can begin at any time during the school year. Get more information and schedule a placement by contacting the Prep Office or using the form linked above.


    Brass Explorers Program

    We welcome students ages 8-11 to begin their brass studies at NEC Prep. Young students interested in learning a brass instrument can begin by taking private lessons in trumpet, horn, trombone, or euphonium/tuba, or choose to enroll in one of our new P-Trumpet or P-Trombone Brass Explorers classes. The Brass Explorers classes can be paired with Eurhythmics class, in which students learn to read and write music, move, sing and listen together.

    P-Trumpet and P-Bone are relatively new instruments on the market. These instruments provide several advantages for young brass players:

    • The cost of one of these colorful plastic instruments is about $150. You can own a P-Bone or P-Trumpet for about the cost of renting a brass instrument for three months.
    • The instruments are lightweight so young players can easily hold them.
    • P-Instruments are virtually indestructible and come in a variety of colors.
    • P-instruments are not toys; they are real instruments that sound good and work the same as their more expensive brass counterparts.
    • P-Trumpet and P-Trombone classes cost much less than private lessons, yet are still taught by expert instructors.

    P-Trumpet Explorers

    Zebediah Upton, Instructor

    This is a one-year entry-level program for students between the ages of 8-11 wanting to learn the trumpet. Young trumpeters will learn the fundamentals of breathing, breath support and embouchure, holding the instrument, and playing simple tunes. Reading music is not required and will be covered as part of the class. As the class progresses, P-Trumpet Explorers will start playing brass ensemble music.

    Saturday, 2:00-3:00 PM

    P-Bone Explorers

    Alexei Doohovskoy, Instructor

    This class is a one-year entry-level program for students between the ages of 8-11 wanting to learn the trombone. Young trombonists will learn how to breathe and support, hold the instrument, form a healthy embouchure, and play simple tunes. Reading music is optional and will be covered as part of the class. As the class progresses, brass ensemble music will be introduced.

    Saturday, 2:00-3:00 PM

    Other Opportunities

    NEC Prep Brass Students may also be interested in:

    Workshops & Recitals

    Brass players of all ages and levels are welcome to participate in this totally unique program. Some of the top players and teachers in the country—all faculty members—offer workshops and lectures on topics that range from the technical (breathing, posture, ensemble playing) to the practical (equipment choices, careers in music, auditioning). Students must be registered for at least 24 private lessons a year to perform in Brass Department workshops and recitals.


    All brass workshops take place from 10:00-11:00 AM

    • Saturday, November 9
    • Saturday, January 25
    • Saturday, April 18


    Our extremely popular “BrassFest” is a hands-on, side-by-side playing experience with our brass faculty. Each year, BrassFest features masterclasses, large-ensemble playing, and individual instrument-specific clinics led by our stellar faculty. BrassFest workshops focus on a particular instrument's challenges and joys and inspires and expands the awareness of participants. These classes are open to the public. Bring your instruments!

    Information regarding the 2019 BrassFest will be updated here when it is available!