Eli Epstein, Brass Department Chair
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!
–Eli Epstein, Brass Department Chair
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 offer every student valuable performance experience and feedback from a variety of teachers.
Prospective brass students take a placement interview 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.
Brass Explorers Program
We welcome students ages 8-11 to begin their brass studies at NEC Prep. For young students interested in learning a brass instrument, we have a few options. Students 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.
- 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-Trumpet and p-Trombone classes cost much less than private lessons, yet are still taught by expert instructors.
P-Trumpet Explorer Class
Zebediah Upton, Instructor
This one-year entry-level program is designed for students between the ages of 8-11 who would like to learn the trumpet. Young trumpeters will start off learning 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-Trumpeters will start playing brass ensemble music.
Saturday, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
P-Bone Explorer Class
Alexei Doohovskoy, Instructor
This one-year entry-level program is designed for students between the ages of 8-11 who would like to learn the trombone. Young trombonists will start off learning 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-Trombonists will start playing brass ensemble music.
Saturday, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Other Opportunities for Brass Students
NEC Prep Brass Students may also be interested in:
- Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
- Chamber Music
- Youth Brass Ensemble
- Trombone Choir
- Baroque Music
- Contemporary Improvisation
- Concerto Competition
Workshops & Recitals
Brass players of all ages 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).
All brass workshops take place from 10:00 - 11:00 am
Saturday, October 7
Saturday, October 28
Saturday, December 9
Saturday, January 27
Saturday, March 3
Saturday, April 21 - Brass Recital
The series also features our extremely popular “BrassFest,” which are hands-on, side-by-side playing experiences with our brass faculty, both in large ensembles and instrument-specific groups. Each year, NEC Prep presents BrassFest, which features masterclasses, large - ensemble playing, and individual clinics led by our stellar faculty. These free Saturday morning events focus on a particular instrument's challenges and joys, and promises to inspire and expand the awareness of participants. These classes are open to the public. Bring your instruments!
Saturday, March 31, 9:00 - 12:00pm in Pierce Hall