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Our Brass Building Blocks programme will help you develop your playing; for musicians from Grade 4 to 8+

Brass Building Blocks is an initiative to inspire and support all young musicians playing a brass instrument. We have developed a structure that takes a player from the earliest stages of playing through to professional standard.

With the kind support of our tutors and our partners, the Royal Marines Band Service, we have produced a series of videos more relevant to players in, or aspiring to be in, one of The National Youth Brass Bands of Great Britain (the intermediate to elite stages). From Grade 4 to 8+, this series of videos will help young musicians develop the techniques needed to become a better player.

This programme focuses on the six pillars of brass playing (Breathing, Lip strength, Sound, Rhythm, Technique and Musicality) and what you need to aspire to at each level of your development. We have created a matrix that shows how the progressions between each level works, so it’s clear how and where to start, and when to move on.


Each level covers the six pillars of brass teaching, which are:


Breath control, breathing technique, breathing exercises, physiological actions, relaxation exercises.

Lip Strength

Embouchure set-up, embouchure development, lip flexibility, extending range.


Vibrancy, colour, timbre, mouthpiece, vibrato, core-sound.


Natural rhythm and pulse, sub-division, rhythmic stability.


Dexterity, scales, variety of articulation, sight-reading, pitching, multi-tonguing or double and triple tonguing.


Phrasing, intonation, balance, nuance, melody.

— Dr Robert Childs, Director of Artistic Planning

Over the past two decades, there has been a steady decline in brass teaching in education. Brass Building Blocks provides help and advice in fundamental areas that lead to progression.”

— Dr Robert Childs, Director of Artistic Planning