Interested in Trombone?

Welcome! We're glad you are interested in studying trombone at the Baylor University School of Music!

If you have questions at any stage in the application/audition process, please feel free to directly email Brent Phillips.

Studio Mission

Our mission is to provide a select group of talented students an engaged and rigorous schedule of trombone choir, chamber music, solo work, orchestral and wind ensemble study. Baylor trombone students become prepared for professional playing opportunities and teaching careers alike. The studio is a close knit group of focused individuals from diverse backgrounds who seek to be competitive in the music business. Time is spent on orchestral section playing, audition technique, listening sessions, score study, quartet and choir performance in various musical styles.

Teaching Philosophy

In the first few semesters of study there will be a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of playing relating to breathing, tone production, technical development, clef studies and musical interpretation. The following proposed curriculum contains some of the suggested repertoire for the various levels of undergraduate students of trombone. The first three or four semesters will be spent covering material that encourages quick physical development with respect to the embouchure and approach to the horn, but does not overtire and exhaust the student.

Each level will be divided into the management and balance of these following areas:
  • Developmental and preventative maintenance (warm-up, breathing, relaxed approach)
  • Pitch studies (sight singing, scale studies in major, minor and diatonic)
  • Lyrical playing (Bordogni etude work, correct approach to legato)
  • Articulation (technical studies in Bozza, Blazevich, Arban Characteristical studies, Slama studies, Kopprasch and Kreutzer etudes)
  • Mastery of tenor and alto clef (above material and Uber 21 studies in alto clef Blazevich Sequences, Fink clef studies etc.)
  • Excerpts (Orchestral and or Band, mock auditions, making tapes, first round through final round preparation, low brass class to include the students performing excerpts prepared both individually and as a section, emphasis on audition success and preparation vs. actual job responsibilities, overcoming stage fright and creative self-marketing)
  • Solo recitals (degree requirements as well as class recitals, competitions and outreach opportunities)
  • Trombone quartet and trombone choir (ensemble approach, quartet recitals and trombone choir performances)
First Semester
  • Fundamental approach to tone production, correct embouchure, breathing, technique and phrasing.
  • Mastery of Tenor Clef (tenor trombonists) and work on flexibility studies
  • Trigger register fundamentals for bass trombone and tenor
  • Major scales and arpeggios, all octaves and modes.
Second Semester
  • Continuing development and focus on tone concept, breathing, technique, musical style and relaxed approach to the instrument.
  • Developing a strong sense of pacing and becoming goal oriented with respect to future recitals and performances. Finalized goals for summer festivals.
  • Developing legato playing
  • Working toward a free blowing fortissimo
  • Beginning work in the Alto Clef
  • Developing study of good intonation and learning proper adjustment of the harmonic series on the instrument.
  • Minor scales and arpeggios
Third Semester
  • Development of stage presence and performance etiquette
  • Technical advancement in articulation (double and triple tonguing)
  • Continued work on tone generation and approach to the instrument
  • Defining musical style and playing in various genres (French solo technique, German Brass approach, US East coast vs. Mid West and West coast orchestral low brass style)
  • Advanced alto clef studies
  • Support in the upper register
  • Developing a controlled pianissimo
Fourth Semester
  • Finalized goals for competitions and summer study
  • Audition preparation (most frequently asked first round excerpts)
  • Making an audition tape
  • Mock audition
  • Rochuts in tenor clef
  • Rochuts in tenor clef down two octaves
  • Class recital participation
  • Begin “Mental Toughness” Training
  • Approach to “buzzing basics”
  • Sight singing approach to excerpts and interval study
  • Continued re-defining of tone and sound production, flexibility, legato and the various articulation styles.
  • Chromatic studies
  • Beginning work on the Alto Trombone
Fifth and Sixth Semester
  • Junior recital preparation
  • Fundamentals of ensemble leadership
  • Re-evaluation of the student’s basic approach to the instrument with respect to breathing, tone production, technical development and clef studies.
  • Re-evaluate short term goals such as recital programming, trombone quartet and choir performances and competitions
  • Self-marketing, and area teaching opportunities
  • Continued audition preparation and mock audition work
  • Rochuts up an octave on tenor trombone
Seventh and Eighth Semester
  • Finalize post graduation goals (continuing study, audition readiness)
  • Senor recital preparation
  • Twentieth Century trombone performance practice and technique (multi-phonics)
  • Chamber music marketability
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Learning to become completely self managed and solution oriented in private practice and performance idioms
  • Re-defined sense of personal musical style
  • Clear awareness of strengths and a systematic approach to eliminating tension in playing

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