Pedagogy Workshops

Nancy O’Neill Breth travels widely as a lecturer and adjudicator. 2022 marks her 7th presentation at the national conference of MTNA. She served as judge for three MTNA national piano competitions. Nancy is familiar to teachers across the country through her work as clinician at state and regional conferences from Oregon to Massachusetts. 

Request a pedagogy workshop from the following topics:

Go Home & Practice!fullsizeoutput_ac0

It’s not enough to say, Go Home & Practice! How can we make practicing fun and effective? What will motivate our students to take responsibility for practicing effectively? Examples at the piano of down-to-earth tips—what works best, how, when and why—from Nancy’s videos and publications on practicing.

Mapping Music—the Road to Understanding
Few students realize how much they can learn about a new piece by uncovering familiar patterns. Analyzing a piece before practicing it empowers students to rise above note-by-note practicing to a new level of understanding, accuracy and enjoyment. Mapping streamlines practicing and lays the groundwork for memorization. Participants in this seminar do mapping exercises themselves to find strategies for guiding students of all levels through the nuts and bolts of mapping a musical score.

Life After Lessons
What skills should students take with them when they graduate from high school? When should their teachers think about this? What type of training is needed to endow students, as they enter adulthood, with the sight-reading ability, musical literacy, confidence and knowledge to become independent learners?

Technique Without Tears
We need technique, we want technique, but we hate to practice technique…Unless we find a technique regimen that piques our interest, that motivates us, that even makes practicing technique enjoyable. Presenting a curriculum of studies and exercises for all levels that is adaptable to any teacher’s philosophy, along with strategies that make it easier to teach and learn everything from scale fingerings to chromatic double thirds.

Bach inventions

Inside the Inventions
An appreciation of the genius and beauty of Bach’s two-part Inventions. A brief historical setting followed by a close examination of selected Inventions—old favorites as well as some that are seldom played. Suggestions on fingering, phrasing, dynamics, articulation, practicing, and memorizing, specifically tailored to the Inventions but applicable to any Baroque composition.

The Practice Triangle
Parent, teacher, student: what role does each one have in practicing the piano? How should one work with and relate to the other, from the initial interview through the senior recital? How can teachers motivate parents to motivate their children? How can parents help, and not help? Who should attend lessons and why? Questions to ask parents about children; questions to ask children about parents. What to do when the triangle shatters.


Two On A Bench
A joint lecture-demonstration by Dr. Lisa Campi Walters and her pre-college teacher, Nancy O’Neill Breth. Duets double the music and triple the fun, but they also require special skills on the part of teacher and student alike. This presentation offers advice on team formation, lesson plans, repertoire, practice techniques and creative modes of instruction. Complete package includes a full-length concert of music for four hands.

Other lecture topics:

  • Sightreading
  • Memorizing Music
  • Principles of Fingering
  • College Auditions
  • Chamber Music 
  • Transfer Students

Request a pedagogy workshop