Nancy O’Neill Breth teaches piano and chamber music to students of all ages in the Washington, DC metro area. She collaborates with teachers throughout the country, speaking frequently at state and national conferences. Her 2019 speaking engagements include her fourth presentation at MTNA’s national conference and her first at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. In November Nancy gave three presentations and a master class for the Utah Music Teachers Association’s annual conference.
Nancy’s latest project is Effective Practicing, a collection of short You Tube videos in which she demonstrates tips from her various publications on practicing.
Breth piano and chamber music students are frequent laureates in state, national and international competitions. Several appeared on National Public Radio’s “From the Top”; three of her duet teams won MTNA’s national Piano Duet competition. Her students have earned admittance to prestigious summer programs such as Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood, Meadowmount, International Institute for Young Musicians and The Perlman Institute; have gone on to receive music degrees from Indiana University, Juilliard, New England and Eastman Conservatories; and have been selected by Chamber Music America as resident chamber artists in rural America. Some currently hold piano professorships in university schools of music.
Nancy’s work as pianist and arts presenter in the United States, Latin America and Asia led the Washington Post to praise her “superb musicianship”, calling her Music Connection concert series “brilliant” and “imaginative”. The Mexico City News wrote that Breth’s Camerata de Mexico “offers the best chamber music in Mexico.”
Nancy taught piano, chamber music and pedagogy at Washington DC’s Levine School of Music for many years. She chaired its Chamber Music department for 13 years. Due to her innovative curriculum building and event planning, the number of adults and children studying chamber music at Levine grew from around 40 to almost 400.
In New York City Nancy was producer/director of a children’s opera by Michael Colgrass, and built an acclaimed chamber music program for children on Roosevelt Island.
Nancy has lectured on music at the Smithsonian Institution, Florida State University and George Mason University, and is a popular piano pedagogy clinician. She has written for American Music Teacher, Keyboard Companion and Clavier Magazine. Her publications include The Piano Student’s Guide to Effective Practicing, the Parents’ Guide to Effective Practicing, Practicing the Piano, and a set of elementary piano trios after John Gay’s The Beggars Opera, all published by Hal Leonard Corporation.