Inside the Accordion Teacher’s Studio

Kris Hughes, an accordion teacher in Edinburgh, Scotland, has just started a new blog called BoxTeacher, where she shares her experiences and challenges as a teacher and invites students from all over the world to ask her for advice. Kris has been teaching the piano accordion for over 20 years and, though she’s played in several folk and ceilidh bands over the years, her first love is clearly working with students.

In his first entry, she talks about her lessons with a couple of longtime pupils and it’s fascinating to see how she helps each overcome their musical obstacles, whether it’s mastering a tricky rhythm or trying to find the right feel for a particular piece. If you’re an accordion student looking for guidance, but you can’t find a local teacher, I’d highly recommend checking in with Kris.


  1. Chris – thanks so much for the great review!

  2. Hi Kris

    I am a mature student never having taken music lessons before, so here I am at 54 learning notes and the PIANO ACCORDION for the first time..
    I have taken lesson for the last 7 months…and have enjoyed it very much….BUT…I feel kind of boxed in…I feel very limited in the way that I am learning…I started out wanting to learn by EAR…and my ear does help me a lot…but I feel that I am being taught notes only …I really want to end up being able to play gospel songs by ear….
    Do you have any suggestion? Do I need two teachers? one to teach me notes and another to teach me (ear) trainging? Thanks for any advice…I really do love the accordion



  3. Hi Eva,

    Have you talked to your teacher about your concerns? If he/she isn’t able/willing to accomodate your needs, I’d recommend looking for a new teacher who will teach you by ear. You also might want to look into more general ear/voice training courses (maybe at a local community college) that can supplement your current lessons. Even if those courses aren’t accordion-specific, they’ll help build skills that you can transfer to your accordion playing.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Looking for a B/B button accordion teacher in the Edinburgh area.

  5. Joan, try getting in touch with Kris via the link above. While she teaches piano accordion, she may be able to refer you to a button accordion teacher around Edinburgh.