Bad news, teachers! What happens between lessons can be more important than what happens during lessons.

Too often music pedagogy concentrates solely on the most obvious part of the learning environment; namely, the lesson. I am the last person to deny the significance of an inspiring lesson – it might give the pupil or student a motivational boost that easily lasts until the next lesson. Still, in many cases, even a brilliant lesson is not enough.

No matter how competent the advice a piano teacher gives about the fingerings or beautiful phrases, it is of no help if music is not an integral part of the student’s everyday life.

Hence, a good teacher also pays attention to the out-of-classroom aspects of the student’s learning process.


  1. Supportive social environment: family, friends, schoolmates
  2. Practicing facilities: enough time, an adequate instrument, peaceful surroundings
  3. Music education: inspiring teachers, versatile repertoire, chances to perform, sight reading, chamber music, projects
  4. Other musical activities: listening music, reading about music, going to concerts
  5. Goals and dreams
  6. Boost: music camps, master classes, festivals, competitions, auditions

Having the best piano teacher does not help much if the other elements of the learning environment are hampering the progress. That´s why the students and parents should be made aware of how essential it is to look at the big picture.

In the long run, even the slightest tuning of the learning environment can make a huge difference.