I always like to say that when I teach privately, I really like to gear what I teach directly to that particular student. This is true for the most part, and of course, there are many foundational things a pupil must know to really set the record straight. This cannot, however, be introduced to every person at the same point in their development, because everyone learns differently. I find that all students have their own particular pace at which they learn, and of course, certain things appeal to some folks, while other things appeal to others.
Getting “familiar” with just what a student needs and what makes him or her “tick” is really key, and that takes good “people skills” in general to make it happen right. Many of my private students have established a long-term relationship with me, and the communication that exists between us is extremely sensitive and has been “fine-tuned” to excellent detail.
If you are teaching, or still taking private lessons, it’s very important for you to be aware of this process, and be sure that you understand the various “ups and downs” that can be experienced. I know my students are always sure to point out to me when I am “high energy” in a good way, and even though they rarely state it, I can tell when they can see that I am at a low ebb, or not doing so well in general. It’s certainly hard when one has given so many thousands of hours of lessons as I have, to always stay in top form, especially when it can be hard to “tune out” some of life’s extraneous pressures and happenings! Still, it’s important to develop that “rhythm” between student and teacher, so one can truly “read” the situation to the best of his or her ability.
After many years, some of my students really feel so at home, that I feel awful even asking for money from them! Student/teacher relationships can really evolve into other things as well, such as when I used to privately teach Paul Simon guitar for an hour, but it would turn into a 2 to 3 hour song-writing extravaganza! This was certainly illuminating for me as well as Paul, and turned out to be such a rewarding and “one of a kind” experience! All teachers should have such a rewarding experience with their students as I have had, because it certainly results in a constantly ongoing learning experience for all! I mean, it truly was teaching that enabled me to learn as much as I did, so I could pass it on. Being self-taught, it was almost a necessity that I teach others, so I could always be delving more and more into the “really good stuff”, so my students can always feel like they’re getting the “real thing”, which they certainly are!
So get closer and closer with your student or your teacher, and see just how much more it will make things flourish! You’ll never know; like me, you may be teaching some of them for as much as twelve years, if not more! Good luck!