Musical training has several components, including the development of listening skills, motor skills, note reading, memorization, and ultimately the ability to communicate the meaning of the music. Each student has a different balance and affinity for learning these skills, depending on their age, previous musical experience (if any), individual abilities, and goals.
My teaching philosophy is to guide the students to meet their goals by focusing on the learning method that suits their abilities, but in parallel to spend time addressing those areas that are less natural to the student, in order to build a balanced set of musical skills.
For younger students, I generally focus on listening skills, motor skills, and memorization, using an approach similar to the Suzuki method. However, I have found that note reading must also be learned in parallel (at a pace suitable to the age of the student), in order to build a strong foundation for later goals, such as participation in the Certificate of Merit program from the Music Teachers Association of California.
For teenage and adult beginners, I start with a standard adult course book, and branch off from there to meet their musical preferences.
I'm very patient with all students. The students are encouraged to develop patience as well, in order to receive maximum benefit from the musical learning process.