After years of teaching I have discovered that people are loaded up with myths and misconceptions about playing music. Playing and understanding music is easy. The notion that it is only for the gifted and super talented is a lie. It’s a learnable skill.
Fun is the first priority. Everybody wants to learn different things. I tailor the lesson to the student and their goals. With music each person has an 'ideal' they are striving for: rock guitarist ala Jimmy Page, acoustic folk ala Bob Dylan, songwriter like Paul Simon, or classical guitarist like Andres Segovia. I work with students to reach their ideal in a laid back, friendly manner.
I might teach out of a book, or make our own book as we go along depending on the student, their experience level, and their goals. Each lesson will stress important music fundamentals and how to make things easier. Every lesson and every student is different. I have students as young as 5 whom I help to learn music while they are still learning their left from right, AND on the other side, I have had students like an 81 year old mandolin student.
Learning music is an investment. Everyone learns at a different pace. There is no norm. There is no "place they should be at” after a certain length of time. I've had students that stagnated for YEARS and then TAKE OFF once they really decided to apply themselves. If you are the parent of a student, the best thing you can do is to be involved. After that, nature will take its course.