Absolutely! For example, I will sometimes have a person come in who really only wants to learn jazz. That requires a whole different curriculum. However, nearly all students want to play rock, with some people occasionally mentioning funk, hip-hop, etc. These styles are all pretty much based on quarter note grooves, 8th note grooves, 16th note grooves, and 6/8 grooves. So, by focusing on those rhythms, I can cover a lot of ground and work with students of varying interests. But yes, you are correct that each student must be treated individually. As an instructor, we need to consider not only the goals of the student, but also the student's personal strengths, weaknesses, and learning style.I would assume that you try to accommodate students with specific requests though, at least at some level.
You can say that again! I used to teach people of all ages. However, I found that teaching young children was radically different than all of my other work as a teacher. I eventually concluded that it wasn't really for me, so I now only work with students who are at least 12 years old. Most of my students are actually full-grown adults between the ages of 20 and 50. I guess you could say I'm specializing now!I also teach some very young kids, which also makes it work a little differently, haha
My curriculum is not currently based off of anything that is written down. Keep in mind that I started teaching in 1996, and generally do about 20 lessons per week. I have worked with about 500 students. With this type of volume over so many years, I have inevitably developed a system that is uniquely my own. It's a gradual thing that probably happens with most teachers after they've been at it for a decade or more. Of course, I do use books. My current favorites for teaching are The New Breed, Syncopation, and Understanding Rhythm. But these books are really just an adjunct to my core arsenal of exercises and teaching ideas, which are stored in my head. These exercises generally involve playing basic grooves and shifting the various elements to all of the different counts. I want my students to be comfortable putting the bass anywhere in the measure. I want them to be just as comfortable crashing on the "& of 2" as they are crashing on the 1.Out of curiosity (I'm working on developing and solidifying my own curriculum) is there any chance that I could see some of your teaching material? Are you writing your own, or do you use other people's texts?
I hope you enjoy the DVD. Let me know if you ever have questions about any of the material in it. Best of luck!It certainly sounds like a fairly unique approach, and its cool that you got some of the top guys to support it. Heck, If Garibaldi, Smith, Formularo, and others learned from it, I know I'll pick up a lot!