The Student/Teacher Dynamic.
After seven years of private tuition, I have taught hundreds of students globally both online and face to face.
As a guitar instructor, I have taught students of all ages, skill levels and interests. I've been fortunate enough to watch some of my students progress into fantastic players with an admirable work ethic and inspired curiosity. There are many students that I'm still in contact with, who will shoot ideas or messages from time to time. As a student myself, I have taken lessons in every capacity; from informal jamming, studying through the academic system to one-off sessions with other inspiring players. I'm a big believer that a good teacher never loses sight of being a student.
The process of humbling yourself, breaking old habits and nurturing new growth is truly never-ending.
There is a method of 'purification' that comes from learning. It requires both student and teacher to cast aside their egos for a greater purpose. As a student, it's a hugely personal experience to allow someone to critique your playing; it isn't always easy to hear from a teacher that your skillset needs improving. As a teacher, balancing lessons between what a student needs to learn versus what the student wants to learn is the biggest challenge. The goal is not to train a 'mini-me' version of yourself but to give students a dynamic method to explore their curiosities.
With that in mind, I'd like to address some on-going thoughts about the student & teacher dynamic.
Generally, a good student is one who willingly relinquishes their egocentricity. Granted, some students will be more advanced than others as their approach might be more characteristic of their sound, rather than a 'flaw'. By the same reasoning, a good teacher can identify and keep intact a student's idiosyncrasies if they are complimentary.
An unsuccessful lesson is inevitable. Every teacher has taught one, and every student has had one. Often, cognitive dissonance is at the heart of an unsuccessful session. Perhaps the student doesn't understand the reason for the subject content. Or maybe they don't embrace the primary critique by the teacher. In this scenario, both the student and the teacher are at fault. While it is the teacher's job to conduct the lesson and explain content clearly, it is the student's job to reciprocate the attention and arrive open-minded. Left unresolved, you might see this as a 'power struggle' over the direction of the lesson. Whether you are the teacher or student in this scenario, identify your role and do your part to ease the situation.