The reason students choose to learn guitar is because they want to achieve a level of playing where they can imitate their heroes, play along with songs, impress their friends and family and possibly even compose their own music. It is vitally important to the longevity of the student that the teacher fully understands the process of learning that needs to occur to get the student to reach this level effectively and with a depth of knowledge about the instrument. I have found many times that we as guitar teachers often prefer to teach the music that we like and enjoy in the hope to pass on the inspiration to our students. Whilst this is an excellent quality to have as an instructor, sometimes our enthusiasm to get the student to a point where they can experience the ‘fun’ part of learning an instrument means that we leave problematic holes in their musical education.
Many teachers would start off by teaching some basic versions of chords like G,D & C, then straight away they will have their student playing a popular song they like using these chords. I have found this technique to be effective in keeping the students interest in learning the instrument especially is they are younger, but it is a little bit like trying to teach someone to make a cake, letting them make some icing and then letting them eat the icing! they have effectively (in their mind) achieved what they wanted and may struggle to understand their own shallowness of knowledge and ability later on. It will also make the uphill struggle of exacting proper chords, rhythm, technique and timing much, much harder! What you may find with this method is that the student will just want to continue learning simple versions of songs to achieve the maximum gratification with the minimum effort. Make sure to start your students off with a good base of technique on which to build their skillset. Make sure you have a clear view for the student with assessable steps to help them achieve their goals.