I was brought up with the thought that if you’re going to do something, do it your very best! I want my students to walk away with an understanding of music, not just a copy cat, rote learning background. With that being said I want to teach my students the skill needed to learn a song on their own and not being dependent on someone to show them "how to do it." Granted young beginners require a parents supervision but eventually all students should be able to practice independently. Technique is greatly emphasized in my teaching. Having a proper hand position and body position effects the way a students plays greatly. I also incorporate theory as well. This helps the students understand the music they are playing. I require my students to use a metronome and count a loud. They are key to understanding the meter, rhythm and tempo of a piece.
I have my students record their daily practice for me. This is vital for me to know how much time they have spent and the progress they have made in a given time. When a student practices diligently then I can focus on the fun stuff at the lessons. I want students to know the notes and have the piece with the metronome when the come to the lesson so I can show them how to turn the piece form boring notes to performance ready. Don't worry...I teach my students how to practice at home so they can easily accomplish this if they are ready and motivated.
I motivate my students on different levels. One way doesn't work for every student. After I get to know my students then I can choose a way to motivate them that suits their personality. I like variety and change my motivation incentives constantly,whether it's a prize basket or a new challenging piece.
I like to incorporate group classes as well. I like students to be comfortable performing in front of each other so recitals aren't as scary for them. It's also a nice break for the student to meet other students and put the theory knowledge to the test!