My Educational Philosophy.
Learning can be both exciting and frightening at the same time. In order to help minimize any apprehension and hopefully remove the possibility of future frustration, it is important to recognize the students comfort zone and incorporate it as a foundation for any new learning challenge. For example, I often use the tenet "if you can say it you can play it" during the introduction of any new rudimental phrase. So to attach a simple spoken phrase to the written notation, it becomes familiar and easy to remember. This helps to build self confidence in the student and makes learning "fun".
If a student wants to emulate a particular player or style of playing, I would never question the choice but would make every effort to map the path to that goal by altering the lesson plan if necessary. Book learning is a fantasic tool, but sometimes it has to be put away and an impromptu agenda created. That change of plan causes both the student and the teacher to learn new things; and that is the true spirit of education.