One thing that both students and teachers may not know about learning and the way that the human mind works, is that the mind doesn't know a "mistake". The mind assumes everything that is programmed into it is correct. Because of this assumption, playing incorrect information into the brain is like a "double waste of time" - it takes something like 21 correct repetitions of a movement to get it programmed into the brain, and when you have to RE-PROGRAM a mistake, it takes even longer. For that reason, it's REALLY IMPORTANT to get students to SLOW DOWN and not practice mistakes.
The greatest way to do that - after you explain to them that they are not the only person in the world who doesn't learn something immediately (like they fear is true) - is to slice up whatever piece they are working on into small packets of information / movements that they can remember. Sit and actually do the repetitions with the student - teaching is more about actually showing a student HOW to learn than the right notes, where to put fingers, etc. As a performer, this will help everyone if they really put it into play, and this has been invaluable in the studio sessions I have done as well. "Slow is fast" means that playing something perfectly and slowly - especially when you have very little time to learn it - is the best way to learn - and teach - anything.
Doug teaches songwriting, ukulele, and guitar lessons in Canoga Park, CA. He specializes in teaching blues, rock, classical, and latin styles. Doug has been teaching for 40 years and he joined the TakeLessons Team in May 2013. Learn more about Doug or search for a teacher near you!