Students should always feel challenged, guided and understand that I (as a teacher) can show them the path, I cannot walk the path for them; they will have to do walk it themselves by doing the work.
My second priority is engaging the students at all time, asking them questions and not letting them feel that they should wait for my answers, rather that I will guide them to their answers which they will have to find themselves. There are no “perfect” answers nor only one answer. The students should be given the concept that Music is an Art meaning it is here to free your mind from right and wrong, rather thinking in terms of possibilities (which will have more or less success). I will be there to guide them to commonly more successful answers, but I am always ready to accept a less common answer if it serves the students better. I firmly believe that students should be inspired to want to explore more deeply and by themselves topics that were brought up during lessons.
The students come to lessons to be stimulated intellectually and have their pieces demonstrated for them by me. I do not believe in, “If one can’t play/perform, one can teach”. I actually believe the exact opposite. Because of my international experience as a performer, I must demonstrate to the students on a weekly basis. I find paramount that demonstration at the piano from the teachers/performers be part of the lessons. The students cannot “imagine” by words only what the teacher is talking about, rather the students should hear it and experience it first hand.
The students must attend several performances of highly qualified professionals in concert halls. If the students are in an area which does not offer these high-level performance opportunities, I believe it is my role to guide the students to many amazing, profound and deeply interesting renditions or recordings/performances from highly recognized performers. These recordings can easily be found on YouTube. I always highly recommend live performances (as oppposed to studio recordings) because they represent a closer version of an interactive performance of a piece (as the student will be asked to perform themselves during recitals).
I believe in students participating in recitals, examinations and competitions. These give a deadline to the students, and help them understand that the “performing art” is to learn to give your best at a certain time (not the day before or the day after). These also teaches the students that procrastination is not an option.