It seems counter intuitive that the goal of the successful piano teacher is to ultimately make themselves redundant. The successful teacher equips the student to become an independent learner, able to listen, read, interpret, play and perform.
To that end students come in a wide range of ages and stages of development, with varied needs, expectations and ambitions and piano teachers require a vast array of strategies, repertoire, learning experiences and teaching styles to accommodate and motivate their students.
Some students learn piano because they love music, some so as to develop their sight-reading skills while others want to play by ear and resist learning to read. Students may learn piano as a first step to another instrument, or due to parental request. Some want to perform as much as possible, while others are timid performers who are anxious playing in front of other people. There are students who are preparing for auditions, completing formal exams and some aiming to become professional musicians. Others learn to play for pleasure and fun with them, music making is a relaxation or escape.
Regardless of the reasons why a student learns piano, everyone enjoys playing something familiar. The request to learn the current pop songs, jazz pieces, and or film themes is a universal experience for piano teachers, and students who only wish to learn songs they “know” can be the most challenging to motivate and teach.