How would I decide whether a student would learn reasonably well using the classic Simply Music approach, or whether he & I should invest in the Gateway program?
I don’t think you can really know until you start. It’s always safe to start with Gateway. Then, if the student is moving quickly you can start incorporating some of the regular Simply Music approach. That’s what I’ve done with a new student. But I think the finger exercises are always helpful and should be repeated throughout even when you phase into Simply Music. It might also depend on the level of musical understanding that the coach has. The Gateway program really helps a coach work with a special needs child as everything is spelled out note-by-note, finger-by-finger on the early songs.
Gateway is appropriate for students who have trouble understanding the reference diagrams because they are a bit abstract, and/or those who have significant fine motor challenges or very little finger independence.
Original discussion started June 25, 2018