Rote verses more creative methods. There's a reason for both. First there needs to be a definition of learning. What is learning? "A relatively perminent change in an organism due to experience" If you investigate how neural pathways are established (as it applies to learning) you'll find that the two methods have merit. Rote, or doing it over and over and over, serves as a way to strengthen the neural pathways. I pretty sure that's how we all learned our scales or some difficult piece we needed to have ready for a tryout. Creative, exciting, or dangerous can create a "flashblub" type neural pathway inwhich rote is not necessary. Its the type of learning that you only have to experience once or maybe a couple of times. An example of this would be when you heard something new that was so moving that you began to figit with nervous emotion or even cry. You're not likely to forget this event and 40 years later when someone mentions it, you'll remember. As a future music teacher, what's the best way will depend on YOU. Both are very important and necessary. Rote requires a work ethic that can weed out 95% of your class if you're not careful. Creativity is swell but you still have to have a concert ready for the parents and the administration to hear on hoildays. Will you be a teacher that kids HAVE to listen to or WANT to listen to? Do you give them a reason to brag about themselves because they had you as their teacher? Interestingly, When you finally get your class you'll see that you can prepare like crazy but once you get there, your process will be 95% improvisation. Why 95% improvisation? Because you have to work with what the school year gives you. This means you'll have to tweek, expand, contract, your battle plan in order to get out a least 3 final products: The kids WANT to be in the band. The parents LIKED the concert. I made NO WAVES for the administration who signs my paycheck. I think you'll do fine.