Beads & Coves - Best Concept for Teaching?

Would appreciate some feedback from those of you who teach new turners.

The AAW pubs have lots of info on teaching, primarily starting newbies with an exercise in beads & coves. This seems to be the "traditional" path for new turners. The rationale being, I believe, this exercise, once mastered, will provide the tool control skill to do most any spindle & bowl project.

My observation is that the beads & coves exercise is a very difficult first experience. It requires tool movement in 3 dimensions & 2 mirror image operations. Working with an adult class, perhaps 1 in 3 will get it right after two sessions. All experience frustration that dampens the potential joy of turning. Only after turning some small project, such as a bud vase, does the enthusiasm return.

I noticed at the Nationals Youth Turning session, beginners were started on a project immediately, with guidance as they proceeded. No beads & coves.

So, would like to know what advice the group may have.
(This may not be a new question, but the search function is not responding)

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