I think the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate would be to develop a serious, long lasting RELATIONSHIP to the work. That usually means daily commitment to tasks that can be frustrating at times. It's the amount of effort over the long haul that can become so rewarding.
The most satisfying thing for me about teaching is watching students form and grow over a period of 4 years. I love the musical maturity that comes from exposure to many different aspects of the art that one experiences in college.
This may not surprise anyone whose driven with me, but I drove a cab in Boston to support myself in college for awhile.