It's not just about sitting on the bench anymore. There are myriads of resources to help piano teachers reach any kind of student, with different types of learning styles and preferences. In my studio, students spend about a third of their lesson on their method book (this is the main "guide" or "textbook" for beginning pianists.) They spend about a third of their time doing off-bench activities- which can range from note-reading games to rhythm learning to listening to creativity. The rest of the lesson can be devoted to performing skills, composing music, lead sheets, and learning to improvise.
Here is a good example of some of the activities a student can pick from when they come to my studio:
How does it work? The student picks a card and goes to the workstation designated by the icon: either the digital piano, the computer, or the ipad. They complete the activity and record their score or their response to the reflection question on a separate sheet. Students are rewarded for completing their sheets and showing their learning.
Doesn't that seem like more fun than sitting at a piano doing drills over and over? I can't wait to see the well-rounded musicians that come from this type of approach. Here's to learning in a variety of ways!