Piano is a great instrument for beginners. The visual layout lends itself to learning music theory and sight-reading. Some students excel by starting with scales and learning the notes. Others learn better by putting scales in the context of a song they like. I avoid teaching scales for an entire lesson. Learning songs that the student likes makes the lessons much more fun.
Most of my experience with the piano is with pop music, but I am familiar with many styles, and can certainly teach whatever the student wants to learn. When students become comfortable with the piano, we can get creative and begin composing music!