I've been teaching a highschool kid acoustic guitar lately and even though everything related to the left hand is progressing well, he is having major problems with his rhythm.
To give you the full picture my opinion would be that he has no rhythm. He can't understand the concept of it and he doesn't seem to recognize it when he's completely off tempo. He can't clap in sync with a metronome without my help and everytime i show him an exercise, next week comes only to realize that he's been doing it wrong the whole week.
My question is: Are there any techniques or exercises that would help him improve? I've tried working with metronome but he just doesn't listen to it or doesn't understand the beats. I always make him sing the Strums of a particular pattern in tempo before even playing it on guitar (e.g. Down Down-Up Up-Down-Up-Down) to help him remember the movement of his right hand and at the same time practicing rhythm. He sings it ok sometimes but most of the times he's off even when he sings it. And when I say off i mean everything is done wrong. He skips rests, he creates his own rests at times, he accents the wrong strums etc etc
I am really puzzled as to what to try because I am certain he can't understand or feel anything about rhythm which makes it almost impossible to try to explain it to him.