I do not teach theory to young students.  Admittedly it takes longer to learn to listen confidently than it does to read music notation as a set of motor skills attached to instantly identifiable sounds.  But those sounds, superficially instantly identifiable in terms of discrete piano keys with alphabetical names are, in fact, quite the contrary simply because of the variable nature of "the" piano.  These sounds must be kept mysterious, bewildering, in order to maintain their inherent fascination.  
Every experience I have of students' expert responses leads me to trust that my instincts in this regard are correct.  The students maintain interest in the sound far beyond the level of technique, and they go more deeply into the mystery of the mind of Beethoven, Haydn, Bartok, et al  than I ever could at their age.
 


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