I have to confess that I am not a big fan of Chopin - I get along better with Schumann, Brahms and some extent of Liszt from Romantic era. Yes, Chopin wrote beautiful piano music, and I do have several of his pieces in my repertoire. Yet I think it's personal chemistry he and I don't click well that much...
Anyhow, regardless of that, I think Chopin is one of the rare composers who works so well for the youths. Chopin pieces tend to bring out the best of adolescent creativity and passion and such quality seem to stay with the works over the course of time. In other words, how you felt and played stick with his compositions like a time capsule. When you re-work on Chopin pieces after so many years, it feels as though you are re-facing the feel of how you played them in your youth. I feel it is important to play Chopin pieces at young age (especially between 12 up to college years) even just for that reason. That young creativity is so hard to re-create and/or recapture in later time. You don't have to be advanced pianists. I feel it is a treasure we the pianists can all cherish as a part of musical lives.
As the mom showed me a book she has just finished reading ("Brainstorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" by Daniel J. Siegel, MD, published by Tarcher), she pointed out how the burst of creativity in youth around preteen up to 25 makes truly a powerful foundation who we will be as a grown-up adults and it is important to integrate it well to nurture the youngsters' lives through activities involving expression (and music is definitely one of them!). I couldn't agree more.
Someone called Chopin a "poet at the piano." Maybe we should give him the additional nickname of "piano time capsule."