Teaching children

“The sounds of the guitar”

Basics on the guitar are very important before accessing grades. In this delicate transition, it is essential that children do not lose enthusiasm. When I started to think about this method I was searching for a new fun repertoire for children made up of easy but interesting tunes. Through these pieces, children can enjoy and explore the guitar by playing percussion, harmonics, and tambora etc.

The repertoire 

As per my experience, children have fun playing pieces with particular effects (i.e. percussion, glissandos etc), making music practice a real game. Furthermore, I love the idea that children have fun playing and learning a musical instrument, but at the same time, as a teacher and composer, I would like them to spend time playing valuable music which is an investment for their musical future and culture. The pieces of this method approach the sounds of the contemporary music world in a unique way.  

All the pieces are original except the traditional tunes which I have included in the Appendix.

Creative method

In my experience, the great majority of children find composition and improvisation fun and exciting. The purpose of it is both to instill a creative approach and to allow them to acquire more confidence in reading music through composing and gaining technical confidence through improvisation.

Hyperbolic method

In my experience, pupils find it difficult to move from the basic steps towards advanced pieces which include more than three notes. My method takes more time before introducing more than three notes but, in the meantime, short pieces, which include percussion and tambora, help children to gain more confidence with the learned notes, the rhythm and the posture which is not yet consolidated.

I have planned a hyperbolic path. The beginning is very slow, but once children feel confident in their ability and inspired, this method speeds more rapidly towards real solo guitar pieces, arpeggios and use of the thumb to play the bass strings etc.

Often, guitar books focus solely on simple melodies for a long time, inhibiting the development of a complete classical guitar technique, making children bored after a few lessons.


Each lesson of my method contains basic technical exercises. This is an important point which I would like to stress. The absence of technical exercises in many written guitar methods can lead teachers to neglect the practice of technique and warm-up. This has a negative impact on the pupil’s musical education and their confidence on the instrument. I believe that having strategic technical exercises in each chapter helps teachers to plan their lessons with deeper attention to technique. Moreover, these exercises support the objectives of each lesson.

As a composer and improviser, I really care about the creativity of my students. This can be at risk during a long learning process based only on reading music. For this reason, I have given the pupils the opportunity to compose music and given some tips for the improvisation with the teacher. In my opinion this is an effective way of reinforcing the learned topics. 

10 thoughts on “Teaching children

  1. Sabino has been teaching guitar to my 6 year old son for over a year. Sabino is a fantastic teacher – very patient and clear when explaining techniques, combining elements of composition into his lessons and really encouraging creativity. His “Sounds of the Guitar” book is an excellent teaching aid. The lessons are carefully thought through with really engaging pieces throughout, a great mix of both original compositions and more familiar, traditional tunes. The book, and Sabino’s teaching, has helped give my son confidence in his playing and enabled him to understand how far he has progressed in a short space of time. He loves playing the guitar!

  2. Sabino has been teaching my 8 year old son for 2 years. My son always looks forward to his lessons and loves Sabino’s teaching style with pieces in his book that are a lot of fun to learn and play. We feel very lucky to have found Sabino as a guitar teacher. He’s very kind and patient and we would recommend him and his book whole – heartedly. The way Sabino has taken my son through the basics has provided him with the tools to compose, sight – read and play tunes with emotion. It’s great to see his progress.

  3. This book has been a great revelation for my son. He has been engaging much more enthusiastically with his practice and always looks forward to his next lesson in the hope that he will get going on a new piece! Well done Sabino!

  4. Hi I think your book helps me learn and has a big influence on my guitar life

  5. My son, who sometimes finds it hard to concentrate, really likes this book especially the rock pieces! The variety of the pieces overall has meant that he is happy to practice at home on his own.

  6. “The sound of the guitar” is a very enjoyable book that introduces dynamics, extended guitar techniques and composition exercises from early lessons to engage the pupils and incentive them to explore the instrument’s potentials. My six year old son likes it very much, he is often humming the songs while playing around the house and he is always looking forward to the next lesson.

  7. Henry . my son , loves this book and the tunes in it too.The different styles and methods of playing and getting noises out of the Gtr keep him interested and inspired.
    Sabino is and amazing teacher too.

    I would recommend this book heartily to anyone thinking of learning to play the Guitar.

  8. ‘The Sounds of the Guitar’ is a great book to inspire kids who are learning the guitar for the first time. He builds up the skills of the guitarist gradually which creates a really solid base of understanding. The book also contains plenty of more advanced stuff which keeps the kids engaged. My son is happy to practice from this book – which says it all!

  9. Sabino has been teaching guitar to my now nearly 8 year old son for nearly 2 years. His talent, enthusiasm and obvious love of both the guitar and of teaching are infectious: from the get-go it made my son want to pick up his guitar and not want to put it down.

    Sabino gets children playing and composing simple pieces almost from day 1, weaving in technical exercises and lessons about technique. The result is that children can see how the technical exercises and the music they are learning fit together, and this motivates them to learn and practice.

    The initial focus on short pieces, with each piece teaching one or two new points, also mean that children are constantly but gently challenged, and do not get bored – a problem which can come with those teaching techniques which require children to repeat the same melodies, arpeggios and scales, seemingly endlessly.

    My son is enjoying playing and learning to play, and so is making good progress. More than that, he is acquiring a love of music and of the guitar, and is also acquiring the self-discipline which comes with having regularly to practice to improve.

    I feel that he is very lucky to have Sabino as a teacher, and would have no hesitation in recommending Sabino and his book.

  10. My son loves this books and it really engages him!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *