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Music requires the attainment of multiple technical & cognitive skills, and certain instruments train these skills better than others.

The 4 SCORE SYSTEM teaches the fundamental components of music

on the 4 most appropriate and beginner friendly instruments:






Choose 1 instrument or try all 4 to see what works.

4 Score students will learn all 4 at some stage and will usually settle on 1 major and 1 secondary instrument.

Is it wise to learn more than one instrument ?  Most musicians do.

Many people play piano & sing, or guitar & sing, drums & piano are a great rhythm & tonal combo,

piano & guitar helps the guitarist's harmony and theory, drums & vocals ensures a singer will phrase well and keep time.

Scroll down for more detail on how 4score actual takes place in class, and further down for more detail on the instruments.

All instruments are available in class and are free or very cheap to hire from us to facilitate this system.




Singing is best for

  • Phrasing

  • Performance

  • Confidence


Guitar is best for

  • Portability

  • Intro into strings

  • Finger strength


Some instruments 'advantage' a beginner musician more than others, which means they will learn faster, enjoy learning more, and will more likely continue. Children are often inspired by an instrument they have seen performed, and whatever that instrument is, there is no reason why they can't play it one day - however, the fail rate on some instruments for beginners is close to 100% because they can sound

terrible for years and are difficult or physically painful to play. Honestly, not many people who learn trombone or tuba

continue and become advanced unless they ALSO play something else like piano.

Kids have a surprisingly sophisticated hearing and will prefer to play something that sounds good, and

will rarely play something that hurts them, and when they heard that Peruvian Armadillo Charango,

or the Majestic Bellow-Phone, it was probably played by a professional and sounded lovely.

Harder instruments are best taken up after tackling the easier ones.


These 4 instruments are in the EASY and most USEFUL category


Pianos and Keyboards

Considered by the majority of professional musicians to be the most advantageous and educational instrument

for many musical aspects, especially harmony, theory, pitching and composition.

Most musicians who play a string, brass or woodwind as their main instrument, will also play the piano. 

It is a major advantage to learn some piano/keyboard regardless of your main instrument because

the piano is like a musical abacus with the notes of the orchestra laid out and very easily viewed.

Miles Davis was once asked by someone how they could improve their trumpet playing. His reply was: "Buy a piano."



Drums tend to be the main instrument for coordination and rhythm. The principle of rhythmic transference

means that if we can play a pattern on a drum, we can transfer that to any other instrument.

Drums allow us to ignore tonality, chords and notes and focus on dynamics and rhythm.

We can then move back to a tonal instrument, and incorporate that rhythm. 

Drums are also quite numerically based and promote mathematical thinking with counting, metre,

divisions, multiplications, implied metric modulations and advanced polyrhythmic calculations.



The voice is an instrument we already play. Speech and singing are identical in many aspects.

Singing is the most personal of the instruments as it is our body that makes the sound so

singers have a major advantage in musical connectivity because singing allows us to hear the music in our

mind without the obstacle of the instrument, so it is great for freeing up melody, harmony, phrasing and dynamics.

When you think singing, by the way, don't necessarily think Frank Sinatra or Taylor Swift - you can sing like a

drum kit, a guitar or a saxophone, and in fact, we sing without lyrics to focus on musical aspects such as pitch.

Singing is how musicians communicate with each other to quickly explain how a musical part sounds

e.g. to explain a drum pattern we might sing 'boom, chack, boom boom, chack' or a flute may be 'pip peep, pip pip, peeeep'

so from this point of view most professional instrumental musicians also sing at least to communicate ideas.



The guitar is mostly easy because it is light and accessible, but it is more difficult physically and conceptually

than piano if learnt correctly, at least as a beginner. (bashing out chords and doing guitar hero moves

is quite easy but not recommended from an educational/financial investment point of view).

The guitar is an instrument many kids would like to try, so they can. However, many end up deciding

themselves that drums or piano or singing are easier and that they get further on those instruments,

and then they often tackle guitar again once they have developed some more strength and skill.

Students who do have the patience for guitar will have an instrument they can take anywhere,

play gently to themselves, or conversely jazz or rock a large scale audience.


All musicians learn and play the same instrument - e.g. all will be on piano at the same time.

They will also learn all the components of music such as rhythm, pitch, harmony and reading.



Musicians move to different instruments - e.g. one may be on drums and another keyboard.

They will also learn all the components of music such as rhythm, pitch, harmony and reading.


This is a proprietary system we have been running in NSW schools for almost two decades.

Similar to poly instrumental studies but designed to start students playing in a real band format.

We use simulators until the musicians are confident to 'take over'.


Students learn a specific academic skill such as music reading, music theory, jazz, classical, pitch, rhythm, composition and also students wishing to study AMEB or Trinity grade systems. We also do some audio and technical study.

The Piano is best for

  • Harmony

  • Pitch

  • Composition


Drums are best for

  • Rhythm

  • Coordination

  • Dynamics

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