Music helps children learn math effectively!
Posted on: February 26, 2016. Comments ( 2 )

Mathematics is “the basis of sound” and sound itself exhibits a remarkable array of number properties, simply because nature itself “is amazingly mathematical”.

Without getting into too much detail, music has its applications in the subjects of set theory, abstract algebra and number theory. Number progressions like the Fibonacci series relate musical progressions. Chinese teacher-philosopher Confucius and Greek mathematician Pythagoras, both regarded the small numbers 1-2-3-4 as the source of all perfection.

The Golden Ratio is found when we “divide a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part”. Certainly the grammar of music—rhythm and pitch—has mathematical foundations in the Golden Ratio. When we hear two notes an octave apart, we feel we’re hearing the same note, so much so that we give them the same name. This is because the frequencies of the two notes are in an exact 1:2 ratio.

In the field of cognitive research, the mind-body connections between music and mathematics have fuelled continuing debate surrounding the so-called “Mozart Effect”, which was first popularized in the early 1990s. In some studies, test subjects performed better on spatial-temporal tasks—such as visualizing a boat in one’s mind and then building it with Lego pieces—immediately following exposure to a Mozart sonata. This might be explained by the fact that the same parts of the brain are active when listening to Mozart as when engaged in spatial-temporal reasoning.

Musicians and mathematicians alike both use abstract notation to describe on paper the patterns that exist in their mind. A trained musician reading musical symbols moves straight to “hearing” in his mind the sounds that the symbols represent. Similarly, a trained mathematician reading mathematical symbols moves directly to think about the patterns that the symbols represent. It’s not surprising then that medical imaging shows the brains of professional musicians when listening to music are similar to the images of brain activity of professional mathematicians solving a mathematical problem.

Play music in the background during a lesson or homework session. Music can activate us emotionally, mentally and physically to help us remember the learning experience and information. Music can also create a highly focused learning state in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned. Baroque music that is 50 to 80 beats per minute creates an atmosphere of focus that leads students into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state.

Learning vocabulary, memorizing facts or reading to this music is highly effective. On the other hand, energizing Mozart music assists in holding attention during sleepy times of day and helps students stay alert while reading or working on projects. Lower-performing students might find it hard to grasp the idea of fractions from a diagram or textbook, but when you add music and multiple ways of learning, fractions become second nature to them.

When helping your child with memorizing facts or figures, mathematical or not, try putting the information to rhythm or rhyme. These catchy, musical elements will provide a hook to help her recall those important details in stressful situations. These songs, chants, poems, and raps will improve the memory of content facts and details. Providing the right music for the right purpose can help your child learn in general but potentially excel at mathematics.

Rhythm depends on arithmetic.

Harmony draws from basic numerical relationships.

The development of musical themes reflects the world of symmetry and geometry.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to get up and dance to the music, remember that those pleasurable patterns of rhythm, beat, harmony and melody are actually embodied mathematical expressions.


Comments (2)

 

  1.  
    Anukampa Mallick says:

    My daughter is in III A. She is very slow in writing because of that she is not able to complete the work in the class. I am telling her to write atleast one page for practice. She is still writing slow. Any advise for this.
    Thanks

    •  
      Faozia says:

      Hello,
      I would advise to you / your daughter to change her pencil or give her pencil of her choice.I mean she should enjoy/ show interest in her writing.

      Daily if possible tell her to write small paragraph within alloted time. Also, encourage/ motivate her that her handwriting is good & she can write it fastly. Give her some writing task .
      Hope my suggestion will be helpful to you. ☺


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