Using Music to Promote a Love of Mathematics

By now, most everyone knows that a solid music education is a fabulous addition to any curriculum. However, many people fail to realize just how much music can help children learn and grow.

For instance, learning and fully understanding music will, by default, help a student develop a firm grasp on mathematics. Since this is a subject many parents have difficulties teaching, and because many children find the subject less than enjoyable, music can provide a much-needed practical application of math. This application helps students get a better understanding of mathematical concepts and shows them just how these concepts might be used in the real world.

Here are a few of the ways you can incorporate music into your math lessons and vice versa.

Pattern Recognition

Recognizing patterns is one of the very first lessons taught in any math curriculum. Music is absolutely filled with patterns, meaning it can be used to help children hear and see patterns in their everyday lives.

Make a game of finding patterns in the sheet music during piano practice, or put on some folk music and ask the child to find patterns in the music. Keep the pattern-search fun and lighthearted in order to keep the child engaged.

By helping your child recognize patterns in the world around them, you are giving them a solid foundation to build their mathematical world on. This is something your young student is sure to appreciate later on in life.

Counting, Addition, and Multiplication

After you have established good pattern recognition, you can expand upon your musical math lessons by throwing in some counting, simple addition, and eventually, some multiplication.

All music is made up of numbers. Help the child see this by asking him or her to count the beats in a song, making sure they know to stay with the song. Once the child understands this concept, make a game of finding how many beats are in a measure and adding or multiplying measures to find how many beats are on a page or in a song.

As your child advances, make the game more difficult by finding pieces with odd time signatures, but be sure to always keep the games fun and avoid lecturing the student.

Understanding Fractions

Music is an excellent way to introduce your little one to the world of fractions. This subject is best brought up after the child is able to consistently count music.

Begin by explaining that in music, four beats is equivalent to one whole. From there you can explain the values of quarter notes and half notes, showing them on a piece of sheet music and written out as fractions. Some students also benefit from seeing the fractions drawn out as a part of a pie. Once the child understands quarters and halves, move on to explain eighth notes and dotted half notes.

As you can see, having a good understanding of the way music works can easily help your child excel in mathematics. By introducing children to the world of music at a young age, you give them the opportunity to grow up in a world filled with numbers and math in their most beautiful and artistic forms. This helps them to develop a positive relationship with numbers that is sure to help them navigate the world of mathematics as they grow older.

If you are ready to