Music and Math in Education


Public and private schools across the country are rediscovering the importance of music and fine arts. There are a multitude of new studies proving the positive connection between a quality music education and higher math test scores.

It is not hard to find the correlation between these two subjects. In fact, most educators agree that music and math are very similar disciplines. Both require a very specific set of skills. It is safe to say that schools understand that students will learn the same self-motivation, cooperation, memorization and critical reasoning skills in music class as they do in math class.

Self-motivation is balanced by group work and cooperation. Children learn to work together toward a common cause. Perhaps they are working on a choral concert or learning a piece of orchestral music. Regardless of the reason behind the group work, just learning that your participation is necessary and will affect the outcome of the project is vital to a child’s understanding of working as a team. Likewise, in mathematics, children become acutely aware that their learning comes from a collaboration of generations of mathematicians.

Schools also contribute to the teaching of self-motivation when enrolling children in music classes. There is a certain amount of personal skill involved in learning to read music or play an instrument. This skill is directly connected with the amount of individual practice the child puts in. When a child learns that through practice they can become better or more capable at playing a particular instrument or understanding a particular type of music, they become motivated to work harder. This self-motivation is entirely necessary when a child begins learning the basic concepts of mathematics.

Some people see a correlation between the memorization skills required in music learning to the memorization skills required in mathematics. Certainly, there are a variety of ways to interpret the positive affect of learning to memorize at an early age. Much of early mathematics is based on memorizing tables, fractions and logarithms. Also, a child that is accustomed to memorizing math formulas and musical literature may be able to recall this information, when necessary, during testing.

Students who are exposed to music in schools have proven time and again that they excel when it comes to reasoning skills. When learning a new instrument or how to read music, children are forced to gain a working understanding of logic. Learning about scales, measures, rests and time signatures is very similar to learning the basics of mathematics. Just as in math, music is a series of cause and effect formulas with everything having its place and order.

There is a remarkable amount of ways music in the classroom can change children’s lives. Principals, teachers and parents alike are rediscovering the importance of music as it relates to mathematics.



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