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Music and Math Are Connected!

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik are among the most popular classical pieces of all time.

Did you know that studies show that both playing and listening to classical music have a positive impact on standardized test scores? The same holds true for math achievement. And colleges seem to look positively on applicants with strong music training. Why is this? Generally, we think of music as having an emotional impact on people. What connection could music have to math, or to academics? Music takes place in time. Time is counted by numbers and so is music. How many eighth notes equal a whole note? Doesn’t that sound like fractions?

What influences the pitch of a sound? One factor is length. Longer strings create lower sounds. Shorter strings create higher sounds. We learn about patterns in math and we hear patterns in music. We call the patterns in music rhythm and harmony.

Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician who is sometimes referred to as “the father of numbers,” believed that the origin of music came from the movements of the planets and stars. The harmony of the planets’ and stars’ movements, according to Pythagoras, produced a symphony of tones, which is music.

Even if listening to classical music before taking a test does not increase a student’s score, the connection between music and math is well established. Studying music, learning music, and loving music have an impact on our minds as well as on our emotions.

Home School, Inc

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