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This “Math through Music” lesson encourages mental math and quantity analysis while educating students musically
K, 1, 2, 3, 4
Title – Introducing Math through Music
By – Sheena Carty
Primary Subject – Math
Secondary Subjects – Music
Grade Level – K-4
- Begin by telling the children the names of the instruments and letting them hear the different sounds.
- Then ask the children what number they think the drum represents; they will instinctively tell you number one and then realize the other instruments’ numbers without any help.
- Choose a child and tell them to listen to two sounds, i.e. the drum (1) and the triangle (3).
- Ask them to hit the instrument that is the sum of both numbers. They should hit the woodblock (4).
- After a short amount of practice, this can be done without speaking or involving numbers, so that when you hit two instruments, the children can hit the answer.
- For nursery school children:
- Simply hit the drum and ask them to hit the instrument that matches the amount of times you strike it.
- If you hit the drum three times, the child will work out that three is the triangle.
- For older children:
- Use this idea for multiplication tables, subtraction, etc.
- The four instruments add to ten.
- If you hit the triangle times the woodblock – the answer is 12.
- The child then has many options of instruments to answer with, i.e. the woodblock three times, the drum twelve times, the triangle four times and so on.
- This method takes away the need for numbers and encourages mental math, quantity analysis, different variations and sequences of numbers and also encourages and educates students musically.
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