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Music and Math Article

Given our site's commitment to music for children I thought this article was worthy of inclusion while we struggle with the download code.

The Connection Between Music and Math

There have been several studies recently that confirm a
connection between music and math. There seems to be a
strong pattern between math, language, and music. Music is
essentially a series of notes played in a pre-established
pattern. Math works in a similar way. There is a finite
number of ways that you can add, multiply, subtract, and
divide numbers, the ultimate combination is still finite.

The same is true of music. Notes are combined in a series of
groupings (almost and endless variety) but the number of
sounds created is finite. It is patterns and combinations
such as this that make music and math similar. Our brain
seems to process the information from music and math in a
different manner than it computes other information.

Babies are attracted to the spoken work when it sounds
rhythmic and melodic. Talk to a baby in a normal tone of
voice and then change your words to a nursery rhyme that has
melodic and bold sounding words throughout. You may find
that the baby pays more attention to you when you are saying
words that have a poetic, mathematical stride to them much
more than when your words are mundane and spoken in a normal
tone of voice.

Small children love to listen to music that has patterns and
repetitive lines to it. This is because their brain is
computing the music message in way that catches their
interest and makes them think. And the more ways in which
children are taught to think, the more they will learn and
absorb.

Many young children will make their own music with anything
that they can get their hands on. If you listen to the
sounds that they are making you'll always find some sort of
a pattern emerging. It is this ability to make patterns out
of random sounds that influences how well the child will do
at math skills later in life.

As a child grows it's important to continue to have music as
a part of their life. Studies show that children who are
active in music, whether playing an instrument or listening
to a wide variety of music, do better in math. This is
because their brains have developed in such a way that they
are able to discern patterns and repetition among the
musical notes.

Math is essentially the following of known patterns to
arrive at a conclusion. Once you know that formula to find
the answer, such as the simple formula of addition or the
more complex formula of determining the degrees of an angle,
you'll be able to use that pattern to get that answer.

The music and math connection works both ways: it's common
for children who do well in math class to be extremely
successful when it comes to playing an instrument and
reading musical notes. The combination of both these skills
will often lead to better overall performance in school.

The study of music has many benefits that include the
learning of language to improving math skills.
Incorporating music into our lives from birth onwards give
an advantage that can't be disputed as more and more studies
confirm the connection between music and math.

Nigel Joneston is the chief editor for
For Very Good Music,
a fantastic resource for information about
music. For more articles on music why not visit:
http://www.fvgmusic.com/articles

Continuing the music and children theme, here is a lofi streamed sample from Debussey's Children's Corner Suite first movement - Dr Gradus at Parnassus.

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