by Guest Author
How and why “Make Music Count” works!
I’m often asked how and why I came up with the concept of teaching students math through popular music. Here’s the answer!
The mission of Make Music Count is to eliminate the math phobia in 3rd through 11th grade students. Teaching them how to solve real math equations where the answers are piano notes to play their favorite songs on the piano does this.
Teaching students math using musical terms to students who have possibly never read sheet music or even touched a piano before was going to be quite the challenge. So I had to start from the beginning. A musician myself, I already grasped how to name the notes on the piano. The biggest challenge was figuring out a way to use math to do the rest. What I created was a new way to redefine music terms with math definitions.
Put on your seatbelts! Here’s how it works…
In music there are two movements between notes. The first are half steps. An example of a half step is moving from the note C to C#….
Lets represent the word “Half Step” as the number 1/2 and rewrite the example as a math equation. It now becomes C + 1/2 = C#. We are literally counting the movement from one note to another.
For subtraction, C -1/2 = B. Now the reason why the answer is not Cb is because that note is not on the piano. But the point is that we are now looking at the piano as if it were a number line. Adding means you count moving to the right, and subtraction means you count moving towards the left. And this insight is what allows anyone to participate in this curriculum even if they’ve never had previous music theory or piano lessons.
It’s this foundation that allows us to move into the current areas of mathematics that we feature in our app. Fractions, focusing on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Times tables focusing on multiply by 1 up to multiplying by 12, Division, decimals, and Algebra focusing on understanding your order of operations, substituting variables into equations, and solving for X.
Remember, students do all of this math to immediately play melodies and chords of popular Hip-Hop, Pop, and Rock songs.
This experience is available for iPads, android tablets, phones and laptops! We are dedicated to offer this math solution as a 1 to 1 supplement during the school day, after school as enrichment or at home. As a result of students’ interaction with Make Music Count, our students increased their math test scores by 28%! This is now available for all schools so please do not hesitate to bring Make Music Count to your classrooms.
For more information please visit www.makemusiccount.com and search “Make Music Count” in the google play and Apple store for all devices.