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Brain-Based Teaching: Part 3

Author: Steve Hiles

Music for Math

I have used Mighty Math Songs by Ron Brown -- available from the Intelli-Tunes website and Amazon.com. I learned about them from a math workshop I took from Kim Sutton (creativemathematics.com) -- who is a phenomenal teacher of math concepts. 

Many connections can be made between musical and mathematical abilities. Musical elements like tempo, meter, rhythm, frequency, harmony and tuning systems can be used to demonstrate math (and language / literature) concepts in real applications that students can hear and experience. Math concepts like counting, sets, ratios, and various kinds of measurements can also be presented using musical ideas.

A 1993 study set off a lot of interest in educational circles about the "The Mozart Effect." Rauscher et al showed that there were real improvements in spatial intelligence when students listened to Mozart while doing activities. Don Campbell's 1997 book about "The Mozart Effect" makes many controversial claims that listening to classical music improves brain function -- but some research supports it. Playing classical music to babies pre-birth may indeed have real effects on brain development.

All the best,
Steve