Many educators would agree that music has the ability to unlock doors for young children to learn the various aspects of mathematics. The relationship of the two subjects can be traced back to the early stages of ancient history where they were taught together, unlike a majority of America's public schools. Fortunately, there are public schools beginning to recognize this close relationship once again and have developed lesson plans that teach mathematics, science and music in a much more conjunctive nature. Studies have proven time and time again that this is an excellent learning system to develop because children introduced to music at an early age have a higher rate of mathematical comprehension. The National Association for Music Education (MENC) has compiled statistical information proving how well students have done when applying musical overtones to mathematical studies. A study of 237 second grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills. The group scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children that used only the math software (http://www.menc.org, 2005). These numbers hold true as students progress through school without regard to the students background. MENC continues to back their argument with the following:
In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12." This observation holds regardless of students' socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time (2005). Being able to understand mathematics, regardless of the instruments used to teach it, is...
References: Argabright, R (Winter, 2005). Connecting with music. General Music Today, 18(2)5. Retrieved May 15, 2005, from EBSCO research database.
Bear Creek Elementary School Website. Retrieved May 15, 2005 from http:www.bvsd.k12.co.us/schools/bearcreek/focus.shtml
Cavanaugh, J. (February, 1998). Arithmetic of the soul. Retrieved May 15, 2005 from http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/0298web/math.html
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