Similarity in 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.
It has been observed that babies too respond to melodies and
rhythms. To check this out, 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 will
find that the baby responds in a more positive fashion and
pays more attention to you. Therefore, their response
improves to a large extent when you are saying words that
have a poetic, mathematical bend. This is against words that
are mundane and spoken in a normal tone.
Observational studies have established that small children
like to listen to music that has patterns and repetitive
lines. It is felt that their brain computes music messages
in a fashion that interests them immensely. As with
exercises, the more you exercise the better it gets –
similarly more we make children think, sharper their brains
would become and they would be able to 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.
During a child’s growth, it’s important to have music as a
part of their life. Studies show that children who are
active in music, whether as a result of playing an
instrument or listening to a wide variety of music, perform
better in math. The studies indicate that this is a result
of their brains developing in such a way that they are able
to discern patterns and repetition among the musical notes.
Math is essentially following known patterns until you
arrive at a conclusion. For example, once you know that
formula to find an answer, such as the simple formula of
addition or something as complex as determining the degrees
of an angle, you’ll be able to use that pattern to get an
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 music also seems to have benefits that include
everything from learning of language to improving math
skills. Putting music into our lives from an early age, such
as birth onwards, seem to give an advantage that can’t be
disputed. More and more studies confirm that there truly is
a connection between music and math.
Nigel Joneston is the chief editor for For Very Good Music,
the web’s premier resource for information aboutmusic.

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