So, you already know that you’ll need a solid foundation in mathematics to progress on your academic IT path, and then move on to your career in IT, right? And, you know that with Chess will experience a challenging and cool way to the skills that will strengthen you math muscles. Well, there’s even more you can do to boost those skills. Getting involved with music, according to some studies, has been shown to reinforce certain areas of the brain that also perform math functions. It’s also a lot of fun!
What does Music Have to do with Math?
A whole lot, actually. Various principles of mathematics can be found in any piece of music.
- The concepts of frequency and rhythm are impossible without math!
- Take the strings on a piano, for example. The longer strings produce a lower pitch and the shorter strings produce a higher pitch.
- Then there’s rhythm. It’s one of the most noticeable aspects of modern music, and is what urges people to dance! Rhythm is determined by a time signature, which dictates how many beats occur in a measure. Different genres of music have different unique beats.
- Not sure what this sounds like? This website contains some examples of these different types of “beats.”
Will Music Really Make Me Better at Math?
Experts used to think that simply listening to a piece of classical music (especially Mozart) could boost intelligence or improve math scores. This belief has proved false, for the most part.
Instead, experts in music and education now believe that it’s playing an instrument that helps our brains become more nimble. A 2006 study concluded that young children who were taking music lessons to master an instrument scored significantly higher on tasks involving spatial-temporal cognition, hand-eye coordination, and arithmetic. Another study concluded that the brains of professional musicians differ greatly from the brains of non-musicians, and that certain brain structures are more pronounced in musicians. This means that playing music may rewire your brain to respond in certain ways.
Getting Involved in Music
Interested in picking up an instrument?
- Join your school’s band or orchestra.
- See if there are any after-school clubs that offer music instruction.
- Private lessons may be a good option, but the main ingredient for success is always the P-word. Practice!
Even though music and math don’t seem like they would be a good match, there are enough experts and studies out there that indicate if you play music it could lead you to an easier understanding and mastery of math. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and entertain family and friends!