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 can be said about music. Notes can be combined in an endless variety of groupings but the number of notes and sounds that exist are finite. It is these patterns and combinations that make music and math very similar. Our brain seems to process the data from music and math much differently than it computes other information that is derived from other forms of the thought process.
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 more.
Give a child anything in their hand and they start creating musical patterns and rhythms. Al the music they make has a definitive pattern and beat. Children have the unique capability to create patterns out of random sounds. How well they create music and how tuned they are establishes the mathematical powers of the child that evolve later in their adult lives.
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 the following of known patterns to arrive at a conclusion. Once you know that formula to find the answer, such as the simple formula of addition or the more complex formula of determining the degrees of an angle, you’ll be able to use that pattern to get that answer.
The connection between music and math works both ways: those children who do well in math class are also extremely successful when it comes to playing an instrument and reading musical notes. The combination of both these skills can lead to better overall performance in school.
Making music an integral part of our lives right from birth places us on the fast track and gives us an advantage that can not be disputed. Increasingly, studies have confirmed the relationship between music and math and the benefits that accrue.