Music, Science, and Numbers
The world is mysterious to young children. Their curiosity is limitless, and the need to know is imperative. “Why?” is a common question in households with young children. Everything must be experienced to be learned—being told does not suffice.
Music, science, and math go hand in hand. This is a natural combination for children. As we think about the integrated curriculum, it is important to remember all of the educational possibilities of weaving music, science, and mathematics throughout children’s experiences and all parts of the classroom environment (Scholastic Early Childhood Today, 2003). Music and rhythm are a vital part of human culture. The integration of music into the general curriculum encourages students to become actively involved in their learning. For example, the rhythm, meter, measure, and pattern of familiar lyrics can help develop math and science skills while enhancing many other aspects of the curriculum (Rothenberg, 1996).
Music can be a real asset when it comes to teaching math. “Music is filled with patterns and that’s what math is really about. You’re not going to explain the intricacies of notes and scales to a three-year-old, but exposing a child to music now will help him learn these concepts later” (Gill, 1998, p. 40). One of the keys to success is exposing children to a wide variety of music, including country, classical, modern jazz, traditional blues, classic folk, and good old rock and roll. As children listen to and respond to the different rhythms they hear, the more patterns they are exposed to and the more they will recognize in the study of mathematics (James, 2000).
When selecting music with which to integrate science and numbers into the child’s day, the problem becomes one of selecting from the wealth of resources available. Children are usually captivated by stars, comets, space, alien beings, space vehicles, bugs, worms, and reptiles. Use your imagination and those of the children to apply new lyrics about these things to a familiar melody or rhyme. Other songs may be based on these ideas:
- The child
- The body
- Autumn leaves
- Growing up
© ______ 2005, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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