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  • Writer's pictureJustin Goh

3 Ways Kids Unknowingly Learn Math through Music

"From geometry to patterns to numbers, playing music can actually make younger children stronger mathematicians"

Researchers, scientists, and teachers have long recognized the link between music and math, but the benefits seemed to be long-term – later when children were learning math in school. The exciting reality is that even very young children are unknowingly learning math as they participate in early childhood music and movement classes.

#1 – Geometry

Children develop important foundations in geometry through circle dances, plays instruments, and moving body in different ways. Movement combined with words and labels like “in and out,” “up and down,” or “around and through” are helping build the spatial awareness and spatial-temporal reasoning skills that are fundamental to geometry, as well as a child’s future potential career as an engineer, a scientist, a math teacher, or even an athlete.

#2 – Patterns

Music and math are both full of patterns. Out of simple rhymes, chants, and games of pat-a-cake grows an ability to understand and manipulate patterns of big and small blocks. Moving in a different way for each section of music helps children begin to identify through movement the parts (or patterns) that make up the whole. Listening for and responding to short patterns in music also expands a child’s understanding of the patterns in math.

#3 – Numbers

Many children’s counting rhymes, singing songs, and enjoying fingerplays that are a part of an early childhood music curriculum like Kindermusik include numbers. Getting “two instruments” from the instrument basket or counting steps in a circle dance combine music and early math concepts. Through these activities, children gain valuable early exposure to basic math skills like counting, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence. The science and research backs it up. Children will be stronger mathematicians if they are engaged in music making at a young age. Music and movement classes are great preparation for success in math – not just listening to music but actually playing and making music!

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