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September 9, 2015

Using Music to Build Mathematical Skills in Early Learners

Written By: Early Childhood
X Use Music to Build Math Skills

Use Music to Build Math Skills


Music is a universal tool for supporting early developmental growth in a number of educational areas including math. Through the use of harmonic sounds and melodies, opportunities to uncover and rehearse different math concepts can arise naturally. Understanding numbers and their relationships, different number combinations, and number operations are some of the mathematical knowledge students can achieve through music. In addition, counting, patterning, and measuring are a few other important basic math skills that can be touched on by enhancing education with the sounds of music. Incorporating music into a variety of educational activities can be done easily and these experiences make learning more fun for both the teacher and student.


Using Music to Build Mathematical Skills in Early Learners

Learning to count with rhythm and reiteration, by listening and moving to music, helps to keep toddlers engaged and focused. This type of memorization by repetition is called rote. Rote helps to develop beginning foundational skills of math, for example, number vocabulary and sequence. Numbers and counting are presented in a variety of tunes that are wonderful for the preschool classroom.  Mathematical calculations and number operations such as addition and subtraction are incorporated through song and games. The concept of quantity, ways of representing numbers, and number correspondence are all playfully introduced through rhythmic sounds.


Music also provides a model for sequences and patterns through the beat and chorus of the songs. By listening and moving, preschoolers will learn to mimic a beat and, therefore, translate a simple pattern. As children begin to understand the tune and its arrangement, they start to anticipate what will come next. This expectation of future sound and lyric opens the door to the discovery of early math concepts such as sorting orders and categorizing systems. Recognizing these types of mathematical relationships that create patterns and realizing that things can change over time are the beginning steps to algebra.


Singing and dancing is a great way for toddlers to gather insight about shapes and sizes, which are the building blocks of geometry. Touching on proportions concerning weight, quantity, and volume introduces various types of measurement to preschoolers. Furthermore, toddlers will then begin to understand the different attributes and parts of specific shapes, increasing their general math knowledge. Being able to identify and understand the classification of shapes and spatial relationships allows early learners to begin to associate the connections between objects. This, in turn, strengthens spatial temporal reasoning by enhancing education with music.


Music in the classroom can enrich everyday education for toddlers. Helping early learners to connect ideas, develop logic, and produce abstract thoughts can be achieved by learning math through musical beats, rhythms, and melodies. Creating a stimulating environment that allows children to be active participants, promotes fun in learning. Thus, taking every opportunity to make sense of early arithmetic skills produces the best way to facilitate the education of mathematical concepts. In addition, encouraging a positive attitude and developing math literacy through various musical activities will have preschoolers eager and excited to learn.

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