Summer Career Connections Session 4, Day 3, Math and Music
Day 3: In today’s convergence of math and music, we learned about geometry in music, graphing melodies, and the art of conducting. This blog post chronicles a day filled with excitement, exploration, and a newfound appreciation for the hidden mathematical beauty within music.
The day began with a captivating exploration of what geometry is and where we can find it in music. We discussed aspects of what makes geometry what it is – shapes, rays, lines, and so much more! More specifically, we learned about what makes a triangle a triangle. This was done through learning the Pythagorean Theorem and the Triangle Inequality Theorem! We then wanted to see where we can find geometry in music. We found shapes and correlations in marching bands, dances, and visual art.
Next, the students worked on graphing music, uncovering the relationship between musical notes and visual representations. By assigning different pitches to specific coordinates on the graph, the students plotted each note to create a visual representation of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” They then compared the Cartesian plane representation of music to the regular staff graphing. We found that the coordinate plane graphing looked very similar to Guitar Hero!
As the day progressed, the students transitioned to the art of conducting. They went on a journey to understand the importance of gestures, patterns, and communication in leading an ensemble. We demonstrated how seemingly subtle movements could shape the flow and dynamics of the music. The students then got to practice the conducting patterns on their own and try to convey emotion, pace, and more with their conducting.
Our performers, Vasili and Sky, blew us away with their prepared percussion pieces! We learned about marching and concert snare, marimba, and the intricacies of tambourine and triangle. They knew so much about their craft and all the incredible moving elements that make up percussion.
Today, we realized that geometry serves as the foundation to music, unveiling the inherent symmetry and order within musical compositions. The students began to grasp that music, like mathematics, is a language of its own, with its own set of rules, structures, and expressions.