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Summer SAVY, Session 3 Day 3, Math and Music (5th – 6th)

Posted by on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

In today’s convergence of math and music, we learned about geometry in music, graphing melodies, and the art of conducting. We had 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! We then wanted to see where we could find geometry in music. We found shapes and correlations in marching bands, dances, and visual art. We then tried our hand at demonstrating geometry in dance with our OWN creation of a dance! Students choreographed dances to Rick Astley, The Bee Gees, and even Michael Jackson! It was fun to see the incredibly creative ideas of how to incorporate shapes and other geometric elements into dance moves. 

Next, the students worked on graphing music, uncovering the relationship between musical notes and visual representations. We looked at how we currently graph music on the musical staff and learned more about how math is represented on a similar graph. We learned about the coordinate plane, graphing or notating points and shapes, and calculating lengths. We even learned the Pythagorean Theorem today! There are some more practice problems attached in a photo below if your student wants to teach you how to find hypotenuse lengths! 

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. ( I would suggest a dry spaghetti noodle as a baton if your students want to show you how to conduct!) 

Today, we realized that geometry serves as the foundation of 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.