Music is math with feeling! As a music teacher you will introduce fractions well in advance of the math curriculum.


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Math and Music
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When dividing the students into teams, use the terms that represent their portion of the class, "green 1/2" or "blue 1/4" etc., or build from there; "this is 1 of the 2" or "this is 1 of the 4" etc. while pointing to the numbers representing those fractions.  As music educators we introduce fractions long before the math curriculum.  The example above is great WHEN putting the numerical fraction beside the note of the same. 

Don't forget to do the same for ALL TIME SIGNATURES, 6/8 is really six divisions of 8ths, 3/4 is three divisions of quarters or 4ths.  We usually don't start this until 4th grade, although from 1st grade we learn that the top number tells us how the beats are being MEASURED (a first grade math concept) by the barlines, and this is reinforced EVERY TIME we count the beats of a song, which is every song we learn, K-5th. 

The second grade covers liquid measurements - gallon, half, quart, pint, cup - these are equal to our whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth.  A chart showing one should be right  beside a chart of the other.  Oh, the example above works best if used EVERY TIME, EVERYDAY, EVERY GRADE.  The repetition alone is worth volumes, especially to the LD students.  How about a body made from a HUGE whole note, or two, torso of a half note, head of the other half, arms/legs of quarters, fingers of eighths, hair of sixteenths....looks pretty funny, but, catches the eye, and memory!

Note and rest values received their names based on the most common time signature, 4/4. Thus, a whole note is called a whole note because it takes up the whole measure. Like wise, the half note occupies half the measure and the quarter receives a quarter of the measure. The concepts of division, dividing things up into equal parts, is first introduced to the Music You Can Read® student beginning in kindergarten. This will serve the student well when measurements and fractions are introduced in the fri st and third grade respectively.

When beats to the notes/rests, the math relations become more complex. A whole note in 4/4 time will receive 4 beats, thus the half note receives 2 beats. However, in 2/2 time the half note receives one beat and it's half, the quarter receives one. Such concepts are not easily mastered at the primary grade level, however, music makes this easily understood, and it can be demonstrated through reading the music.

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