Do you have a child who struggles with maths? You may have heard that there is a connection between maths and music; that by learning a musical instrument, children can improve their ability to answer maths questions. But it actually isnt as simple as reading a sheet of music.
In order to improve maths ability, music needs to be taught using a sequence of rhythm and pitch that can be more interactive and fun for young children than simply reading notes.
One phenomenon, The Mozart Effect, is the idea that listening to Mozart produces a short term improvement of spatial-temporal reasoning, which can enhance the ability to learn maths. Another study showed that grade one students had a better understanding of maths after 6 months of playing music games that emphasised sequential development through rhythm and pitch.
So its not just the process of learning to read music that improves maths ability necessarily. Its more about a specific type of interactive learning – hopefully making music classes more interesting – than simply learning an instrument. But as music becomes more difficult to fund in primary schools, there is a danger of specialist music classes becoming obsolete.
Lets make sure that music classes remain an important part of the school curriculum so we can ensure that our children are given the best opportunity to feel confident at maths.