“If students don’t understand fractions early on, they often struggle with algebra and mathematical reasoning later in their schooling,” – Susan Courey, assistant professor of special education at San Francisco State University.

A recent study found that kids who learned fractions through a music-based curriculum outperformed peers in traditional math classes:

This type of research is exciting, because it demonstrates the importance of music in the classroom and offers children a symbolic, language agnostic way to learn math.

This discussion got us thinking about Motion Math, our first game and the first iPad game shown to improve learning in an efficacy study (click for the executive summary and full report). Our game links:

one’s body to abstract concepts which can deepen understanding;

multiple visualizations of fractions: numerator over denominator, decimals, percentages and pie charts;

fun learning on a mobile device, perfect for learning on the go.

We’re excited to see others innovating in ways to teach kids fractions. Tell us what you think – how do you address math learning in your home? What connections between math and learning do you see?

Music has always been written in a format of fractions, so it makes complete sense that learning basic music reading skills would improve math skills.
Simply listening to the intricacies of classical music or jazz music, for example, you can hear the fractions.
Math is a part of daily life. As a life learning family, math just is a part of every day.

Hi Cate – thanks for stopping by and sharing how your family integrates math in daily life. If there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask!

That’s interesting, thanks! In grad school, I worked on a team project to make an iPhone app that explored whether teaching fractions in the context of music worked. Kids did have more fun than simple fraction drills. But I had forgotten how to read music, so during paper prototyping I was having to do extra mental tasks like “is that a quarter- or half-note?” while moving things around. Do you know of any studies that go in the other direction?

Our Lower Elementary program introduces students to historical time lines, going all the way back to the beginning of the earth, and gives them the context for comparing historical civilizations by discussing how people in different places and times have satisfied the fundamental needs of man (shelter, clothing, food, transportation…) We also explore world geography, so students gain a big-picture understanding of where history happens.

Cate Peterson, on June 8th, 2012 at 1:01 pm Said:Music has always been written in a format of fractions, so it makes complete sense that learning basic music reading skills would improve math skills.

Simply listening to the intricacies of classical music or jazz music, for example, you can hear the fractions.

Math is a part of daily life. As a life learning family, math just is a part of every day.

An, on June 8th, 2012 at 2:54 pm Said:Hi Cate – thanks for stopping by and sharing how your family integrates math in daily life. If there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask!

dan, on June 12th, 2012 at 10:12 am Said:That’s interesting, thanks! In grad school, I worked on a team project to make an iPhone app that explored whether teaching fractions in the context of music worked. Kids did have more fun than simple fraction drills. But I had forgotten how to read music, so during paper prototyping I was having to do extra mental tasks like “is that a quarter- or half-note?” while moving things around. Do you know of any studies that go in the other direction?

better education, on June 20th, 2012 at 12:17 am Said:Our Lower Elementary program introduces students to historical time lines, going all the way back to the beginning of the earth, and gives them the context for comparing historical civilizations by discussing how people in different places and times have satisfied the fundamental needs of man (shelter, clothing, food, transportation…) We also explore world geography, so students gain a big-picture understanding of where history happens.

Linking Music, Math: Results of Music-based Math Curriculum | Motion Math | S.O.A.R. Tutoring & Advocacy, on June 30th, 2015 at 10:29 am Said:[…] Linking Music, Math: Results of Music-based Math Curriculum | Motion Math. […]