Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Mathematics and music
Name of the teacher
Massimo Amato
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Mathematics has always been a stumbling block that many students find very difficult and meaningless.
Teachers have to give evidence of the usefulness and also give always different approaches to study maths.
A valuable tool to undertake the calculation of numerical expressions with fractions is music.
Through a drum and giving some initial information it is easy to "see" maths through music.
So, in the classroom, it has been given initial music definitions and other details necessary for the development of the procedure.
Then the students can go to study some basics structures formed from a single bar which corresponds to a small expression of which they know the final value (the value of the beat).
We proceed by writing an expression with fractions (denominator always a multiple of 2), the music (writing the beats) and then playing with the drum.
Initially, for the first 3 or 4 hours, there are difficulties, but then the students are passionate about it and start writing scores more melodic and those who are more enterprising can write directly the expression of thinking about directly the tune, and then translating it directly in music.
The expressions that can be set to music are not all the possible ones of mathematics, but we have also the possibility of using the parentheses (in music become refrains) so we have the possibility to complete at least a part of this topic.
The study of expressions went on involving also the equations of first degree. And in this case the students were facilitated in the solution because the result was equal to the sum of the beats.
The music vs maths is a new approach especially effective in those situations where mathematics is, for the students, useless and hateful.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.11.11

Posted by Katarína Javorová (Slovakia)

This is very interesting and good approach to teach mathematics more attractive, especially when this topic is one of the most not favourite in our slovak schools. It is not only about relaxing but about concrete tools to use maybe drums ou other musical Instruments to show students calculation of numerical expressions with fractions is music and through musical instruments giving some initial information to "see" maths through music. We have in Slovakia maybe 3 or 4 excelent jazz musicians which are in your normal job mathematicians. I will see this web page DOREMAT and try to use this approach in my teaching.

Date: 2014.10.27

Posted by Petru raducanu (Romania)

Music and maths are related: they both work with codes, that is, abstractions.
Some of my students even told me they do their homework having a musical background (Mozart, in most cases); music helps them calm down and it is inspiring if it is not loud.

Date: 2014.10.16

Posted by Miglena Molhova (Bulgaria)

Thank you Massimo and Giovanni for giving more information about the practice. I will use that information to show it as an example at a conference I will take part in for dissemination purposes of the Goerudio project.

Date: 2014.10.16

Posted by Marieta Andreeva (Bulgaria)

I find this practice interesting in general, but for me it completely incomprehensible. I would not use it in my teaching practice, even if it may look interesting for students. I will read the additional information suggested in order to try to understand how this practice is implemented with students.

Date: 2014.10.10

Posted by Giovanni Caruso (Italy)

You can find further information also into the section “Relevant Initiatives” of Goerudio website. The mentioned DOREMAT has been briefly presented at the following link

Date: 2014.10.10

Posted by Massimo Amato (Italy)

Dear Miglena
the approach of math and music is a University of Bologna's project and is named "DOREMAT".
You can see image video and photo here:
For any other information contact me.
Best regards
Massimo A.

Date: 2014.10.08

Posted by Miglena Molhova (Bulgaria)

The practice is really interesting and I think it will be very valuable for BG students to "see" maths in this way. I would like to organize a wokshop with teachers and students to present the practice for real. But in order to do that I need some more information about it - more detailed description, video, practical guidelines how to do it step by step, an example of numeric expression with fractions, which can be used. I will be very grateful to receive the information, because I tried to imagine how to do it myself, but I could not. Thank you in advance :)


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.