Lesson Plans Connecting Music with Math

Curriculum Suggestions for Pre-K to High School Students

Teaching methods that incorporate more than one of the senses have higher rates of success and permanence with students. From birth, you rely heavily on all of your senses to process information when learning. Engaging more than one sense when teaching allows more cognitive connections and associations to be made with a concept. It is for this reason that incorporating music with a math lesson can be a very successful way of teaching a math concept.

How Music Connects With Math

Learning to play a musical instrument relies on understanding fractions and ratios as these concepts relate to beats, rhythm, and keeping time.

Patterns are inherent in musical melodies. Learning patterns are important as a foundational lesson in music as it is in mathematics from the preschool through high school levels.

Review some suggested lesson plans for ideas on how you can lead your students to music and math in an integrated way.

Hokey Pokey with Shapes (Preschool to Kindergarten)

This activity helps young children learn different shapes (polygons) using the Hokey-Pokey song. With simple felt cut-outs or improvising with paper cut-outs, your class will giggle their way to recognizing popular (and not so popular) shapes in no time.

Counting Fingerplays and Rhymes (Preschool to Kindergarten)

With a number of songs, like "The Ants Go Marching," "There Were 10 in the Bed," and "One Potato, Two Potato," you can incorporate fingerplays and hand gestures while singing along to teach math-related concepts.

Popular Math Jingle (Kindergarten)

Teach your students the "Ten Tens Are a Hundred" song with these simple lyrics and audio clip. With the help of this little jingle, you can teach students skip counting by 10s.

Skip Counting and Other Math Songs (Kindergarten to Grade 4)

There are a number of skip counting songs like "Count By 2s, Animal Groove," and "Hip-Hop Jive Count by 5s," as well as more advanced topics like learning multiplication tables with a song like "Shake Up the Tables."

Patterns in Music and Math (Kindergarten to Grade 4)

Your students can learn how to solve mathematical and musical problems by identifying patterns in number and notation. To get this lesson plan, you have to sign up for a free TeacherVision account.

Create a Clapping Symphony (Grade 3 to High School)

In this activity, students will create a symphony of claps. No instrument required. Children will learn a lesson about note values and how fractions are applied in music.

Connect With Music (Grade 6 to High School)

This lesson plan experiment uses music, multimedia, and technology to teach pitch, sound frequencies and how to measure sound waves. Students will apply their knowledge by constructing their own panpipes.

Math Dance (Grade 1 to High School)

Based on the book "Math Dance by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern," learn through a 10-minute TEDx talk how "math dancing" can help you incorporate movement into teaching math. Schaffer and Stern, in their popular performance, "Two Guys Dancing About Math," revealed the connections between mathematics and dance. This dance has been performed nationally more than 500 times.