• Maisie Loh

How Music Can Help Solve Math Problems



It may seem far-fetched to believe that children who listen to and learn to play a musical instrument might score better in math. After all, math can be complex while music is enjoyable right? Although not all research done on the correlation between music and math points to support the theory that music can help solve math problems, there are studies that support the benefit.


Einstein And Mozart


You may be interested to know that one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein used to play music while focusing on a mathematical problem. He concentrated on the problem utilising his left brain while activating his right brain while playing the piano or the violin. It supercharges both hemispheres of his brain allowing him to increase his brainpower.


But how much benefit a student may get in solving math questions from music depends on the music s/he chooses. In 1991, Dr Alfred A Tomatis proposed the theory that listening to the music of Mozart helps to retrain the ear and reorder some of its processes. The theory was known as the “Mozart Effect.” However, research surrounding this theory could not find conclusive proof that listening to classical music raises IQ or aids thinking ability in the long term.


Music Is Math


Music is a multifaceted, complicated but yet thoroughly logical subject, just like math. Music is organised by rhythm and pitch using mathematical sequences mapped out in different modes.


So, learning music exposes the child math skills because music includes signatures, beats per minute and formulaic progressions. Therefore, music reinforces the part of the brain used when doing math. By learning about tonality through music lessons, s/he has already been exposed to mathematical sequences when presented with similar ordering challenges in math class.

A child learning rhythm is also learning how to count. Though s/he is not strictly counting numbers or formulas logic is required to count the rhythms and bars. Music, especially classical music is mathematically logical and structured in its composition.


Music Solves More Than Math Problems


Learning music improves memory via musical mnemonics. When words are set to music, the mind connects the two and a very powerful memory is created. Mnemonics are universally recognised as effective and children who use mnemonics outperform their peers who use free learning style.


What’s more, music aids in relaxation, heightening emotions and stimulating the mind. It may not necessarily raise the IQ but it definitely has its positive impacts, including helping children take a step towards eclectic learning and improving math solving skills.


Children who commit themselves to learning a music instrument may also pick up other innate skills on the way. Patience for example is needed to help kids with doing school work. Focus, which can also be cultivated in learning music can also help kids learn to concentrate on the task at hand, rather than to be distracted by many various things.


Start your child’s music learning journey with us at Ritmo Music Studio. We are located near Chinatown MRT.


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