Teaching Math Through The Use of Music

The Secretary of State for Education in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been informing teachers of experiences and good practice to inspire them with new teaching methods and improved teaching quality. The case in question reveals how melodies are used to complete teaching concepts used in classes.

In math classes taught by Mara Andrea Alves Pereira, she uses music as a supplement to her classes to encourage her students. Everything started in the year 2000 when the teacher realized that some students found it difficult to remember the prime number sequence.

Music and Math

Music and Math

“As I graduated in piano, I know that music helps our memories and that was how I started to compose melodies as a supplement to my classes”, says the teacher, who takes her guitar to the school where she teaches in Sao Jose do Rio Preto to motivate her students. “In the beginning, I wrote the words for the music but in 2013 I started to invent skits with very popular songs”, she explained. Among them are Pythagorean Theorem, Bhaskara’s formula and Prime Numbers. Also included were references to sexuality in this modern age (Scholatisc).

Mara tells us how she saw an improvement in students’ marks and their growing interest in the subject. “I don’t always bring the guitar but all students at the school are already aware of my method and are eager to attend my classes”.

It’s a supplement

The teacher explains that the music and skits are only used as a supplement and not as a replacement for formal explanations. “I teach the subject normally and give my students exercises to solve in order to encourage them to overcome their difficulties. I don’t give many classes with my guitar and I only use it after the whole syllabus has been covered. It’s a supplement.”

See our article about music for the soul for more on this topic.