How to use Music to promote STEM Education

Topic: STEM News
August 29, 2014
Tags: STEM News

music-and-mathGetting students inspired enough to stay engaged during math and science classes can be difficult at times. Current teachers and their former students now active in the scientific fields note that the educational material in the STEM disciplines trends towards the boring. Finding ways to make the learning process fun helps students do better in these classes, while possibly parleying that knowledge into a successful career in the future.

Using music — something obviously fun and enthralling — to enhance the process of learning, especially when the music itself relates to the underlying concepts in math and science, makes sense for teachers hoping to keep their students engaged and learning.

Music is Mathematics and More

The concepts of music — notes, chords, key signatures, time signatures — are built upon strong mathematical principles. The differences between a waltz and a normal 4/4 dance beat can be used in counting exercises useful for elementary students. Even a traditional song like Beautiful Dreamer is in the 9/8 time signature, giving another more complex example for this exercise that’s still easy to follow.

Getting into the science behind musical notes, their frequencies, and resultant sound waves reveals many opportunities to leverage music to support the learning of STEM-related subject matter. This is a great area worthy of exploration for junior high and high school students.

The basic sound synthesizer also provides a cornucopia of fun material related to higher-level science principles. A New York-based company, littleBits, makes a synthesizer kit using snap on parts — essentially LEGO’s — that easily allow students to understand the scientific principles behind oscillators, filters, amplifiers, and envelopes, all while having fun in a tactile environment. The opportunities for fun learning are nearly limitless.

Making STEM education a fun process for students of all ages will help our economy by providing the highly-trained engineers, scientists, and mathematicians it so desperately needs.

If improving the process of STEM education through music inspires you to look at a career in this rewarding family of disciplines, talk to the staffing experts at Scientific Search. As one of the leading STEM staffing agencies on the East Coast, we can help you take your career to a higher level. Schedule some time with us today!

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