Musical Math for Preschool and Elementary

Musical Graphs

Find the full Activity Guide to go along with this story here: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!

Make your own music graphs and charts. While preschool and early elementary children can stick with simple tally charts, older children can gather data and turn them into bar graphs or pie charts.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose what information you’d like to track. Some ideas:
    • Is the music in a major key or minor key?
    • Is the music slow, fast, or medium tempo (speed)?
    • Choose a few instruments and track if a piece has those instruments.
    • How many beats per measure does the music have? Most music will have 2, 3, or 4 beats per measure.
    • Does the piece start with a loud, medium, or soft dynamic?
  2. Pick your favorite playlist! You can check out all of Inside the Orchestra’s playlists here or choose one of your own.
  3. As you listen to each piece, track your data.

Going Further

  • Before you start, make a hypothesis on which category you’re tracking will have the highest count.
  • Listen to playlists from different genres of music and see how they compare.

Note Value Math

Use this Note Value math sheet to have your child(ren) work on their note value recognition. For young learners who don’t already know how many beats each note type has, there is a handy key at the bottom of the sheet to help you out.

Going Further:

  1. Create your own music math equations. Use the note values above or add in notes like eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or dotted quarter notes to make the equations more difficult.
  2. Color circles that contain even number note values one color and color circles that contain odd number note values another color.

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