This composition activity combines music and math is such a smart and simple way. Children will get to flex their creativity and work on their basic addition or subtraction skills all at the same time. This blog post goes into even more detail, but the basic steps are as follows:
- Grab an instrument (or make your own) – whether it’s a xylophone, a piano, a series of items your students can bang on like drums, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy to make music!
- Label some of the xylophone bars or (separate percussion instruments) with different colors and numbers.
- Tell your students that they need to compose a piece of music that adds up to 200, for example, using the values on the notes.
- They can write down their composition using colored marks that match the colors on their instruments.
- For young children, keep the numbers smaller or don’t involve math at all.
- For older kids, you can make this as difficult as you’d like:
- Use fractions that need to add up to a whole
- Include decimal points
- Make their target number even larger
- Tell them that they can include more than just addition in their “musical math problems” and have them notate the math function they are using (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) along with the note numbers as they work to reach their target number.