The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 21, 2014

Student Voice: Student, math in our schools

The Daily Item

— All across the United States, public schools have been shutting down their music programs due to budget cuts. This action may be thought to be a good choice by some at a glance, but, it reflects poorly on a school’s academic record. Several studies have been done to prove this, and they all show music helps students think more efficiently. Schools that still have music programs scored significantly higher in math than the schools which do not.

All schools that participated were taking standardized tests issued by the state of Pennsylvania.

Music greatly improved these scores because music is very mathematical. The time signature is actually a fraction. It tells you how many parts (beats) go into, or are in another entity (measures). Each different type of note takes up or lasts so many beats, and so on.

So whether people realize it or not, while they are singing or playing an instrument, oodles of math is being processed just in the millisecond before they sing or play their note. If you have ever sat tapping your foot or nodding your head to the rhythm of a song, you were actually doing math without even knowing it.

Moreover, if improvement in scoring wasn’t enough reason, just think about how many children find happiness in creating music just for a little portion of their day. Think about how many children look forward to music classes, even if they only think of them as a break; that’s still important.

Max Troppe,

Selinsgrove High School