Summer Learning Fun: Using Music to Teach Kids Algebra
As a nerdy mom, I couldn’t help but say out loud, “This is so cool!” while experiencing the latest exhibit at Rochester’s Play Museum. Now until September 3rd, a highly interactive exhibit called “Design Zone” shows how math and science is used to do amazing things. There is no need to fear any math anxieties here. Everything is hands on fun. Kids can build and test a virtual roller coaster, compete in a simulated bike race, and step into a DJ recording studio.
Amazingly, as soon as a child can count, they can begin to learn algebra. I’ve been learning ways to introducing young children to simple and play-based mathematical concepts at an early age. This prepares them for success later on in understanding more complex math equations. I will be sharing some of these math teaching games and projects in future posts so we can help raise the next generation of wiz kids!
At the “Design Zone” exhibit, my preschooler enjoyed the use of music to teach algebra. Of course, much of it is still advance for a 4 year old. But, understanding that math can be fun and that it is used for many different things, gives her the right attitude of learning.
Our first stop was the DJ turntable
Using graphs to understand relationships is an important part of algebra. By turning the dials, you match the speed of song A to song B to successfully crossfade the song.
Here’s DJ Olivia at the turntables.
The laser light dance party seemed to be a kid favorite. Here you can make laser light patterns with algebra.
Laser pattern like these are created by two moving mirrors. The pattern depends on the relationship (ratio) between the speed of mirror 1 and the speed of mirror 2.
The speed of the mirrors was no match for the speed of the kids running after the laser lights.
The Digital Strings display was really cool.
You can turn a dial to create the length of each string on this electric guitar. The shorter the string, the higher the pitch or note.
The Drum Machine is a math lesson in disguise.
Matching the beats is a lesson in algebra!
With exhibits like this, children can really see that algebra is involved in everyday life. It even is used to create the things we enjoy.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO PLAY