Can Math and Science Groove to Music?

by EdCircuit Staff

Educators want to pair math and music in integrated teaching method

By Moriah Balingit | The Washington Post

As a child, before he started playing jazz, composer and musical icon Herbie Hancock was fond of taking things apart and putting them back together. He was perpetually inquisitive and analytical, a quality that carried from his days of tinkering with clocks and watches to his playing of music, where he threw himself into jazz as a teen.

“I would always try to figure out how things work,” Hancock said. “It was that same instinct that I have that made me learn jazz more quickly. . . . It wasn’t a talent for music. It was a talent for being able to analyze things and figure out the details.”

Hancock later studied electrical engineering at Grinnell College before starting his jazz career full-time. He says there is an intrinsic link between playing music and building things, one that he thinks should be exploited in classrooms across the country, where there has been a renewed emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. 

Hancock joined a group of educators and researchers Tuesday at the U.S. Education Department’s headquarters to discuss how music can be better integrated into lessons on math, engineering and even computer science, ahead of International Jazz Day this weekend.

Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said that an emphasis on math and reading — along with standardized testing — has had the unfortunate side effect of squeezing arts education out of the nation’s classrooms, a trend he thinks is misguided.

Read more of Balingit’s piece here.


New York University’s Music Experience Design Lab Teams Up with Soundtrap Online Music Recording Studio

First Collaboration, Groove Pizza to be Included in Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz’ and UNESCO’s Website and at International Jazz Day

New York University’s Music Experience Design Lab – MusEDLab has teamed up with online music recording studio Soundtrap to create “Groove Pizza” a playful online app for creating and exploring rhythms and grooves that brings mathematical and scientific concepts and the world of music together.  The solution makes it possible for students to “export” a groove made on the Groove Pizza into Soundtrap and continue to compose across any platform whether laptop or mobile, in the classroom or at home.  Snip20160428_18

Speaking about the collaboration, Alex Ruthmann, Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt said, “Soundtrap is ideal for the education market.  Traditional music technologies are often very complex and only made simpler when they are being marketed to schools.  Soundtrap goes in the other direction – it starts with a very simple, clean interface with preloaded beats and examples that students can use to take music and audio with them wherever they go. It has really captured the attention and inspiration of students and opens up a world of possibilities for Groove Pizza users.”

“Working with NYU MusEDLab brings us closer to fulfilling our goal of integrating the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) within K-12 schools in the US,” said Per Emanuelson, CEO, Soundtrap.  “We are especially honored to work together with NYU in contributing to the Thelonius Monk Institute and UNESCO’s Math Science Music initiative and website.

Soundtrap is a client of MindRocket Media Group

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