Music and Math


Study after study has shown that when children engage in music practice and performance they are training the mathematical parts of their brains.  Specifically, rhythm games and pitch training have the biggest impact in enhancing burgeoning math skills.  Our music apps are designed with this in mind.


Unlike most popular music apps which set the pace/rhythm for the user, our music apps do not intentionally.  The user has a more immersive experience when they are creating the music themselves while simultaneously enhancing their cognitive abilities.

Good news for those of us pursuing our passion for music later in life as well!  The “Mozart Effect”, while somewhat shorter in duration than in children, is still seen in adults.  So cognitive abilities can get a boost!

So give your little ones a head start and make learning fun again!

“Although listening to music does give the neural network a workout, the gains in spatial reasoning skills have been shown to be very short-term—15 minutes or less. This “Mozart effect” is much longer-lasting when you engage in making music, however. Studies are showing that the attendant spatial reasoning gains can extend over months or even years (Rauscher et al, 1997; Gardiner, 2000; Hetland, 2000b). Studies focused on music for young children are also suggesting that math gains increase according to the number of years that students engage in active music learning (Gardiner, 2000), with some indication that the younger children are when they begin music instruction, the greater the gains will be.” from The Impact of Music on Mathematics Achievement

Children showed a 30% increase in spatial-temporal reasoning after six months of music training in comparison to peers who had engaged in computer lessons for six months instead (Rauscher, 1997)
Math skills are enhanced through problem-solving in contexts other than the traditional “math skill drills.”  Music provides math practice in many areas including:

Number and Operations
                - whole numbers, counting, cardinality, and comparison
                -pace, rhythm, tonality and pitch
                - shape identification, understanding and identifying spatial                       

Sources and for further information:

Bilhartz, T.A., Bruhn, R. A., Olson, J.E. (1999). The effect of early music training on child cognitive development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 20(4): 615-636.

Cockerton, T., Moore, S., & Norman, D. (1997). Cognitive test performance and background music. Perceptual and Motor Skills, (85): 1435-1438.

Deasy, R. J. (2002). Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Acadmic and Social Development. Washington, D.C.: Arts Education Partnership.

Dodge, D.T. & Heroman, C. (1999). Building Your Baby’s Brain: A Parent’s Guide to the First Five Years. Washington, D.C.: Teaching Strategies, Inc.

Draper, T. & Gayle, C. (1987). An analysis of historical reasons for teaching music to your children. In J.C. Perry, I.W. Perry, & T.W. Draper (Eds.), Music and Child Development (194- 205). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Graziano, A.B., Peterson, M., & Shaw, G.L. (1999). Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-termporal training. Neurological Research, 21(2), 139-152.

Hetland, L. (2000a). Listening to music enhances spatial-temporal reasoning: Evidence for the “Mozart Effect.” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4), 105-148.

Hetland, L. (2000b). Learning to make music enhances spatial reasoning. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4), 179-238. 

The National Association for Music Education. (2007). The Benefits of the Study of Music: Why we need music education in our schools. Reston, VA: MENC.

Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Ky, K.N., & Wright, E.L. (1994). Music and spatial task perform- ance: A causal relationship. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association 102nd Annual Convention, Los Angeles, CA.

Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J. Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., & Newcomb, R.L. (1997). Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reason- ing. Neurological Research, 19(1), 1-8.

The user must keep the rhythm and pace of the music themselves  
The user must play the correct note in the correct pitch

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