Overview

Math and Music: Algebra Featuring Mickey Hart is a lesson collection aligned to 7th to 9th grade math standards that invites students to explore the mathematical and scientific principles of sound and music.

In this 4-lesson unit, students:

  • Conduct hands-on activities to discover the physical principles of sound waves, and why sounds vary so widely
  • Calculate, plot, and graph sound waves based on measurable, real-world acoustic data
  • Calculate pitch, tension, and frequency using Mickey Hart’s famous beam instrument
  • Discover the math and science behind Pythagoras’ calculations of ratio, tuning, and harmony

As a summative assessment, students draw upon the skills they gained in the lessons to create with mathematics their own custom musical riffs, which they present to Mickey Hart.

Lessons

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The Science of Sound

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Science, STEAM
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The Mathematics Behind Sound

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Math
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Calculating Pitch

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Math, STEAM
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Musical Ratios

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Math