How Performing Music Helps with Math Skills

How Performing Music Helps with Math Skills

It’s hard to deny the correlation between music and math. Since both skills require active engagement from both the left and right side of the brain, it allows students to strengthen the communication between both sides of the brain which in turn, can enhance their thinking power. Here are a few reasons for why many believe music has the power to influence and improve math skills.

Solving Spatial-Temporal Problems

There have been studies performed over the past that have highlighted how both math and music activate the area of the brain that’s used for solving reasoning problems, specifically in regards to spatial-temporal problems. Learning about space and timing with musical notes, along with mathematical equations is where this can be seen. The more these areas are used, the stronger they can become.

Strengthening Each Hemisphere of the Brain

Research has also shown that different types of music can help stimulate different areas of the brain. So certain music engages different hemispheres, which help to support and increase the development of these various areas. For example, classical music and minor tones have been shown to activate the right portion of the brain, whereas, upbeat music and major tones have been shown to activate the left side. So some musical compositions that combine both tones can stimulate both and strengthen them together.

Music is Math

Ask any well-trained musician and they will agree that when you strip away the layers of sound, music is essentially math. You’re adding, subtracting notes, learning about formulaic progressions and beats per minute, time signatures and when to combine everything to make it come together to sound beautiful. And as your brain absorbs these lessons, you’re able to physically map out those equations by practising with your instrument.

The Art of Commitment

When you’re a musician, learning your craft is all about commitment. And it’s not surprising to see how some studies have shown that students who commit to learning music also outperform their peers when it comes to solving complex mathematical equations because they can also commit to completing and learning that as well.

Patience and commitment are two fundamental factors that must be present in order to become a musician. Practicing scales takes time to perform successfully, as does grasping the concepts of math. And during a child’s developmental stages in school, the advantage of students who are enrolled in music lessons can greatly outweigh those who aren’t.


Faith Murray is a stay-at-home Mom and former law clerk from Ottawa, ON. Her passions include country music and beating her husband at Scrabble.

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