A Symphony of fractions

Introductory information

Authors Oriol Pallares Monge
  Carlota Petit Olivella
E-mail Oriol.Pallares@uab.cat
Institute Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, IES Salvador Espriu, Barcelona, Spain
Target group Secondary education (12-14)
Subjects Math and Music
    At the end of the unit, most of the students will be competent to..
  • Explain relationships between music and math
  • Compare the language of music and math in different languages (L1, L2, ..)
  • Deduce what languages play an important role in the field of music
  • Explain how music is written
  • Compare how music is written and expressed in different cultures and in different languages
  • Cooporate in teams to learn about a shared topic
    • Synthesize written input to communicate it orally and in writtern form
    • Find language equivalences in one owns mother tongue
    • Use the ICT to create and write music
    • Integrate math knowledge when reading or writing music
    • Reflect on the connections between languages, math and artistic languages
    • Search for extended information on the Internet
    • Compose rhythms and tunes using math and music knowledge
    • Interact in L1 and FL to learn content and language

Key competences

Communication in L1 COMMUNICATION IN L1
  • Interact with other people and approach other cultures and languages
  • Communicate thoughts, feelings and facts orally
  • Interpret and understand everyday life situations
  • Code-switch between in L1 and FL to learn content and language
  • Reflect on how to use the communicative resources specific of the subject (math and music)
  • Interact with other people and approach other cultures and languages
  • Communicate thoughts, feelings and facts orally
  • Interpret and understand everyday life situations
  • Relate observations, explanations, thoughts...
  • Synthesize information

Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
  • Use and relate the tools and the forms of expression of mathematical thought
  • Reason mathematically in order to produce and interpret different typesof information
  • Interpret and put into practice processes of mathematical reasoning leading to solving the problems and questions in everyday situations
Learning to learn
  • Gain, process and assimilate new knowledge and skills (intellectual, emotional and physical) as well as seek and make use of guidance
  • Apply study skills that include strategic thinking and cooperation and self-evaluation skills
  • Handle effectively an array of resources to transform information into personal knowledge
Digital competences
  • Access and communicate information using different digital supports
  • Tansform information into knowledge activating thinking skills in order to organize, relate, analyze, synthesize, make inferences and deduct at different levels of complexity
Interpersonal, intercultural and social competences Respect others and value different ways of expressing oneself
Cultural expression Show interest and respect towards music as a means of expression.
Timing of the overall activities 3 class sessions and homework
Resources and materials needed
  • Expert cards (for each team)
  • Access to a computer and to the Internet
  • Trial version of a music notation software
  • Free-hosting websites


Task 1: Becoming music experts

Timing 40 minutes
Materials required
  • Worksheet 1: Music Jisgaw Reading
  • Expert cards
Grouping groups of 5
Focus on content
  • Learning to write music
  • The concept of duration
  • Systems for naming note values
  • Rests and dotted notes
  • Time signatures
  • Learning note values nicknames
  • The meaning of fractions in music
  • Triplets and syncopation
  • Expressing musical notes
  • The relationship between music and math
Focus on language
  • The language of music
  • Explaining how music is written
  • Specify vocabulary
  • Expressing music in words
  • Sharing knowledge about music
  • Classroom interaction (use voice recorders to record students' oral performance)
  • End of the activity oral QUIZ
Task 1
Material for Teachers
Material for Students

Task 2: Language in the Worlds of Math and Music

Timing 55 minutes
Materials required
  • Worksheet 1: Language and Cultures in Tune
  • Website www.wordle.net to make a world cloud
  • Cards (cardboard) to make expert cards
Grouping Pair work / Team work
Focus on content
  • The importance of languages in the world of music: differences and similarities
  • New relations between math and music
Focus on language
  • Music words and expressions in different languages
  • Expressing music and math concepts through words of different languages
  • Equivalences in different languages
  • Class pleanry to discuquestions 1 and 2
  • New expert cards (use of rubrics to assess cards)
Task 2
Material for Teachers
Material for Students

Task 3: Composing a Symphony of Fractions

Timing 55 minutes and homework
Materials required
  • Worksheet 1
  • Trial version of a music notation software
  • Free-hosting website
Grouping Team work
Focus on content
  • Understanding fractions in music
  • Using math knoweldge to compose music
  • Create and performing rhythms and/or tunes
  • Writing music using a music notation software
Focus on language
  • Using a music notation software (in te CLIL language)
  • Music vocabulary
  • Creative writing (lyrics)
  • Classroom music performances (peer assessment)
  • Mp3 files with rhythms and tunes (peer assessment)
  • Here is an example of a rubric which can be used for peer assessment. Students, guided by the teacher, should finish this rubric by adding 2-3 more categories to be assessed
Task 3
Material for Teachers
Material for Students

Bookmark and Share