Musicians help children learn science and math in a unique program, Mind Over Music.  Instead of learning about physics from a textbook, students examine a cello held together with Velcro to explore vibration, pitch, and frequency by inserting an oscilloscope in the cello.

Musicians Help Children Learn Science and MathThe Phoenix Symphony launched Mind Over Music with the ASU Preparatory School, a charter school in downtown Phoenix in 2012.

“We’re the only American orchestra that has gone in to create a ground-up, new curriculum using music as the means to an end to teach STEM-based curriculum,” said president and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony Jim Ward.

For a lesson on sustainability and the environment, a violist played on a bow made of wood, and then a bow made of plastic.  A discussion followed about which sound they liked best and why.

Phases of the moon?  Compare them to crescendo and decrescendo in music.  Systems of government with checks and balances?  The lesson compares them to an orchestra and how musicians work together.

“We found that statistically those students that were in our test program scored much higher in terms of math, logic, retention – all the areas that we assessed – quite significantly,” he said.

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