Integrating Science Education with Music

Making sure students are engaged in the subject is an important aspect of science education. One way to grab students interest is to link the lessons to something they are passionate about, for example music.

One example of mixing music and science was presented in INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, Vol. 34 No. 2–3, 2009. Entitled Modeling Folksong Melodies, it discusses the Onder de Greoene Linde collection at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. This is a collection of more than 7,000 field recordings of Dutch ballads.

This is interesting for more than just social scientists due to the research being done with that collection. They are developing a way of searching through the database not only using metadata, but by the musical content itself, a musical search engine. Not only do they aim to be able to search by musical signatures, but to scientifically analyze musical similarity.

This collaboration of musicology and computer science utilizes the best of both fields. In the same way, but linking music and science in the minds of students, science teachers can bring out the best in them. One simple example of this is using tuning forks, physics teachers can demonstrate the nature of frequency and sound waves.

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