Mastering Mathematics through Music and Chess

How can we bring joy into the process of gaining knowledge?

This question has been on the minds of many an educator across educational system and borders. Curiosity is one

Private school. Junior Kindergarten student. Victoria International Ballet Academy

Kindergarten student

important ingredient of this task; it, and a desire to self-improve push children to discover, learn, experiment, and, most importantly, to feel the joy of finally “getting it”. Music, Math, and Chess are the three subjects that inspire students through emotional stimuli and act as catalysts for the acquisition of new knowledge. These subjects, require some preparation, but offer their harmony and majesty for every child to experience. Deeply understanding these subjects enhances intellectual abilities and helps students better connect with culture.

 Music, Chess and Math use similar mental processes and structures

Math has gained a reputation as one of the most challenging subjects for most children. In this case, adding the other two subjects is the key to overcoming this challenge – Music and Chess use similar mental processes and structures to those of math, and any students who find it difficult to develop them through math have the chance to do so in Music and Chess. According to research in neural development, such a method of learning – involving three combined subjects – develops powerful and flexible understanding that sets the stage for later adult development. The final result of this process is a state akin to the one ascribed to Leonhard Euler: “Euler calculated without any apparent effort, as men breathe, or as an eagle soars above the ground.”

Music is the emotional engine of this method – and although the other two subjects involve a great deal of emotions, Music is the undisputed queen of conveying and expressing feelings. That said, Music is intimately related to Math, and contributes to the development of exciting intellectual abilities. Musical perception on neuropsychological level proved to be very analytical; furthermore, the processing of musical stimuli involves parts of the brain that are traditionally responsible for logical operations. Many prominent scientists and mathematicians were also excellent musicians and connoisseurs of fine music. Conversely, many outstanding musicians had brilliant mathematical abilities.

Playing for retaining information and improving memory helps in ballet

Chess is adopted as a mandatory subject in more than 30 countries. It is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are then refined and improved by experience. (Garry Kasparov – World Chess Champion)

This technique helps make learning desirable, engaging, and joyous – they infuse the educational process with positive emotions and rich stimuli. Simple “training” often leads to an aversion towards the subject; our methods inspire interest and drive students’ motivation. We have moved away from the traditional method of rules and memorization; instead, we use the game approach. Play is the most effective learning technique across all species – not just humans. It contributes to true learning in place of simple memorization and encourages students to make connections from the abstract to the real. Playing actually increases the volume of retained information, improves memory, and creates powerful mental constructs that help in future information acquisition and learning in all other subjects.

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. … I cannot tell if I would have done any creative work of importance in music, but I do know that I get most joy in life out of music.” (Albert Einstein)

At Victoria International Ballet Academy, Chess and Music are an extremely useful tool in the development of intellectual abilities. Chess and Music contain elements that can be easily converted into a great exercise for the development of mental abilities of Students. Mathematical and scientific knowledge are interwoven with the teaching of Music and Chess. Our experience shows that children love learning through games and music, and so do adults! Let us use natural motivations and curiosity given to us by nature as fuel for the process of education!

This article is based on the theory developed by Dr.Rashad Abrarov – physicist-mathematician.