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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Music as a "language" of expression for understanding multiplication in grade three Moriarty, Corry Suzanne


Abstract This study explored how music could be used as a language of expression for understanding multiplication for grade three children. Using a/r/tography as a research methodology, a class of grade three students, their teacher, and I worked together on a coemergent inquiry project to create musical compositions that conveyed meanings about multiplication to the listener. The design of this a/r/tographic inquiry involves the components of the cyclical Inquiry Process used by the International Baccalaureate program, as well as the Reggio Emilia’s approach, known as Progettazione, which involves emergent, child centered project work. Through my research I offer credence to the area of interdisciplinary studies at the early childhood level. Such studies support the development of new notions and forms of music instruction—created by and for children—that advance both music and related learning. As is evident in my account, I demonstrated how music (1) can be taught in and of itself, (2) can be thought of as a medium (i.e., a “language,” as in the Reggio definition) for the expression of concepts in multiplication, (3) is instrumental in fostering knowledge of both musical and mathematical concepts, and (4) when linked with mathematics, can show learning transfer and access related learning between the two disciplines. This study contributes to on-going scholarly conversations concerning the present structure and role of the music teacher (and other “specialists”) in our schools.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International