Arts ESU2
Performing Arts, Mathematics, Physical Science
Material Type:
Middle School
  • MTA
  • Music
  • NE Art
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Thermal Energy
  • Vibration
  • music
  • ne-art
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    Education Standards

    Math, Music and Sound Waves

    Math, Music and Sound Waves


    This resource was created by Kayla Henery, in collaboration with Lynn Bowder, as part of ESU2's Mastering the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education and experiential learning.


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    Music, Math & Sound Waves

    Grade Level: 7th Grade

    Core Subject Area: Math (Science)

    Fine Arts Subject Area: Music


    Standards Alignment

    Content Area Standard(s):

    Math Standards

    MA 7.4.3.a Generate a list of possible outcomes for a simple event.MA 7.4.3.b Describe the theoretical probability of an event using a fraction, percentage, and decimal


    MA 8.4.2 Analysis & Applications: Students will analyze data to address the situation. 


    MA 8.4 Data: Students will communicate data analysis/probability concepts using multiple representations to reason, solve problems, and make connections within mathematics and across disciplines. 

    Science Standards

    SC.7.5.2.A Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred 


    SC.7.5.2.B Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.


    SC.7.5.2.C Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.


    SC.7.5.2.D Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. 

    Fine Arts Standard(s):

    FA 8.4.1.e Connect music to historical and cultural contexts, the arts, and other disciplines through creating.

    FA 8.4.1.c Identify and define compositional devices in student creations.

    Core Subject Vocabulary:



    Fine Arts Vocabulary:



    Core Subject Learning Objectives: 

    Determine how thermal energy moves through buildings based on their construction. 

    Fine Arts Learning Objectives:

    Determine how various types of waves can work together or against one another to create a heat source. 



    Lesson -Teaching Sequence


    Before our lab, we discussed different types of energy waves as well as how a specific type of energy wave is a sound wave. As we drew sound waves, we involved the following vocab words: amplitude, wavelength, trough, distance, crest, and displacement. As a class, we listened to various musical selections as well as discussed how selections could create a variety of energy waves known as sound waves that look different from one another. We listened to the following selections as a class. 

           classical light and airy 

             modern techno 

            flight of the bumblebee.- Very busy 


    Once the class felt comfortable with this concept, I allowed the students to work as partners and listen to the following musical selections. 

             modern slow and easy 

            Beethoven 5th - Classical heavy 

              Iron maiden heavy metal  


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    The students worked together to create sound waves that they felt represented the amount of energy that was given off during each selection. They were encouraged to label to sound wave and explain to each other how the waves could be taller, shorter or lengthened based off of the music that was playing. 


    Students were put in groups of three and were able to use the lab provided to them to complete the thermal energy project. They were able to use the directions as well as QR codes printed on the lab to assist them throughout the project. Students used their math skills when creating buildings that required specific measurements to be used during the creation of their building. They also charted any progress as well as had to calculate various measurements throughout the lab. 


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    Assessment and Reflection

    Content Assessment:


    Students will be compiling data, performing mathematical formulas (adding, subtracting and finding averages). They will also be creating a graph to justify their results. 


    Before creating their structures, we will do a class discussion (or groups) on how sound waves can create heat. Students will be listening to different types of musical selections and graph out how the sound waves can be interpreted. (See lesson plans above)



    Attached in the pages below or online (in the link) are the worksheets that I will not only guide the students through the project but will be used to assess the progress and results.

    Arts Assessment:

    The students will be drawing, molding, creating, and assessing buildings throughout this lab. I will have spots for them to draw out their buildings in details so they can construct the same building later on in the lab. 

    Student Reaction (Engagement):

    Overall, the students loved listening to the music and drawing the sound waves. It was amazing to see how much they picked up throughout the class regarding how energy can create a feeling and mood. They were shocked at the amount of energy it is giving off.

    Teacher Reflection:

    The students did a great job with the pre-activity and lab. They really got into the sound wave activity and had fun listening to the various styles of music. I loved doing this pre-activity and will definitely incorporate it into the future as we do these projects.