Music & Maths: Don invents hip-hop song to solve mathematical problems

In a bid to address the dismal performances of students in mathematics examinations, a lecturer in the department of Early Childhood Education, University of Ibadan, Dr Ishola Salami, has invented hip-hop song to solve some mathematical problems.

Salami, whose primary interest is in early childhood education, stated that the hip-hop song is aimed at enhancing pupils’ knowledge in the subject at the primary school level.

According to him, the dread attached to mathematics is as a result of the poor childhood learning ability and lack of friendly tools that can enhance learning.

He said, “Someone who can solve simple mathematics problems can quickly reflect and solve societal problems.

He urged the government to adapt child-friendly strategies with a view to making the dreaded subjects simple.

Elaborating on the invention, he stated that the hip-hop song being invented, tagged MATMusic, comprises songtracks with Mathematics ideas, principles and procedures.

The 2019 WAEC results indicated that out of the 11, 892 candidates who sat for the examinations, only 3, 102 obtained five credits, including English and mathematics.

The WAEC results, covering 2016 and 2018, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, indicated that candidates with five credit and above with Mathematics and English in the South-West zone were less than 40percent.

“Learning Mathematics has always been a serious challenge for many learners starting from primary school level across the world. One of the reasons for this is the nature of the subject which is rule-governed and abstract. To do well in mathematics, one has to remember a lot of rules and procedures.

“Past efforts to make the subject learning-friendly focused largely on preparation of effective teachers and methods of teaching. Songs have also been used as instructional strategies to teach mathematics but there is dearth of information on efforts targeting child-friendly music to teach mathematics. It was discovered that one of the music types children love to listen to is hip hop music. This is because of the beats, rhythm and the danceable melody it has.

“It was also discovered that when children love a given music, they tend to remember all the lyrics. So, if Mathematics principles, formulae and ideas can be put into a child-friendly music like hip hop, this should enhance the learning of the subject. It is against this background that hip hop music on primary mathematics was written and composed. We are still hoping that government in the South-West would see this invention and embrace it for adoption in the primary school level. The song incorporate the curriculum at the primary basic level.”

Nice try, Prof…it’s time students danced round mathematical problems!

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