Maths - Resource of the week

27th April 2012 at 01:00

Sing a song of chance

KerithLT's lesson brings a musical edge to the game of chance, offering an innovative approach to teaching probability.

What is it?

A PowerPoint presentation that studies the relationship between music and probability, focusing on two pieces of music by John Cage and Mozart. It is suitable for key stage 3 pupils.

"This is a lovely PowerPoint that explains how some composers used chance events such as coin flips and dice rolls to compose their music," says TES Resources user laura.reeshughes. "This would be a good lesson when studying equal chance probability."

The composers have used chance to decide the order in which the bars of their music will be played. Pupils can listen to these pieces and then explore the probability of each bar being selected or the chance of sequences being chosen more than once. The real-life and historical context will engage pupils with strengths in humanities or arts subjects, making maths relevant to their interests.

What else?

Give pupils bars of Mozart's music and ask them to create pieces of chance. Compare the pieces and use this for a probability project.

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