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Lesson Plan #:AELP-MUS0004
Submitted by: Matthew Dorschner
Endorsed by: Dr. Don Descy, Mankato State University Date: February 26, 1997

Grade Level(s): Preschool Education, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3


  • Arts/Music

Description: Students will learn how math and music are related. The students will understand how mathematical addition is applied to music. (To help them understand this concept, students will be learning note values in music class the same time that the classroom teacher is working on addition.)

Goal: Students will learn the value of notes and be able to add the values.


  • The students will add musical notes together and come up with a sum as the answer.
  • The students will create different addition problems using the musical notes.
  • Background Information: This activity is meant for the primary grades, and the thought behind doing it is to get students to understand addition as it applies to other subjects. The most important point in order for this lesson to work is to coordinate it with the music teacher. Concepts: Students will be able to understand addition beyond their textbooks in real, practical terms. Students will understand the meaning of counting and note values when reading or singing music.


    • paper
    • pencils
    • sheet music


  • Introduce students to the concept of addition and music.
  • Give an example of an addition problem using both real numbers and musical notes.
  • Review the 4 basic note values with students (they should already know them from music class — see this site for more information: Music Theory)
  • Demonstrate a couple of problems with the students on the board. Show them how they can add a quarter note to a half note and come up with an answer of 3.
  • Give the students a couple of problems to do on their own.
  • Go over the problems with the students, calling on them to write their answers on the board.
  • Now have students create their own problems with the answers to them.
  • Review with the students why addition is used in music and the importance of it.
  • Assessment:

  • Have students solve 5 addition problems using music notes.
  • Have students create 10 different addition problems (with answers) using notes to create them.
  • Students will orally describe why math is important to other subject areas.
  • Useful Internet Resource:
    * Music Theory
    Scroll down the page for information about note values.