An Arts-Integrated Approach to Learning Mathematics through Music: A Case Study of the Song “e is a Magic Number”

Christopher C. Tisdell

Abstract


In this work I examine a case of arts-integrated teaching in mathematics by investigating a piece of lyrics and music. The song under investigation was designed to inspire and explain mathematical concepts of the number e through verse. Through personal reflection, I discuss the inspiration, perspectives and influences in creating the song. I offer a critical examination of the design of the song, linking the design with scholarly educational principles. I illustrate how the piece was written, composed, recorded and shared online; and I identify how my process afforded minimal barriers to entry. An analysis of the online viewer metrics took a mixed-methods approach and included: comments, watch time, sharing, engagement and other metrics. My work presents new perspectives in teaching mathematics and the results support the position that there is a place for lyrics and music when learning and teaching in online, open and scaled environments. This work is of interest to researchers, educators and those who may be considering using songs for learning.

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