Math + Science=Beautiful Music

By Bori

Science is truly an Art! This is what I took from Ms. Coleman’s lesson—designing the pipe instrument.  The girls were absolutely engaged in this beautiful science lesson.  Ms. Coleman started the lesson with explaining what sound frequency is.  As she started, the girls started sharing what instruments they can play and how their experiences help them learn sound frequency.  Faith used to play the flute; Gabby used to play the piano; Micha used to play a guitar and once be in a choir.  Brianna loves listening to the radio.  Even me, as a science facilitator, I do play piano.  We were all familiar with how the waves are created by the sound.

When Ms. Coleman tried to draw the sound frequency pattern, Brianna got up with the marker then came up to the board.  She started to draw one frequency level she knows, “This is what I have seen.”  This was a higher pattern than one that Ms. Coleman has drawn.  Right after Brianna, Faith came up and drew the flat sound frequency.  “You know the flat waves,” responded Ms. Coleman.  Micha brought up a question, “How does this sound frequency work in human body?”  Faith was so passionate responding to Micha’s question, “I think men and women have a different frequency level because men have an Adam’s apple.”  “That’s a good response, Faith,” said Ms. Coleman.  I always love to see the girls sharing their own thoughts and questions back and forth.  No one has left alone.

20131118_165052This concept has really ignited the curiosity.  The girls were so enthusiastic about finding their own voice frequency.  We could discuss our voice levels for a whole class time, but we had to move on—making our own instruments with the pipes!  Ms. Coleman explained how we could figure out the length of the tube for each key note—A, C, D, E, and G—using the sample math equation.

Pipe Length: tube diameter (ours was ¾”)/2 + 13,397.244/freq.*2

Music Notes Frequency
A 440
C 1046
D 587
E 659
G 784



The girls were calculating the length of the tube for each key note by applying the equation. Once the girls had all the lengths figured out, they started making their own pipe instruments!  Ms. Coleman let the girls be creative as they connected each tube into one instrument.  We could use one single tube that has only one key or put them all together as one instrument.  Though each student had their own instrument to work on, the girls were working together, helping the neighbors!  Ms. Coleman and I were helping them play the pipe instrument.  It was very hard to play it in the beginning, but the girls so passionate playing this pipe instrument.  Towards the end, Ms. Coleman conducted the girls playing “Amazing Grace.”  We couldn’t get to the end since time was up, but the girls so much enjoyed playing each part!  We had a mini concert.

“This was a cool experiment,” said Micha.

I couldn’t believe science with math creates the beautiful music!  In Science, there’s Art, Math, even Music—it is amazing!  The more beautiful thing than the sound of the pipe was the harmony the girls have created together.

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