Staying in Tune With Mathematics

Posted by cservaes on June 19, 2012 in "Academic Programs", "Current Students", Mathematics, "Music Education", Online, "Online Education" Michael Bennington almost quit his Calculus I course the first week of class. It was challenging to absorb so much information in a short period of time, and Bennington had never had much experience with math before. But he didn’t quit. “When I first went to school, math was an almost unobtainable subject; however, in recent years, I have been able to understand clearly how it works and how it can be useful in all aspects of life,” says Bennington, who teaches music education at Sacred Heart School in Danville, Virginia. Bennington has been teaching music for more than a decade, but he only recently decided to go back to school to earn his math degree because of the correlation between math and music. “Music involves fractions and counting and note values, as well as harmonic sequences,” says Bennington. He is hopeful that by learning mathematics, he will be better able to educate his students. “I decided to fill this gap in my education now and hopefully create a way to present advanced [music] concepts to math students through math," says Bennington. Bennington is completing his BA in Mathematics through Ottawa University’s online math program. “The professors have been extremely helpful and kind and everything has run very smoothly,” says Bennington, who is set to graduate in 2014. But he doesn’t plan on stopping there. Eventually he’d like to earn his master’s degree so he can continue helping his students, even in subjects other than music. “I use songs to teach math facts and help the students memorize them faster,” says Bennington. “In fact, one of the music programs we did this year showcased the different songs we use at various grade levels to help students learn information in a number of subjects.”