Math and Music Activity/Project: Fractions and Ratios

Vivify STEM
Grade Levels
4th - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
20 pages
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Vivify STEM


Students use ratios & proportions to the beat of their favorite songs!

The purpose of this activity is to show students how music and math are related and that musicians use mathematical principles in creating musical pieces. This packet includes one in-depth activity plus an extension.

Activity 1: "Beats Per Minute"

The first activity begins as a class with students listening and clapping along to songs with different tempos. Students then use the data to complete graphing and ratio word problems. For example, if a song has 120 beats per minute, how many beats are in 2 minutes?

Activity 2: "Marching Band"

Students march to the beat of a song and measure the distance. They compute ratio calculations to determine how many beats to march across a football field.

These activities can be assigned as homework, individual work, or small group work. This material can be used as: supplemental instruction to fraction and ratios, extracurricular work for students, or activities for an after school math or STEM club.

Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here:

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or afterschool program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.

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Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” “For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”


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