Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

The Sound of Maths

Maths and music go hand in hand. “Rhythm depends on arithmetic, harmony draws from basic numerical relationships, and the development of musical themes reflects the world of symmetry and geometry.” Marcus du Sautoy (2011).

There are many links between maths and music such as the value of notes, the rhythm, the amount of beats in a bar, the tempo of a piece of music, the pitch, musical intervals even scales and arpeggios are mathematical patterns. Maths is very much a big part of music and to learn a musical instrument you must have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts.

As the great 17th century German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz stated, “music is the sensation of counting without being aware you were counting”.

The “grammar” of music – rhythm and pitch – has mathematical foundations. When we hear two notes an octave apart, we feel we’re hearing the same note which is why they’ve been given the same name. The frequencies of the two notes are in an exact 1:2 ratio.

Just as music is not about reaching the final chord, mathematics is about more than just the end result. It is the journey that excites the mathematician. This is much the same way as we listen to a piece of music: understanding how themes are established, mutated, interwoven and transformed. What people don’t realise about mathematics is that it involves a lot of choice: not about what is true or false, but from deciding what piece of mathematics is worth“listening to”.

Musical Symmetry

Symmetry is not restricted to only the visual arts. Music is usually very symmetrical and predictable. Symmetry is the repetition of sounds in music. Symmetry has been used as a formal constraint by many composers, such as Steve Reich and James Tenney. In classical music, Bach also used concepts of symmetry.

Fibonacci Sequence in Music

The Fibonacci sequence beginning 1  1  2  3  5  8  13 can be seen in music. The following video uses visuals to show how the numbers appear in a musical context.



Du Sautoy, M. (2011). ‘Listen by numbers: music and maths’ Guardian. Available: (Accessed: 04 November 2013)

The Guardian. 2017. Listen by numbers: music and maths | Music | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 November 2017].

Doctors or Mathematicians?

Statistics and Data in Medicine

Statistics can be defined as a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data. It can be a very complicated area of mathematics but essential in the medical world.

Medicine has become increasingly reliant on mathematics in recent years. Statistics are used every single day in the hospital to ensure the correct dosage of medicine is administered to patients. While most adults are given the same dosage, the dose for children must be carefully calculated because it is much easier to poison a child. Prescriptions need to be calculated very specifically based on the weight of the patient, how many times the medication must be taken each day, how long the prescription will need to last etc. Doctors must also consider how long the medication will stay in the patient’s body as this will determine how often the patient needs to take their medication in order to keep a sufficient amount of it in their body. Doctors must be able to do these calculations mentally with speed and accuracy. Therefore, the understanding of mathematical concepts are a necessity when practising medicine.

IV drips also require careful calculating to ensure it wont do more harm than good. The maths involved in fluid prescribing include calculating how much fluid has ben lost, how much is needed for the patient and not too much that the electrolytes become diluted.

Mathematics is at the centre of interpreting research and probabilities in medicine. Medical professionals use graphs to record patients’ deterioration/improvement which allow others to read the information and analyse it to know the next steps in their treatment. Graphs can be used to look closely at infectious diseases and make realistic predictions as they use patterns of distribution, how fast it manifests and the areas located to work out the future impact of the disease.

A new approach to improve the health care system, which is based around mathematics, aims to predict influxes in patient admittance to hospitals. Doctors and hospitals use twitter to search for certain symptoms of an illness/outbreak in tweets to predict when they will seek medical advice as symptoms continue or become worse. This can help prepare doctors and nurses to deal with this.

Mathematics is absolutely crucial in medicine as one small mistake could cost a life.


Medicine and Math – Math Central. 2017. Medicine and Math – Math Central. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 November 2017].

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

Reflection is a main component of becoming a primary teacher and one must continue to reflect even once qualified to ensure the best teaching for the children. Reflection is used in order to grow both personally and professionally in this profession. When reflecting about semester one and thinking of a significantly important moment which aided my professional development, one specific topic comes to mind; the module on values. This module really made me reflect and explore my own personal values and how they will impact my teaching. It made me challenge why I believe certain things to be important to me in teaching and even change a few of my views. Since this module, I have begun to concrete my values and beliefs which will allow me to portray and follow them whilst on placement. I am looking forward to my first teaching placement as I think being in a school environment will help me see my values in practice and how the way I treat others, in relation to my values, will impact my profession and the way in which I teach. One thing I can take away from this module is to always reflect and challenge yourself and your values to ensure self growth. I am anticipating my future at university and in schools with great excitement, so although we must reflect, reflect, reflect, we can also look forward to things to come.

Scientific Literacy

Scientific Literacy

AC1 – Scientific literacy is often misunderstood. It goes beyond knowing scientific words and filling in worksheets like most people think. It even goes beyond science as we think we know it, as it concerns more than the subject of science itself. People who are scientifically literate have specific skills that are necessary in understanding the world. Being able to distinguish between the truth and false statements, for example, the comments made by people in the media. Naivety is preventable through science. It enables the pupils to be more aware of the false claims thrown at them on a daily basis. Rather than just knowing scientific terms, scientific literacy is understanding concepts of science and developing skills to enable everyday successful learning. Through science, we can establish skills such as predicting, understanding, analysing, evaluating and observing. These skills are extremely valuable to help make important life choices.

AC2 – People who are not scientifically literate can often fall victim to products that have false advertising. One popular example of this is diet fads such as the tea brand Bootea Teatox. This brand highlights that by drinking their special tea, over different time periods, you will experience weight loss results as you detox your body. It seems that many people already jump at the chance for a product that advertises it can influence weight loss however add some complex scientific language in the advertising and quickly the consumer falls into a false sense of confidence in that particular product. Unfortunately Bootea has left out a few important facts about their ingredients and how they can affect the consumer. The ingredients can actually interact with particular prescription medicines and cause them to fail. The side affects are negative and not highlighted clearly as the ingredients can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. It has also been researched that the product will only cause a loss in water weight and unlikely to perform in the way advertised. Therefore, Bootea consumers have been led to believe that they will undergo a detox experience when actually according to medical advice it could be affecting their health (Johnson, 2017).

AC3 – Fair testing is a vital part of science in schools. A fair test can be carried out if one variable is changed in the experiment while keeping all other conditions the same. When we are teaching children all about fair testing in the classroom, they are learning and developing vital skills. They learn the importance of being fair in experiments and how this can lead to much more effective results. Linking back to the scientific skills, fair testing can allow children to make use of the skills that can make them scientifically literate such as predicting, observing and evaluating. In experiments, if all conditions are the same apart from one, it will be much easier to determine the effect each condition is having. Looking at fair testing in schools on a wider scale, it will allow the children to understand more deeply the underlying concepts of each experiment and the reasons behind why everything is happening. The skills that children learn in school can of course help them develop a conceptual understanding of what they are learning and be more successful. It can also help children be more successful outside of school and in their future when making important life decisions. It is also important that the experiments link to science topics that are current and can be linked to everyday life. This is linked to the National Science Education Standards (p22) as it is stated that “Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences.”

Johnson, K. (2017). Diet Pills Watchdog | Bootea Review, Bootea Scam, Bootea Diet Tea. [online] Diet Pills Watchdog. Available at: [Accessed 1 Feb. 2017].
National academies press (no date). ‘National Science Education Standards 1996’. (p22). Available at: (Accessed 5th February 2017).

Megan Freeburn, Alex Allan, Liam Hamilton and Taylor MacInnes.