MathBeat - inclusive resources that jump start math engagement

Participants will be guided hands-on through a set of 11 online learning activities that explore the mathematics behind music. At the end of the session, teachers will be have the skills and knowledge to bring the activities to their class. MathBeat draws on students' fascination with music to provide fresh entry points to math concepts involving spatial relationships and proportional reasoning. Students think of rhythm patterns as fractions of time, investigate the percentage increases in tempo between popular music genres, and discover that rotational symmetry can help explain the mystery of how a verse is connected to a chorus. Teachers just need to enjoy music, no musical training is required. The workshop will provide all the background needed to use the resources effectively and will build teachers' efficacy around designing culturally inclusive learning.

Target Audience

6-8/Middle school

To Bring/Important Notes

Attendees for this virtual event will only need their WiFi connection, Zoom link, and computer or tablet. Participants will link to the math resources during this hands-on session, try them out, and offer feedback or ask questions.


12:45 PM - 2:00 PM

Secure your spot now.

 Add To My Workshops


  • The Royal Conservatory of Music - Learning Through the Arts
    Shaun Elder

    Shaun Elder is the developer of YouthBeat and MathBeat, online learning resources that leverage the power of students' connection to music to build learning skills and scaffold math and science concepts. Shaun recently delivered well-received workshops for the BCAMT, MAMT (Manitoba), and at the FirstSTEAM conference in Banff.  He has been Executive Director of Learning Through the Arts, the Royal Conservatory's public school division, since 2014. Shaun is a composer who has dedicated years of research to the idea that listening is closely related to composing music, and that students lacking musical training can readily learn to create their own music. Shaun has created a universal platform for visualizing and manipulating musical patterns and discovered that the structures behind music are profoundly connected to math and science structures and patterns. In partnership with Carol Shiffman, an Ontario math specialist, he authored the MathBeat program resources, 11 activities designed to pull reluctant learners into being excited about math learning.

  • Shelley MacDonald

    Shelley MacDonald is YouthBeat Coordinator and Lead Teacher Educator with The Royal Conservatory of Music's Learning Through the Arts. Since 2010, she has led dozens of teacher workshops for Learning Through the Arts, and partnered with teachers in the Lower Mainland and in Alberta to enliven math, language arts, and other curriculum through music and drama arts activities. In 2018, Shelley led the creation of indigenous education PD resources for BC teachers, working closely with the Indigenous Education  department at Vancouver School Board. Shelley has brought the YouthBeat program to Stz'uminus First Nation and has deep connections to Indigenous Elders and educators across BC and beyond.