August 08, 2009

Multiplication Mountain songs CD - a review

It has been proven that music can help children memorize things. There is something about the music or the rhythm or both that changes or improves the way our brain works. I haven't studied this effect in-depth; I'm just familiar with the general idea.

So, using music to memorize math facts—or in this case, multiplication tables—is definitely a sound idea.

Multiplication Mountain CD


Multiplication Mountain is a CD by Hap Palmer, filled with songs for the multiplication tables. For each table, there is one song, but it is presented twice on the CD: once sung completely, and the second time without the answers sung. That way, the child can try to fill in the answers while listening to the song from the second track.

I found the songs to be pleasant and jolly, easy to listen to. The musical style varied somewhat so that one song was more jazzy, another was bluegrass, another a waltz, and so on. But they all were melodic, harmonic, and had a medium beat—easy to sing along. My favorite was the song for the sixes times table.

The songs are presented in a particular order: the easiest tables first. Learning all the tables is compared to climbing a mountain: you start at the bottom with the 2s, 5s, 10s, and 11s. You gradually climb up till you reach 7s as the top of the mountain — and then you reach for the sun (the 12s)!

You can listen to samples at www.myspace.com/happalmer (the songs for nines and twos) and at CdFreedom website.

Here's yet another sample of his music from YouTube. It's called Bean Bag Alphabet Rag. It's not from the Multiplication Mountain CD. I just put the link here in case you want to check out the musical and singing style of this artist.
Bean Bag Alphabet Rag by Hap Palmer .

Multiplication Mountain is not the only CD I have that has songs about multiplication tables. I have gotten one other CD in the past, but much disliked that one, because its musical style was rap with quite heavy beats - reminded me of heavy rock. Hap Palmer's music is quite the opposite of that, so I liked it much better (of course, all of us have VERY varying tastes of music).

My older child already knew the multiplication tables when I got the CD, so I could not test how much she would learn with it, and the younger one is not quite ready for that yet. But, in a nutshell, I feel the CD is well done and there is no reason why it wouldn't be effective in helping children to learn the tables.

I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested in trying musical approach to learning the tables and for elementary teachers & tutors in general. Also, if your child has ADD/ADHD or any learning disability, I would suggest that you try music-enhanced learning simply because of the special effect music has on our brain.

Here's a link to Multiplication Mountain CD at Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I was given this CD for free to review it. I'm not receiving any monetary gain from the company, however.
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