Education Technology

Music in the Air

Published on 09/09/2005

Activity Overview

Activity Overview: Various instruments brought in by students are used to obtain periodic data which can be analyzed for pitch (or frequency). The students find the equations, which best fit through the data collected, and the teacher does "real time" guidance using the TI-Navigator™. Pictures of students and the resulting screen captures are included.

Before the Activity

The students need some introduction to sinusoidal motion. With the attached "cheat sheets" they do not need a lot of introduction, because the sheets walk them through finding the equation. At least have a good discussion about motion, and things in nature, which are periodic. The teacher should download the four lists: tune1, tune2, sax1, and sax2. The teacher may also want to download the picture(s) taken during the lab. The teacher should download the Word documents called "Periodic Functions Lab activities B", CBL™ instructions in Word Music Activity, and "Fill in the blanks on Note_Note" documents to distribute to the class.

During the Activity

Using a CBL, students plucked one string on a guitar, blew one note on a saxophone, etc. The most fun are their own instruments they bring in. We captured the note, put the data on the laptop, and sent it out over the TI-Navigator in a few moments time. They first had to figure out the note whether it was an "A" or a "C" or a "D" string etc. Send them the four data sets : tune1, tune2, sax1, and sax2. Direct the students to put the first two data sets tune1 and tune2 into their Stat Plot menu on their calculators and turn on the STAT plot which is in the top row, in the middle, to the right of the scatterplot. Then they should push ZOOM followed by a nine. I like to have them work in teams of three on this activity. Do continual screen captures of all their calculators. You can easily give guidance to all the teams, in a minute's time, from your desk, during the entire process. Now use the "Periodic Function Lab Activities" handout. "Tune" data comes from a "C" tuning fork. Use the short form that makes them record the numbers they used to find all four parts in the general equation for a sinusoid. Repeat with Sax1 and Sax2 data.

After the Activity

After the activity: Have them turn in the short form asking for the numbers they used to get A through D in the general equation. Also, immediately grade the fit of their graphs as you look at them when they say they are done, using a screen capture. You might also try the Instant Feedback Learning Check and Quiz attached.