1. Let's try a new song. Grab another strip of paper and divide it up into four sections, just like before.
2. Once again, pick four stickers to place in the first section. But this time, cut one of your stickers in half and place both halves down along with your three whole stickers.
3. Repeat the pattern for the remaining measures!
4. Tap along on the table. Point to each sticker with one hand as you tap along with the other. You can count along like musicians do - "1, 2-and, 3, 4; 1, 2-and, 3, 4", or just make your own sound! "Bum, bum-bum, bum, bum".
Your song should sound like this!:
Let's take a moment to review the math:
Remember, we're not just seeing fractions in music, but we are also actively adding, multiplying, and dividing fractions without even realizing it!
Remember that each sticker is a quarter (1/4) note? Well, what happens when we cut 1/4 in half? That is, what is 1/4 ÷ 2?
We mathematically proved that each orange sticker is a 1/8th note, or "eighth note".
This is the sort of math we see in our final years of elementary school! Does dividing and inverting fractions seem a little scary? Here's an easier way to look at it:
Look at the stickers in your first measure again. Using a pencil, draw a line across each of the three full circles (across the diameter of the circle) so that you divide them all in half.
Now count: how many half stickers do you see?
There are eight half-stickers. That means each half sticker is just one 1/8 of the entire 4/4 measure.
What would happen if you re-combined two 1/8 stickers?
(1/8) + (1/8), or 2(1/8) = 2/8 = 1/4. We're right back to one full sticker, which is a quarter (1/4) note!