Second Workshop on Child, Computer and Interaction (WOCCI 2009)

Cambridge, MA, USA
November 5, 2009

Incorporating Music into the Study of Algorithms and Computer Programming

Takeo Tatsumi (1), Yoshiaki Nakano (2), Kiyoshi Tajitsu (3), Haruhiko Okumura (4), Yasunari Harada (5)

(1) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
(2) Senri-Kinran University, Suita, Osaka, Japan
(3) Hokusei-Gakuen University, Atsubetsu, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
(4) Mie University, Mie, Japan
(5) Waseda University, Shinju-ku, Tokyo, Japan

According to the national syllabus set forth by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, or hence force MEXT for short, and implemented in senior high schools since the school year of 2003-2004 in Japan, every student is expected to study and acquire necessary credits for the newly established subject Information Study. Learning about algorithms, with some exposure to and experience with programming languages, is part and parcel of the ‘Scientific Aspect,’ one of the three major goals set forth by MEXT, of this new subject. When learning a computer programming language, students must get accustomed to many new concepts, terms, and definitions along with the syntax and semantics of this language. There are too many elements to comprehend and master at the same time and this is part of the reasons why the number of students who study algorithms in K-12 is not increasing despite the introduction of Information Study in Japan. Noticing some apparent similarities between learning musical scores and learning computer programming languages, the authors proposed that incorporating study of music is a reasonable and interesting new way in learning programming languages and algorithms for senior high school students. In this paper, we describe our field trial based on this idea and suggest reasons why we believe this musical approach might be effective in learning the ‘Scientific Aspect’ of Information Study.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tatsumi, Takeo / Nakano, Yoshiaki / Tajitsu, Kiyoshi / Okumura, Haruhiko / Harada, Yasunari (2009): "Incorporating music into the study of algorithms and computer programming", In WOCCI-2009, 69-76.