Math and Mariachi
- musical fun with fractions, measurement, and equivalency -

Using a kitchen facet, Phil shows how 
Mariachi music is based on equivalent fractions.

The garden hose plays fractions called the harmonic series.

Start with one large mixing bowl. Add Rigatoni pasta, sprinkler pipes, recycled juice bottles, empty soda cans, and one garden hose and funnel—set aside.  Using a kitchen faucet, carefully pour in two FOSS units on Measurement and Solids/Liquids, a sprinkling of ancient Aztec rhythm fractions, and an equivalent amount of Mariachi seasoning.  Pour the entire mixture onto some thoroughly kneaded Common Core Math Standards, and bake in a large pie tin for 50 minutes.  Top it off with generous amounts of humor, wacky activities, and interactive multimedia games—serve immediately.  Makes enough to sustain a large group of students and parents during the long school year.

Enrich your students’ understanding of fractions, measurement, and equivalency with Phil’s fun-filled presentation on Math and Mariachi.  Specifically, your students will learn:

 • how they can hear instruments vibrate in a series of fractions called the harmonic series;

 • how they can measure fractions of length and liquid volume to build simple musical instruments from materials around the home; and

 • how they can play musical rhythms based on equivalent fractions.


A highlight of this section is when Phil, using a kitchen faucet, leads the students in clapping an energetic sequence of musical fractions—from traditional Mariachi folk songs from Mexico, to popular selections by Los Lobos and Carlos Santana!

The guitar is based on fractions of length.

Invite your families back to school for this fun-filled evening featuring hands-on instrument making, and music from the Aztec and Inca empires!  Students learn how to count ancient Aztec rhythms using pie fractions, and design pan pipes with the fractions of length used by the Incas.  Then they build their own pan pipes, soda can maracas, and straw oboes, and join together for a dynamic concert of exciting rhythms and melodies from Central and South America!

Assemblies are $725 for two 50-minute presentations within a 2-hour timeframe. 

Family Activity Nights are $725 for one 2-hour presentation. 

Assembly/Family Night combinations are $200 off—now only $1250.

In-Class Field trips are $550 for 2-3 classes in a 2-hour timeframe. 

There is an additional travel charge for schools more than 1 hour from downtown Sacramento, California.

The following multimedia activities relate to this program:

Aztec Drum Rhythms
Playing Fraction Pies 

Hearing Fractions 
Melodic Tube Drums

Fractions of Length

Pan pipes
Water Bottle Xylophone

Tubular Glockenspiel
Musical Fraction Tubes





Copyright 2006-2014 Phil Tulga

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