Math and Mariachi
- indoor or outdoor programs featuring pie fractions, measurement, and equivalency -


Phil shows how Mariachi rhythms are based on equivalent fractions.

– Math and Mariachi –
Enrich your students’ understanding of fractions, measurement, and equivalency with Phil’s fun-filled presentation on Math and Mariachi.  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!

– Musical Fractions Math Night –

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 and soda can maracas, and join together for a dynamic concert of exciting rhythms and melodies from Central and South America!

– Aztec Rhythms –

In-class workshops feature engaging cultural content and interactive hands-on learning using drums, shakers, and boomwhackers! They're fun and exciting, and they meet the California state standards for language, math, and music — and best of all, Phil brings enough musical instruments for everyone to participate!   

In "Aztec Rhythms" your students participate in an Aztec percussion group and perform musical phrases written in Nahuatl (pronounced naw-wa-tul) — the language of the Aztecs. First, they learn how to clap rhythms using pie fractions, including a fun sequence of traditional Mariachi rhythms from modern-day Mexico. After that, they are transported back to ancient Mexico, where they learn how to count Aztec rhythms using syllables in Nahuatl. Finally, they perform those rhythms with shakers and drums in a cross curricular lesson on culture, language, math, and music! 

In-Class Workshops are $900 for up to 3 classes in a 2-hour timeframe. This includes a 35 minute presentation for all students, followed by three 20-minute breakout sessions (one for each class) in which the students play drums, shakers, and boomwhackers.

Assemblies are $900 for two 45-minute presentations within a 2-hour timeframe. 

Family Activity Nights are $900 for one 2-hour presentation. 
Assembly/Family Night combinations are $200 off—now only $1,600.

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 2006-2023 Phil Tulga

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