The Emerson Sacred Mathematics Research Group
We initiated this in September 2017 in the run-up to our first Sacred Mathematics and the Liberal Arts Festival in October 2017.
We have been meeting since then at approximately 6 weekly intervals and have settled into the following format:
- Arriving, tea, snacks and chat.
- We open with a candle and dedication to the sacred mathematical, spiritual beings and invite spiritual help.
- A presentation by one of the group, with time for conversation about this. Or group conversation on a theme decided in advance.
- A break with more tea, snacks.
- A meditation on a theme that has arisen.
- Conversation about this and sometimes a meta-conversation about the way in which we are working (this is itself a mathematical topic).
- We close by giving thanks and ask that the sacred mathematical, spiritual beings give us continued guidance in our work.
- We then decide the date, time, place and subject for the next meeting.
It is an informal group. Some of us bring food or drinks to share and we give a voluntary monetary contribution to the person who has let us meet in his / her space.
If you are interested in joining us, please, email Sylvia or myself, Nicola, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We shall soon be posting details of some of the very interesting presentations that have been given.
Mathematics and Music Project Cardiff, July 2018
It was a glorious day in Roath Park Primary School when a few of us gathered to offer classes 4 and 6 some experiences of learning mathematics through music.
Sandi Burnett, class 5 teacher, organised this with me as part of the STEAM week (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) outside of the normal curriculum.
It all took place in the parquet floor gym, which offered a light-filled space. And we began, Alison Barnett and I, by offering various rhythmic games.
This was followed by a eurythmy session where children took it in turns to participate and watch. To the music of Bach’s “Fuer Elise”, played on the piano by Melissa Payne, six children created a hexagonal form and another 6 created a curving surround, all simultaneously moving in time with the music.
They had never done anything like this before. Not only was there enthusiasm to have another go, but there was also intense observation – obviously not from all, but actually from quite a few of the boys as well as the girls.
Still the most popular session was definitely, singing Haydn’s beautiful, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ as a two-part round. They sang so well that, after they had performed it to another class (with encores), one of the child members of the audience, spontaneously came up to Alison to thank her for it!
I will return another time to write about this happy experience in terms of what we are envisaging as longer term possibilities of teaching mathematics through music. For now, suffice it to say that when nine year old Athene hugged me at the end, saying, “Please, come back, Miss Nicola!”, I could only reply, “I hope so”.