Finding parallels between maths and music

Maths and music have a strong link for pianist Jasmine Hall—this made studying towards a Bachelor of Science a logical choice.

Music and maths

The 21-year-old student enrolled in a Bachelor of Music, majoring in piano performance, but her other love—mathematics—was never far from her thoughts. She also sat in on classes in Discrete Maths and the subject “clicked straight away”.

“I realised that, although I enjoyed my music study, I wanted to major in maths and keep music for outside of university.”

Reaching her potential

She switched to a Bachelor of Science and later decided to do Honours because, says Jasmine, “there’s no point in being at university unless you try your hardest to reach your potential”.

Jasmine, who is half Tongan, sees many parallels between maths and music.

“Maths is about finding patterns and structures and, whether you’re composing or listening to music, you’re also looking for the patterns, be they harmonic, rhythmic or melodic.

Maths is forever

“One of the things I love most about maths is the certainty of it—when you prove something, it’s true forever. With other sciences, you have a theory and then you want to support that with experiments but, in 100 years’ time, someone can come along with a better theory which overturns all your work.”

Studying maths at Victoria University of Wellington has taught Jasmine to think more rigorously. “I am more motivated to do a lot of reading outside class. I’ve learnt to study more effectively because I’m not just cramming in things but making sure I understand them thoroughly.”

Practical applications

Her studies have opened her eyes to a whole new world of opportunities.

“There are lots of practical applications for maths, such as internet security, 3D printers and optimising public transport. My studies have helped me appreciate things we take for granted every day and enhanced my curiosity and understanding about how the world around me works.”

Know Your Mind

“Know Your Mind also means knowing both what your mind wants and how your mind works. Vision comes from knowing what you want, and action results from knowing how your mind works. Both are key to reaching your potential.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.