When I was in 7th grade, my algebra teacher, Mrs. Berry, taught us the quadratic equation to the tune of the Notre Dame fight song. In discussing this with other people years later (I’m a “Sit around and discuss the quadratic equation” kind of guy), I found out that this was a common practice, but that the tune to which the quadratic equation was applied would vary.

Here’s where you come in. I want to know how (if?) you learned the quadratic equation. I’m hoping it was via song. The IDEAL participant will find a recording of the tune online, and record themselves singing the quadratic equation along to it. I realize that this probably won’t happen, but that would be really, really great. The less ideal participant will post in the comments to this entry and tell me what song was used in their quadratic equation education. In case you have forgotten what exactly the quadratic equation is, here’s a reminder:

…and as sung to the Notre Dame fight song:

X eq-uals the op-po-site of B

plus or min-us the square root of

B squared min-us four Ayy Cee-eee

All over two times Ayy (dum dum).

I did a bit of searching online and didn’t come up with much besides this 19 page .pdf document called the ‘Math Song Sing-a-long.’ The Math Song Sing-a-long suggests that the Quadratic equation can be sung to the tune of both the Notre Dame fight song AND ‘Amazing Grace.’ Without hearing it, the ‘Amazing Grace’ version doesn’t seem to work as well, but you can be the judge of that – here are the ‘lyrics:’

THE QUADRATIC FORMULA

WORDS BY: JOHN A. CARTER

TUNE: “AMAZING GRACE”

If you need to solve a quadratic

Equation in any form,

Set it equal to zero,

And use this formula.

You’ll have the zeroes before you know.

x equals the opposite of b

Plus or minus the square root

Of b squared minus 4a times c

All over two times a.

Now, you may be thinking – “This is ridiculous, it can’t possibly get dorkier than this.” But it CAN. The other songs in the Math Song Sing-a-long are AMAZING. Just awe-inspiring. Here’s a bit from their take on the ‘Cheers’ theme:

CHEERS TO INTEGRATION

WORDS BY: STUDENTS IN J. CARTER’S CALCULUS AB CLASS

TUNE: “THE CHEERS THEME”

Integrating with trig identities takes everything you’ve got.

Anti-diff-er-en-tia-ting sure can take a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to learn a way… ?

…and a bit from a mathematic interpretation of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You:’

WE WILL GRAPH YOU!

WORDS BY: JOHN A. CARTER

TUNE: “WE WILL ROCK YOU!”

Buddy, you’re a man with a hard time graphing

All you need to do is find the m and the b.

It’s not too hard you see, You put your pencil on the b.

Graphing’s not as hard as you thought it might be, singing

Chorus:

We will, we will graph you!

We will, we will graph you!

As you can see, it’s really necessary to read the whole thing. That’s it for today. Math and music. And this is only the beginning. I can feel the cool kid links already. Also – Rob, I get half of your pay for every day you use this in class.