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Helping Students Master Math During A Shutdown

As a student, Marcus Blackwell used his piano-playing skills to overcome his “math phobia.” Now, Blackwell’s educational app Make Music Count is helping 3rd – 12th grade students across the country master addition, subtraction, fractions, algebra, and more – while helping parents successfully homeschool their children during the pandemic.

Blackwell began playing piano at age 5, training in classical, jazz, and gospel. After struggling with math as a young student, he realized that his years spent playing piano translated to a fundamental understanding of math. “For example, math is involved with understanding rhythm and reading sheet music,” Blackwell says.

This realization, along with support from his professors, prompted Blackwell to become a math major. After six months of teaching his math-music method as a free after-school class, Blackwell received an offer to teach at South Cobb High School for summer enrichment – and in 2013, Make Music Count was born.

Until COVID-19, the Make Music Count app operated in school districts across the country helping students with one-on-one learning experiences during the school day or after-school enrichment. Now that school systems are closed, Blackwell has pivoted to serving parents who are now in charge of homeschooling their children.

“We now promote my platform on social media to direct parents to the Apple and Google Play store so parents know they can use us as a resource,” says Blackwell.

Learn more about Make Music Count in our recent feature or on their website at

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