Question : What does it mean to be good in math? Is it a god given ability or do you have to work at it? Does it mean that you can turn out mental math all day long in your head or solve complex calculus derivatives and such....
Answer : The best way to know is to learn it, work at it, and use it. You'll see if it's easier or harder for you compared to other fields. There's enough math to learn just to be a competent citizen of modern society that it won't take any extra effort to test whether you're gifted in math. But if you don't happen to take a chemistry class, you might never know whether that's your field.
Yes, it's an ability given by God, but yes, you have to work at it to develop it. Same for all your other abilities. The job of education is to teach you to think, develop your common skills to a minimal level, and expose you to enough for you to figure out what you enjoy, what you're good at, and what you can use to contribute to society and thus earn a living.
Even if you're good at math, there are fields within math you won't be good at, or won't care about. You'll naturally get better at what you use.
Question : If that is so, then why is it that when I spend half an hour playing drums I can suddenly better understand my math homework? I'm in English Honors/AP but I'm in Algebra C, a lower level math class. Drumming has increased my mathematical ability tremendously.
It's true for others, as well, as studied by psychologists worldwide. My drum teacher & I often have discussions regarding just this.
I am not shooting you down, for you could be quite correct... But I am warning the the original pos..
Answer : 'Drumming has increased my mathematical ability tremendously.'
With all due respect, it is a little more complicated that that, and involves much more than merely playing the drums, or playing music in the sense that you would play music on your stereo. What you're talking about has to do with developing a complex sense of rhythm, sight, eye-hand coord., sound, and more, and being able to mentally apply those skills to similar cerebral functions in mathematics.
Your 'discovery' also works with foreign language acquisition.
And....listening to certain types of music, especially the classics (Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms) have been shown to have a psychological calming effect upon people, and especially babies (including the unborn!).
Question : a rocket? In other words, does it fit under the category of 'physical barriers'?
Answer : Maybe not a physical barrier. It would be a mental barrier because you would have to compute and do complicated equations and formulas.