New music app can help re-train the brain

NOTE: The following is a personalized advertisement of sorts, just for NJCTS, that we at TSParentsOnline thought would be very useful to parents of kids with Tourette Syndrome, especially during the holiday season. Enjoy!

Re-train the brain with SingFit, a revolutionary new music App that was developed by a board-certified music therapist to allow people with autism, Alzheimer’s and other special needs to engage in the health-enhancing, mood-elevating, universal experience of singing.

SingFit’s Lyric Coach system allows users to enjoy a successful singing experience regardless of their ability to read the lyrics to a song, making it the perfect tool for family members, music therapists, caregivers and other health-care professionals.

Scientific research reveals that singing engages the brain in unique ways that increases the ability to focus, enhances the immune system and reduces stress.  Most recently, singing therapy has captured headlines surrounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ miraculous recovery of how music therapy has played a huge role in rewiring her brain.

And while there are no clinical studies available that speak to specifically to the impact of singing on Tourette’s Syndrome, there are many very high-profile anecdotal cases of the impact of making music on Tourette’s — most notably the case of a young man whose Tourette’s tics disappear when drumming, as documented by Dr. Oliver Sacks for the Nova documentary Musical Minds.

Below is what is known about the possible connections of singing in general to the treatment of Tourette’s. These are not specific claims about the ability of SingFit alone to achieve the below; rather, these are the most up-to-date theoriesabout how engaging in singing via SingFit could have a positive impact on people with Tourette’s:

  • OXYGENATION: One of the possible causes of the tics associated with Tourette’s is a low level of blood oxygenation. In clinical studies singing in general has been shown to increase oxygenation in the blood stream.
  • DECREASED STRESS: Another potential cause of tics in people with Tourette’s is increased levels of stress. In clinical trials, singing has been shown to have a positive impact on many of the hormones and neurochemicals responsible for controlling our stress reactions including cortisol, dopamine and serotonin.
  • MOTOR MAPPING: As demonstrated in below video, even people with very sever speech impediments can sing fluidly when aided by SingFit. It is often the case that people with neurological challenges associated with speech can still sing perfectly. Even if the person does not sing perfectly, when one sings regularly and in a repetitive manner the action of singing can still help deepen the connection between the brain and processing fluid speech and motor movement. This process is much like the motor mapping going on when athletes trains. While they might be working on a specific action, say a basketball player practicing dunks, their overall ability to launch themselves in the air becomes progressively better with practice. It won’t matter if they are jumping to score a point or jump over a puddle, they’ve trained their brain and their legs to jump.

In addition, leaving in the Guide Singer track on SingFit would allow people with Tourette’s to mimic the sounds and fluidity of the lead singer, which leads to learning a new behavior through modeling of a non-Tourette’s sound, which might also help increase vocal fluidity.

The SingFit App and a collection of public domain songs are FREE to download for use on the iPad, iTouch and iPhone hardware.  A monthly subscription of $12.99 allows all-you-can-sing access to SingFit’s growing catalog of songs featuring a wide range of beloved compositions from multiple musical genres and eras.

From Frank Sinatra and Al Green to Elivs, Bob Marley, Bonnie Raitt, The Kings of Leon and everybody in between — including music for the holiday season — SingFit delivers a captivating experience for music lovers of all stripes. Check out SingFit here or on YouTube.


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