Every once in a while I stumble upon or get led to a great little app that I just have to share with you. This app is one of those…
Recently (or maybe not quite so recently as it may have been in May) I was asked to review a new app designed for children with CAS (or anyone who was difficulty with word formulation and wants to sing).
SlowTunes was designed by Brian Stokes for his daughter with CAS. As we know, although most kids LOVE music, many children with motor planning difficulties have a hard time keeping up with the pace of the songs.
SlowTunes allows the songs to be slowed down considerably without distorting the lyrics or the music…which, when you think about it is really quite amazing.
How to Use it: It’s really quite simple. Download it. Start the app.
Okay…maybe not quite that simple – after all it will tell you to STOP and import songs before you do anything else. After you’ve imported songs, you can select the ones you want to play. Then you can select the speeds you want. “Normal,” “Slow,” or “Slowest.” The user can flip between speeds with the touch of a button.
Customization: On the main screen, there is the “gears” icon for settings. There you can change the speeds, sign up for newsletters, or get support. The default speeds for “slower” is 90% and “slowest” is 80%, but you can slow it even more than that.
Thoughts: I’m really quite pleasantly surprised with this. Typically when you slow music down there’s a lot of distortion. When I played with this app, I used a fairly fast song – Katy Perry’s “Firework.” I played at normal speed and then I dropped it down to 70%. I could still understand every word, the music still sounded good, and it still sounded like Katy Perry. There was perhaps a slight distortion on some of the words but it was very slight.
Uses: Although this app was designed for children with CAS, I think it can truly be used for just about anyone. Many people love music but have a hard time keeping up with the lyrics. Some people need lyrics slowed down to practice the words and then need to increase the speed as they become familiar with the song.
This app gets a full 5 stars from me. I’m impressed with it and I can see some real benefit to it. It’s a simple little app (simple meaning easy to use) that is inexpensive and appropriate for those with special needs and those without.
Nice work Brian! I look forward to showing the app at future conferences.
So…have you used SlowTunes? Do you incorporate music into your therapy at all? Let me know here…
Until then…Adventure on!