GETTING STARTED

Read Our FAQS

One of the best ways to learn more about Sing to Say is to read our FAQs. It includes background on how and why the app helps kids to acquire language, goals, tips and targets, and more.

Resources

Resources and information to help you get started with Sing to Say.

DIG DEEPER

Resources

Companion GUIDE

This booklet is the perfect companion and introduction to the Sing to Say application

Click here to view and download a copy.

Video INTRODUCTION

A video to introduce you to the Sing to Say application

Literature REVIEW

A review of the literature on children with autism and the impact of music

Click here to view and download a copy.

Conference POSTER

Our poster presentation at Autism Europe 2019

Click here to view and download a copy.

The MUSIC

Music is what makes Sing to Say so powerful, especially when combined with animation. Check out these samples.

General Overview

What is Sing to Say?

  • Sing to Say is an application developed for children with autism to help them learn language using music and animation.

What is the goal of Sing to Say?

  • To provide a path for children to learn words through music and become capable of independent speech.

Who is Sing to Say for?

  • Early communicators ranging from non-verbal to those who have more advanced communication and language skills. Often these are young children, but Sing to Say is designed for those who need it.

At what age can a child start to use this app?

  • As early as 2 years of age.  Autism can be generally diagnosed before 2 years of age, and younger if nonverbal. Note that language development in children occurs between the ages of 0 and 7 making early intervention important.

Why does music help learning?

  • Music activates sections of the brain different than the spoken language centers, which can be very helpful in teaching language and fostering communication.

Can you tell me more about the music?

  • The music is well paced, clear and articulate. Piano, guitar and drums are very popular instruments with our audience. Children also love to sing and be sung to. Our studio singers are great performers and were specially chosen for their ability to sing to children.

What does research say about using music?

  • Our research shows that music and language are acquired in different parts of the brain. For people with autism, the language centers are impaired but usually the music centers are not. Sing to Say uses music to bridge to the language centers of the brain. We are building your child’s vocabulary by using music as the teacher.

What are the songs?

  • The songs are all 6 seconds long, with the keyword at the beginning and the end. The songs are short, repetitive and simple. The keywords are prominent and often repeated in the lyrics.

Engagement

I can see that Sing to Say is entertaining and fun. Does that help the learning?

  • Children are motivated by fun and fun is a huge motivator for learning. 

Why does Sing to Say use animation?

  • Animation is more engaging for children than static images.

Tell me about the animation

  • Sing to Say is hosted by the Minimops, original animated characters created for Sing to Say. The animation sets a friendly and inviting tone. The Minimops add to the engagement experience and so enhance learning.

Meet the Minimops

The Minimops form a tiny musical band that’s all about trying things out, having fun and discovering the joy of music. They use music to express themselves and explore the world around them.

Tina, the singer is super confident. She brings great energy to everything she does and her friends just love being around her.


Zach

Zach is the sensitive artist in the group. He likes the xylophone because it adds colour to the band.

Leo
Leo loves physical activity, whether it’s dancing or a game of soccer – anything with movement. He’ll make music – anywhere, anytime!

Alia
Alia is smart and organized. She works very hard and keeps the band practicing and focused.

Do the Minimops icons conform to the established alternative communication symbols?

Yes. The pictures represent the idea of what the word means. We strive to teach the students to understand the meaning of a word in text as well as the symbol. This is especially true with core words where there are no real visual identifiers. 

Modules For Learning

What is Learn It?

  • Learn It is a module in Sing to Say where children learn words. The words are organized into Theme Packs. Tapping on a Theme Pack opens the pack to display the words in the pack. Tapping on a word triggers a song and animation for that word

What is Sing It?

  • Sing It is where children can create phrases with the words they successfully learned in Learn It. To create a phrase a child taps on a word which will place itself onto the timeline. Tapping either on the Play button or the timeline plays the phrases from left to right.

Can we use Learn It and Sing It independently?

  • Yes: Often advanced learners who already have vocabulary may not need Learn It and would be better served going directly to Sing It, the expressive mode

Will repetition enhance retention?

  • Yes. Singing can be so much fun for children that they are unaware they are learning words by heart. This is why our songs have simple, frequently repeated words. Repetition in a musical setting will reinforce associations between the words and images.

What’s the basic idea of how it works?

  • We pair music with lyrics and animation to enhance receptive learning

  • We use the learned vocabulary to enhance expressive language

  • We test for understanding and retention

  • We offer tracking to allow insights on a child’s progress

Tips and Targets

Can we customize Sing to Say for our child?

  • Yes. Customization is available in Settings and is accessible from the landing page. Each child can have a unique profile that can be customized and updated.

What other customization features are being planned?

We are continuously planning new customization options. These are the features currently being planned:

  1. Whether words appear or not beneath an icon

  2. Number of distractors in Check It

  3. Size of icons and images

  4. Touch sensitivity 

  5. Enable/disable scrolling

Can we monitor their progress?

  • Yes, in Track It, accessible from the landing page.  Adults can track the child’s activity and progress as the child uses the app.

Can I replace an AAC application which was recommended by my therapist with Sing to Say?

  • No, unless it’s with the approval and recommendation of your therapist or teacher. Sing to Say is designed to be an extension, not a replacement, for your current recommended AAC tools. If your child is demonstrating success with Sing to Say we recommend discussing options with your therapist.

Do you recommend modeling with Sing to Say?

  • Having a learner watch and imitate a behaviour performed by parent or teacher is a well-established teaching method. It helps the child learn motor pathways and problem solving. It’s always good to engage with your child and their activity, whatever vocabulary you’re trying to teach. For example for “wash,” demonstrate washing different items. You’d be modeling as you do the action.; Wash dog… wash face.

How do I help my child to generalize what they’re learning?

  • Use multiple examples to demonstrate the same word. For example with the word ‘open’: opening a door, a book, a bottle. Generalizing is what we are teaching.

The Sing to Say Difference

How is Sing to Say different from other apps on the market?

These are the features that are exclusive to Sing to Say:

  1. We use music to teach language

  2. We teach directly what the words mean

  3. We provide error correction and testing

  4. We offer tracking

  5. We use animation to show what things are and engage the children in an enhanced experience

  6. Children can save phrases or favourite sentences

  7. We offer a rehearsal space in My Songs where kids can practice the phrases they’ve created

In what languages is Sing to Say available?

  • It is currently available English. 

Can you run Sing to Say on other devices?

  • Sing to Say can be played on an iPad using iOS version 11 or higher. Sing to Say Foundations can be played on android devices.

How can you assure our privacy?

Sing to Say is certified for compliance with COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy & Protection Act.  The PRIVO COPPA certification Seal posted on this page indicates Sing to Say has established COPPA compliant privacy practices and has agreed to submit to PRIVO’s ongoing oversight.

Please feel free to contact us at any time; we would be pleased to hear from you. You can contact us at singtosay.com/support

Thank you,
Neil Smolar
Producer
neil@singtosay.com