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Apple Store / Apple news / How Apple Music is going to help people with speech disorders
15 April 2021

How Apple Music is going to help people with speech disorders

Apple Music is an entertaining streaming service that provides access to an unlimited list of music tracks for a fixed monthly fee. But Apple decided that their product should be even more useful, so they gave it new features that make the application not only entertaining but also inclusive.

Oleg Volobuev

Apple Music is an entertaining streaming service that provides access to an unlimited list of music tracks for a fixed monthly fee. Of course, the main purpose of the platform is to meet the musical and, consequently, the spiritual needs of users. By paying for the subscription you can not only enjoy your favorite tracks, but also significantly expand your musical preferences through a convenient system of recommendations. But Apple decided that their product should be even more useful, so they gave it new features that make the Apple Music application not only entertaining but also inclusive.

Apple Saylist added to Apple Music

How Apple Music helps fight speech defects

A special playlist has been added to Apple Music to help people with speech problems. At first glance, it seems rather doubtful, but at least unusual, that a playlist in a music application called Saylist can really have a positive effect on users with a language defect and really help solve this problem. However, in practice, more than possible, because each composition included in the collection consists of difficult-to-pronounce combinations of sounds, and people with such disorders have the greatest difficulty with them.

This playlist is primarily intended for children with dyslalia, which is the most common pronunciation defect. The disorder is characterized by incorrect pronunciation of some sounds in the presence of normal hearing and sufficient innervation of the speech apparatus. In such cases, the child either fails to pronounce a sound correctly, that is, he distorts or misses it, or replaces the problem sound with another.

Apple Music helps people with a speech impediment

For example, in the UK, this disorder occurs in every 12th child, but fortunately, the competent work of a speech therapist and regular classes can correct the pronunciation defect. That is why Apple has also decided to contribute to the prevention and treatment of such disorders, and the instrument for this purpose has chosen musical compositions in Apple Music.

The very process of listening to the tracks, perceiving the peculiarities of their pronunciation and trying to reproduce the sounds on their own, will already have a therapeutic effect. Many people like to sing along to the performers while listening just because they want to, and all the songs from Saylist are already endowed with text for user convenience. There are currently about 180 tracks in English in the playlist, but they are currently only available for listening in the UK.

New Saylist

In fact, geographical accessibility is not particularly important at the initial stage, because the main thing that needs to be clarified is the actual benefits of such audio techniques for people suffering from such speech disorders. According to experts, regular repetition of complex words, phrases and sounds is the most effective way to get rid of sound disorders. In the classical environment, speech therapists do this, but success depends largely on the timeliness of work with the child, that is, the sooner the better.

Speech therapists treat innovation

Of course, at an early age it is not very interesting for children to visit a specialist regularly, because the repetition of the necessary expressions and phrases is a monotonous process, and therefore exhausting. In addition, not all parents have the opportunity to seek help from a specialist in time and ensure the sustainability of such classes. Saylist does not force the child to repeat, but only encourages children to sing along, which in itself blurs the line between therapeutic need and entertainment.

Experts in the field of speech therapy say that any innovative approach to solving language problems has a place, because in such cases the main role is played by the quantitative factor. Undoubtedly, the method invented by Apple requires a practical assessment and further study of the results, but the very fact of its existence already gives grounds to assert the desire to develop correctional programs.

Various selections in Apple Music for language development

To compile the playlist, the Cupertino team used special algorithms that analyze the verbal content of the tracks, and then selected those that contain the largest number of difficult to pronounce sounds and their combinations. The idea was realized thanks to close cooperation with the Warner Music studio, as well as the creative agency Rothco.

Apple and inclusive

It is worth paying tribute to Apple, which has realized that their music platform can not only entertain people and bring to their lives the pleasure of listening to their favorite songs, but also make a significant contribution to the fight against human health problems. Even such a simple action as singing along to the performers already allows the Apple Music user on the iPhone to memorize the correct pronunciation of sounds and continue to do it independently. Again, even given that such a feature is currently only available in the United Kingdom, it is gratifying that work in this direction is ongoing.

Listening to songs in Saylist

In fact, other Apple products and media resources are characterized by their adaptability to inclusive needs, namely:

  • Smartphones, tablets and computers of this brand, running on iOS and MacOS, have voice control functions, which greatly simplifies their use for people with visual impairments or users with musculoskeletal disorders;
  • Apple TV + has a special sound mode for hearing-impaired users. These are not just subtitles that convey the phrases of the film's characters in text format, but also a description of the sounds that are important for a particular scene. This mode is called "typhlocommentation" and it has already received many positive reviews.

To be able to listen to Saylist, users who are in the UK, just download Apple Music to any device of this brand and make a monthly subscription. It is not yet known when the list of specially selected compositions will be available to residents of other countries, including whether it will be known whether there will be musical works in another language, but it is quite possible.

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