The Therapists behind Signalong Songs composed original songs which target specific and sometimes challenging vocabulary. It has already proven to be a boon to parents to children of all abilities who have tested the App and will be a valuable resource in both mainstream and special education.
The App is not exclusively for use by children with disability but can be used by all. It is also a friendly, fun way to bring children with disability and those without, together, for example, in pre-school or early phase primary education.
Launching the App, Damien Varley, himself an accomplished musician, said in the ever advancing world of technology, it was great to see and support an application like Signalong Songs that promotes learning through music for anyone who needs it and can benefit from all it offers.
"It's a really positive initiative. The App has upbeat songs, a lot of colourful visuals and is very engaging. The concept is about 'total communication'; a whole body engagement using hands, eyes, voice, music, signing and language. I am delighted to launch the App and proud to be associated with COPE Foundation and it's continuous development in supporting children's education, and life's learning," Damien said.
According to music therapist, Eamon Nash, there is a considerable body of research which concludes that learning through music is especially developmental.
"In the case of all children but particularly children with intellectual disability, learning through music helps them to retain more and to interact better with those around them. Signalong Songs is an IPad application aimed at Children aged 0 - 8 years, their families and educators. The App has been in development for over a year and the response from parents, teachers and children has encouraged us to make it more widely available."
The App includes:
• 5 songs including original songs and familiar nursery rhymes
• Key words in songs are signed
• Child friendly and engaging graphics
• Sign index as a reference tool for parents and teachers
• Range of vocabulary themes
The chief executive of COPE Foundation, Colette Kelleher said:
"The App showcases the talents and ideas of multi-disciplinary working between music and speech and language therapy in COPE Foundation. It is great to see technology being put to use so that children of every ability can learn and develop their language in a way that suits them best.We are constantly finding innovative and exciting ways of supporting people and we are witnessing great developments every day."
The App is available at a cost of €4.49 from the App Store on iTunes. Any monies raised from the sale of the App will go directly into services at COPE Foundation.