An alumnus and his sister created a program to help promote music therapy.
In the mid-1960s, when Louis Tubman was in basic training for the army in New Jersey, he often snuck off to opera lessons in New York.
The 1963 speech-language-hearing alumnus was always running back and forth between the two states, and sometimes he forgot the lyrics to his opera songs. He wondered why he couldn’t have a device that acted as an opera prompter — someone who feeds the lyrics of musical pieces to opera singers a few seconds before it’s time to sing them — in his car.
Decades later his children, 1993 music therapy alumnus Andrew Tubman and his sister Rachel Francine, created just that — but for a different audience.
Andrew Tubman and Francine are the co-founders of SingFit, a Los Angeles-based start-up founded in 2011. The siblings created an app that acts as an opera prompter for users over the age of 55. SingFit helps people with memory barriers like dementia, using either the app or a program at senior living centers with trained assisted living community staff members.
Francine and Andrew Tubman said their father always had an “inkling” that singing could help people. But through Andrew Tubman’s music therapy education, he discovered the potential to use singing as a medical tool.
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