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Music Streaming Apps for Aphasia

How to use music apps to promote functional communication skills





Music and singing can be effective therapy tools to practice getting words out. It’s also an enjoyable activity, even when you’re not focusing on rehab. Either way, aphasia does not have to be a barrier to doing what you love.

Using apps like Spotify or Apple Music that cost about $10/month can give you the opportunity to practice:

  1. Simple writing/typing by searching names of artists or songs

  2. Functional reading by looking through lists to find your desired songs

  3. Speaking and word-finding by promoting automatic speech as you sing along to music

  4. Independence by enjoying a recreational activity without help


Having trouble thinking of song or artist names?

  • find music CD’s, records or posters from around your house. Copy the letters or words into the app’s search bar

  • Have a friend help you practice copying letters onto your phone/tablet until you can do it on your own

  • Have someone help you make a list or ‘cheat sheet’ of your favourite songs/artists that you can copy from. Over time you can create playlists in the app to make searching easier


Practice getting words out

  • Sing along to the lyrics. Sometimes the verses are harder to remember, but you can usually sing along to the chorus. Even getting one or two words out is a good start

  • Spotify and Apple Music allow you to see ‘time synced’ lyrics (if you’re using a phone or tablet) – following along might help you get more words out


Music streaming apps have subscription fees, so remember to cancel if you’re not using it!


Written by: Jeff Rowell

Registered Speech Language Pathologist

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