Questions and Answers


1. When is the best time to play the music?

Around wake-up time is always the best time. If you choose to establish two listening sessions per day (recommended for faster response) the period between 2pm and 4pm is advised for the second session. Our app enables you to quickly schedule listening sessions. The important thing is to establish a daily routine and stick to it!

2. How loud should I play the music?

Always audible and clear, but never louder than 60 decibels (dB). For reference, think that a normal conversation has a volume of approximately 50 decibels (dB). Importantly, it does not matter if the child sleeps or remains awake during the session. Simply adjust the volume depending on the situation.

3. What kind of music player should I use?

A small audio player with wireless connection (Bluetooth), placed 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) from the child. In general, headphones are not recommended. However, older kids might much prefer headphones. In that case, make sure that the volume level is suitable, never above 60 decibels.

4. What kind of music is in the playlist?

The Specialtones music library contains digitally manipulated works of Bach and Mozart characterizing two spectrogrammatic designs that exhibit unique consonance flows, yielding high rates of interaction among the harmonics. Many of these works are cited in the scientific literature as input of successfull cases of treatments and trials using music listening to address neurological issues.     

Our audio files are segmented and filtered toward enhancing selected bands of music fractals therefore bringing forth applicable music textures that feature distinct spectral density variants of tones and overtones.    

5. How long are the music playlists?

Each playlist is 30 minutes long (one listening session).

6. Where should the listening session take place?

The listening environment should be dedicated to the listening activity. For practical reasons, the environment of choice should be the child’s bedroom. Playroom and other dedicated spots also work. And if you must commute, inside the car with closed windows can be a good option for music listening as well.


7. How often should I fill out the questionnaire to update my playlist?

The optimal time period for each playlist exposure is two weeks in average, once a daily listening routine has been established for the child, and the app will periodically remind you to fill out the questionnaires for updates. Nonetheless, given that each individual child is unique, we encourage you to use the questionnaire whenever you feel it is time to do so. In that case, you can update your playlist and immediately resume your child’s listening routine in order to consolidate gains and move forward.

8. What can I expect in terms of results?

The time it takes for the music stimuli to get positive response from a special child depends on the nature and the degree of severity of the impairment(s) in question. 

As a general reference, important studies in clinical labs around the world using classical music show that measurable neurological change can be attained after three or four months of routine music listening. Some clinical experiences have been able to attain results even earlier by blending motor exercises with music. Bear in mind that these cases include an array of issues that pertain to different causes of impairment and involve various age groups.

We propose to speed things up and sustain efforts longer. First, we focus on the neurological development of infants and children. Second, each one of our music playlists contains a specific sequence of music textures that is attributed to each music profile generated by our app. In other words, we can “fast-track” brain response to the music stimuli. Third, we bring the music to your home and, finally, we give you the means to schedule a daily-listening routine from your cell phone. 

Our goal is to help you establish a daily-listening routine for your child because our clinical findings have shown that routine music listening is highly effective to induce neuroplasticity, speeding up development considerably. Kids recover and develop faster when stimulated routinely in any and all therapy. Same with music. Additionally, notice that the cases from the studies mentioned above were all conducted under controlled conditions, including periodic listening sessions. In a nutshell, routine is the name of the game. 

Noticeable emotional change (better disposition) could take place shortly after a daily-listening routine has been duly established, with the child accumulating functional gains thereafter. The Specialtones music playlists will activate and prime several areas in the brain, this way leveraging an array of functional neurological processes that share neural circuits in these same areas. The more consistent you keep the listening routine, the sooner and more frequently you are likely to see positive change.

9. How does music listening interact with other therapies?

The potential impact of routine music exposure on neuroplasticity represents a demonstrable opportunity to improve neurological functionalities, expressed in terms of motor skills (gross and fine), speech abilities, cognitive aspects (such as attention and memory) and social interaction. 

Attentive parents of kids with impaired functionalities such as these are well aware that improvement in behavior is a consequence of engendering capacity in the child, and that is why they use a variety of therapies: to stimulate and get response from the brain in a regular and sustained effort to build and consolidate capacity in the child. 

Given that music listening scaffolds¹, protects and leverages the development of other neurological functions², therapists are usually quick to observe the child's better response and improvement in their respective programs once a daily-listening routine has been established. 

We encourage the exchange and inquiry between parents and therapists with regards to the expected benefits of implementing a daily-listening routine for the child. The more feedback parents can obtain from the health professionals involved with their children, the better they can fine tune their own observation and monitoring at home.

¹Sound symbolism scaffolds language development in preverbal infants, 2014 (Asano et al, 2014).
²The healing power of music, 2015 (Thompson and Schlaug, 2015). 

10. How does music listening affect the human brain?

Music is able to induce a number of positive neurological changes because of sound’s primary and fundamental role in human neurological development.  

For example, the well-established physical phenomenon of rhythmic entrainment¹ causes a psychological template that allows the listener to naturally, effortlessly follow a music narrative. Also, music can naturally balance crucial neurochemical flows that regulate our emotions. Yet another example, music as movement naturally activates the Mirror-Neuron Systems (MNS)² in frontal, temporal and parietal regions, therefore increasing sensory integration and learning ability. 

Music is so deep-seated in humans that it can positively affect both gray and white matter in the brain, and even modify DNA transcriptome to measurably enhance neurogenesis and neuroprotection processes in the listener's brain, as scientific studies have shown³.

Put together, the natural effects of music listening can teach the brain how to learn and relearn. Routine music listening is therefore able to induce systemic brain reorganization which, in turn, is progressively translated into increased capacity.

¹Neurobiological foundations of neurologic music therapy: rhythmic entrainment and the motor system, 2014 (Thaut, McIntosh and Hoemberg, 2014).
²Mirror-Like Mechanisms and Music, 2009 (Alessandro D’Ausilio, 2009); The mirror-neuron system, 2004 (Rizzolatti and Craighero, 2004).
³The effect of listening to music on human transcriptome, 2015 (Kanduri, Raijas et al., 2015).