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Thursday, Feb 2, 2023

Musical App Gets Seniors Tuned Up

With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every single day, more than one-fifth of the country will be elderly by 2030. While that’s helping boost the senior-living centers’ bottom line, it also means that industry must serve a much larger population of Alzheimer’s patients.

One downtown L.A. startup thinks it’s got a product to help.

SingFit Inc. has developed a digital platform that scales up music therapy for whole populations at senior living centers. After receiving training, a center’s staff can help guide residents through a fluid singing experience that works out the brain, respiratory system and engages an often sedentary and isolated group in social activity, according to the company.

It’s not like karaoke. SingFit’s programming incorporates choreographed movements, trivia and adjustable audible lyric coaching designed by music therapists.

“We digitized a music and speech therapy technique called lyric prompting or coaching,” said SingFit Chief Executive Rachel Francine, who co-founded the company in 2011 with her brother, Andy Tubman, a music therapist.

The two leveraged a small portion of a combined $1.7 million from seed and Series A rounds to create the mobile apps at the heart of the program and to license music from major record labels and publishing houses. The investments came from personal funds provided by Mike Fowler, president of Affordable Housing Partners Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary.

SingFit also has a direct-to-consumer app in the iTunes store.

“We’re looking to create a brand-new market where music is used in very specific ways to create very specific therapeutic outcomes,” Francine said. “As opposed to, isn’t it nice grandma is having a nice time singing.”

– Marni Usheroff

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