Listen to music

Listening to music provides a valuable source of enjoyment, entertainment and pleasure for people living with dementia.

It provides a relatively easy and affordable way for individuals to access, enjoy and appreciate music and can create opportunities for friends and family to share quality time together. It can be used as frequently and as often as needed.

In residential settings, it is good practice for carers to be thinking about playing the radio at appropriate times. By ensuring the radio is tuned in properly, and that the volume of the music is appropriate for the moment means that many people can enjoy this activity.

Tailor the music to the interests and specific preferences of people living with dementia

The next time you think about switching on the radio, playing a CD or playlist, be aware of the mood in the room, talk with people about what kind of music they might like to listen to, adjust the volume as needed, observe reactions and be alert to people’s changing states as they listen. Take time to sit with residents, and build a connection with them through a shared musical moment.

Useful links

  1. BBC Music Memories is a website designed to use music to help people with dementia reconnect with their most powerful memories.
  2. Create a playlist – listen to recorded music
  3. Experience and participate in live music making
  4. Music therapy delivered either one-to-one or in a group setting, by a qualified and registered music therapist
  5. Ask all care workers to make music a part of the daily care plan