Listen to music

Listen to music

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

It is a relatively easy and affordable way to access, enjoy and appreciate music as often as needed, any time of the day or night.

In residential settings, it is good practice for carers to be thinking about playing the radio, CD or a playlist at appropriate times throughout the day to aid quality of life, support the delivery of personal care and provide a source of stimulation.

There are some important basics to cover to ensure a pleasurable experience be it listening to the radio, playlist or a CD

  • If listening to the radio, make sure it is tuned in properly, and that the volume is appropriate for the moment

  • If using headphones, do these fit properly and does the listener know how to remove them should they want to stop listening?

  • Does anyone in the setting have a hearing impairment that needs to be taken into account?

  • If it is a group setting, how can you help people to lead the listening? Can they work the CD player with you? Can they help with offering headphones to people? Can they help choose the music people want to listen to?

Tips to tailor the music to the audience

  • Be aware of the mood in the room

  • Talk with people about what kind of music they might like to listen to

  • Observe reactions and be alert to people’s changing states as they listen

  • Take time to sit with people and build a connection with them through a shared musical moment, this could be a conversation, holding of hands, nodding of heads, or singing along together

  • Adjust the volume as needed

  • Make sure the device / tech works for a smooth listening experience

Related articles

Create a playlist

All you need to know about creating a personalised playlist for yourself or someone you care for with favourite songs and music.

Read more


Music can move people to get up and dance, sing, nod or tap along – aiding communication and self-expression.

Read more


Find out the latest news about the campaign and about the wider music and dementia landscape in general.

Read more