Music is a powerful tool to reach and help people who are living with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Using music in dementia care can help people better connect with emotions, memories, and other people.
We created our library of singalong videos as a resource for caregivers and families. Family and friends can connect with loved ones as they sing together. As memories are shared, new memories will be created. For some families, our videos will engage the person living with dementia while providing moments of respite for caregivers.
Using music in dementia care can take many different forms. Here are some links to help you find the resources that work best for you.
Resources on the Songs & Smiles Website
- Book a Singalong Show
(We offer virtual singalongs via Zoom anywhere. We offer in-person singalongs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.)
- Research About Music and Alzheimer’s
- Team-Specific Versions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
- Why Music Matters
Singing Heart to Heart
Mary Sue Wilkinson is the founder of Singing Heart to Heart and author of Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care. She and her team lead singalongs in and around Traverse City, Michigan. Her website is filled with helpful resources and encouraging stories.
Music Therapy at Home
Karla Wilson, a board certified music therapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience, offers personal online sessions for families caring for loved ones living with dementia.
Simple Music Player
If you are caring for someone who can no longer operate a CD player, try a record player … it might seem more familiar to them. Or, try the SMPL One-Touch Music Player. We recently purchased one, and it works just as advertised. It’s simple to use, and it’s simple to customize as you can add your own MP3 music files.
Here’s a link to purchase one on Amazon. Note: As an Amazon Associate, Songs & Smiles earns from qualifying purchases. We may receive a small commission if you purchase items after clicking on a product link or image.
A family-owned business based in Brisbane, Australia, Golden Carers has been supporting carers of the elderly worldwide since 2007. The website provides thousands of activity ideas and support materials, including a number of music-related activities.
- How to Plan Music Activities for Dementia Care
- Free Music Playlists for the Elderly
- Musical Bingo
- More Music Activity Ideas
Other Helpful Links
Generation Connect provides a helpful guide to using music apps for dementia care.
Music & Memory is a nonprofit encouraging the therapeutic use of personalized music.
Playlist for Life provides free resources to help create personal playlists.
Are you an aspiring singer or musician? Ted’s List is filled with articles and resources to inspire and educate the next generation of musicians. Singers, check out the section on How to Sing.
If you’re looking for a non-musical way to engage your loved one living with dementia, connect with Erica Curcio, a registered art therapist and certified dementia practitioner. Erica offers Caregiver Companion Art Therapy Kits and 30-minute Virtual Creative Engagement sessions.
I work on a dementia unit and love every minute of it. you never know what is going to happen. I call it surprises around the corner.
“Surprises around the corner!” We love that! Thank you so much for the work you do.