Making and listening to music, whether you have dementia or not

We hear how people keep well by enjoying music. 

Karen Charlton, Suffolk 

When I feel sad or overwhelmed, I put on my headphones, listen to music and go for a walk trying to shut out the world for a moment. It’s mainly on my own but sometimes with my daughter, who helps me weekly with my mum and adores her. 

My head needs some calm and when I need to, off I go. I try to walk each evening as it’s quiet.

It’s the place I find some peace, only the headphones make me unwind.

Listening to music on headphones

Elwyn Parry, Anglesey 

As often as requested (about every two weeks), I visit a local care home to entertain residents by singing.

I began after my mother was admitted to care and I offered to sing at her home. 

The motivation is the delight on their faces, and the satisfaction of bringing some joy into their lives. 

Fiona Gillet, West Sussex 

I like listening to music, especially from my teenage years.

It brings back memories, but I also know a lot of lyrics so like to sing along to the songs too.

I feel music is therapeutic as it can relax you. 

Phil Hopkins, Pontypridd 

I sing with three choirs. I’ve always been interested in music, both in listening and playing.

I sing weekly with other choir members and play for my own pleasure. 

I started at an early age and it continues to be a part of my life. It helps to provide expression of my mood and provides enjoyment, as well as being an uplifting experience. 

Kenneth Girvan, London 

I’m an avid music listener. I have always been interested in music but through difficult times, such as my mum having Lewy body dementia, it was a way for me to switch off and do something just for me. 

It’s my go-to place that gives me joy. It makes me calmer, helps with my anxiety and shuts out all the stress around me.

I try and make time in my day to have that half hour to listen to my music and have some ‘me time’.

Live well, stay well 

Some things that affect your chance of developing dementia are things you can’t change, like your age and genes.

However, you can keep your mind and body active, enjoy healthier food, not smoke, drink less alcohol, stay in touch with people and deal with any health problems. If you already have dementia, the same things can help you to stay well. 

NHS Live Well has wellness advice for everyone. 

Dementia together magazine

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now


I have recently been diagnosed with Dementia, I am 75 years old. I have been musician in a band since I was in my twenties. My band still meets occasionally to play music together. We have been asked to play again this summer in festival in Gosport where I live. I have all my songs in a book in front of me when playing , “just in case” ! I could not live without my music.
My mum and I go to a dementia cafe and we have singers or bands playing music from the war through to the 70s . Everyone gets a buzz from this singing and dancing.
Every time I take my mum out in the car I put on a 70’s music station, I immediately feel her mood lift while she reminisces on good times, it does wonders for and me 🥰
Agree that music is so beneficial and therefore it is all the more puzzling why in Sutton 'Singing for the Brain' was stopped and no financial support was, and is, given to the volunteer based group set up!!