Why is music so important for people living with dementia?

Fri 20 May 2022

Evidence shows that music can help people to feel and live better. It also evokes powerful memories and can transport us back to a moment in time.

Maggie May has a wonderful playlist of songs, from the sounds of Cliff Richard, Chairmen of the Board, and Jackson 5. These moments capture moments in time for Maggie and Gordon. As she is diagnosed with dementia, the songs still seem to evoke memories and feelings within Maggie.

We caught up with Kyle Newman from Leicester Musical Memory Box about the importance of music to people living with dementia.

‘Music affects the whole brain regardless of whether a person thinks they are musical or not. It is a wonderful tool we can use to help anyone access memories, improve mood, boost confidence and wellbeing. The musical memory is not damaged by memory problems so we can use music to find ‘another way in’ to significant memories. It is also intrinsically linked to the emotional memory and so will often have a positive and stimulating effect on someone who may have seemed to otherwise stop engaging – MUSIC IS POWERFUL.’


Leicester Musical Memory Box C.I.C is a not for profit organisation that delivers social and musical group sessions facilitated by a leader skilled in using music, singing, visual props and conversation to enhance the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of everyone attending. Their groups are primarily for people affected by dementia, memory issues and their carers, but also anyone else who feels they may benefit.