Being able to respond to music – the first sense in the foetus and the last to go at the end of life – is the one thing dementia cannot destroy.

Make a playlist yourself to see how music has helped form your memories.

Look at these guest playlists and others submitted to understand what Playlist for Life is about.

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There is mounting evidence that if people with dementia are offered frequent access to the music in which their past experience and memories are embedded, it can

  • Improve their present mood,
  • Improve their awareness,
  • Improve their ability to understand and think,
  • Help their sense of identity and independence.

Our Vision

That every person with dementia has access to a unique playlist of their life, to help unlock who they are.


Any donation, large or small, will help us to support carers, train volunteers and provide the equipment necessary to provide people with a playlist for life.

Exciting developments

  • CAN YOU HELP? Glasgow Caledonian University has offered match funding towards a PhD studentship exploring the use of personalised music in palliative care in dementia. Playlist for Life is seeking to raise £30,000, over three years, to enable the studentship in this vitally important and under-researched area to begin as soon as possible. Please contact if you can help.
  • An online training package for care organisations is being prepared, with a DVD to follow for families. Watch this space.
  • More than half the Scottish health boards, a number of English hospital trusts and a growing number of care homes across the UK are working with us.
  • We are linking up with the Carers of West Dunbartonshire to provide training to volunteers - the first of many such collaborations, we hope.
  • Our partners at Glasgow Caledonian University have secured funding from the Digital Health Institute to develop a Playlist for Life app.
  • Opera Holland Park is collaborating with Playlist for Life in care homes across the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, funded by a local authority grant.
  • A Playlist for Life pilot training programme in Dunfermline, funded by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, has led to initiatives across the town.
(For more on what we do, see About Us > Our Work.)
Read more about our latest news

Playlist for Life is supported by Glasgow Caledonian University.

Glasgow Caledonian University.

@Playlist for Life

Where Memories Go

Where Memories Go Read about the experience that led broadcaster Sally Magnusson to found Playlist for Life.

In Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything Sally describes how singing long-familiar songs helped her mother Mamie to stay more connected to her family and to her own identity.
View on Facebook Tell us your own story.

Sally Magnusson and Andy Lowndes explain the importance of personal playlists for people with dementia.


to all below and to those who have donated through Just Giving (see messages here)


The Weir Group for donating £5000 – 27/04/2015

The Christina Mary Hendrie Trust for donating £2000 – 27/04/2015

Erin Donaghy, a Glasgow Caledonian University mental health student who completed a sky dive and raised £200 -  27/04/2015

Mrs R. Fitzpatrick who donated 9 splitter cables – 27/04/2015

 The Rangers Supporters Club who donated £250 – 10/04/2015

CR Smith Glaziers who raised £127 through their Charity Christmas card collection – 10/04/2015

Remembering Not to Forget who completed 10 challenges in 10 months and raised £625.12 for PfL – 22/03/2015

The family of Margaret MacPherson who donated £223 in her memory – 19/03/2015

Bearsden Literary Society for donating £100 – 19/03/2015

Dunfermline & District Probus Club who donated £50 – 19/03/2015

The Ladies’ Troon Rotary Club who  raised £1350 – 19/03/2015

John and Johanna Ward for donating £2500 – 03/03/2015

 Alison Arthur who donated 2 iPods with chargers – 16/02/2015

Bath Civil Defence Mixed Hockey Club who made Playlist for Life their 2014 charity of the year and raised £314 – 22/02/2015

Kirkcaldy High School Charities Committee who donated £370 – 27/02/2015

The Rotary Club of Troon who donated £2,000 – 10/02/2015

Graham and Pamela Storrie who donated £1,000 – 13/01/2015 

Dundee Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra who donated 7 iPods and an mp3 player – 13/01/2-015

Maureen McGinley who donated 3 iPod shuffles- 13/01/2015

Miss E. M. Bruce who donated £500 – 13/01/201

C. Grambo, who donated an iPod – 13/01/2105

Sarah Marshall who donated an iPod – 13/01/2015

Mrs L Foster who donated £94.00 in memory of Joyce Townley – 13/01/2015

John McGuigan and his colleagues at Standard Life who donated £250.00 – 12/01/2015

Encore, a choir based in Perth, Scotland who raised £500 – 12/01/2015

The Stenton Singers who have made Playlist for Life their Charity of the Year. At a recent carol concert they raised £930 and hope to donate more after they hold their Spring concert – 05/01/2015

Laura’s Tapestry Group, led by Laura Magliveras who made Christmas tapestries and raised £111.00 – 15/12/2014

Mary Robson who very generously left Playlist for Life a twentieth of her estate in her will – 11/12/2015

Family and friends of the late Mrs Lidia Volpe. Lidia was the much loved mother of Michael Volpe, general manager of Opera Holland Park, who have done so much to support and advance the work of Playlist for Life in London. Lidia came to Britain from Italy in poverty and had much to contend with in life. Mike paid her this beautiful tribute at her funeral on 24/11/14: You see, mum, I want to tell you that it was all worth it. I want to tell you that your fight was a good fight and that you won. That you had a fulfilling, worthwhile life, as noble, as distinguished and as glorious as any other. That your struggle was not in vain. You did it mum. You made it.”  Warm thanks to all who have donated to Playlist for Life in Lidia’s memory – 24/11/2014

Paisley Philharmonic Choir who presented a concert on November 2nd at Sherwood Greenlaw Church Paisley and raised £633.50 – 24/11/2014

Bluebird Care who held an iPod donation drive and collected 9 iPods, 2 chargers and 3 docking stations! 07/10/2014

 Laura Gallagher and Dollar Academy who raised £330 at their 1st year disco – 25/10/14

 Jo Downie of Balfour & Manson Client Welfare who completed the Scottish Half Marathon Duo Challenge to raise funds for Playlist for Life - 10/09/2014

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra who helped us raise £950 at their recent concert – 13/09/2014

Opera Holland Park who helped us raise over £6,000 during their summer season – 25/08/2014

ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) who raised £228 on behalf of Playlist for Life after seeing the team in action with Opera Holland Park – 22/08/14

“In memory of my beloved Auntie and Godmother. May you rest in peace.”  - 17/07/2014 – £100 + £25 Gift Aid 

Catherine Heady

“We are making “Preparing Our Own Playlists for Life” and hopeto offer a service to help individuals to load up their iPods. We are also going to advertise collection points for redundant iPods. Best wishes for further success.”  - 08/04/2014 – £550 

Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley

“So often I go into care homes and see the residents asleep in front of a TV with music humming away in the background. What they really want is their own personalised playlist. So, well done!”  - 29/01/2014 – £100

- Anon

“Sally, I lost my father and father-in-law to Alzheimers so it brought back a lot of memories reading about your mum. All best wishes with the campaign.”  - 03/02/2014 – £500

- Anon