Shop now open! Share your love of music and support Playlist for Life. Visit now.

Shop now open! Share your love of music and support Playlist for Life. Visit now.

Exploring local culture with music and memories

There’s a strong connection between music and memory. Listening to our favourite tunes is a powerful tool that can trigger happy memories of times gone by, reconnecting us with the people, places and events in our lives that brought us joy and contentment. And a Musical Tea is a fantastic way to share and celebrate the power of meaningful music for dementia. 

Back in September, Alzheimer’s Scotland West Highland Team hosted a Musical Tea to coincide with National Playlist Day. 

Our mission – that everyone living with dementia should have access to a personalised playlist and that everyone who loves and cares for them knows how to use it – was shared with those attending along with how a playlist can help dementia. The impact on the audience was really positive with with plenty of singing, dancing and reminiscing filling the room. 

Ticket to Ride by The Beatles brought people to their feet, while the Mingulay Boat song took one guest back to the times he travelled there as a fisherman. The audience all listened intently as he described a desolate place, abandoned by its residents back in 1912.

Local Gaelic culture was also embraced during the event, with lots of native speakers in the community. Diane Smith, a local Community Activities Organiser with Alzheimer Scoltand, is learning Gaelic and suggested some Gaelic music would be enjoyed by all. Everyone joined in, with one special guest at over 100 years old, very impressed to hear Diane both speaking and singing the language. “Cùm a’dol!”, or, “keep going!”, he said. “I’m 101 years young, and I still enjoy a good song and I can play the piano.” Another asked to take the poster printout of the day home with her, to remind her of such a lovely afternoon.

The event was such a success that the community did it again in November. This time, with a Scottish music quiz – which generated lots of impromptu singing of familiar songs such as Mairi’s Wedding and The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen.

Have a listen to the playlist on Spotify and save your favourite songs to your own Playlist for Life.