Playlist for Life in East Lothian


Playlist for life is a great project with the vision that everyone affected by dementia can have a playlist of the songs that capture the most important people, places and memories of their lives. It was set up by Sally Magnusson a few years ago and has become much loved by many of us who have seen Playlist for Life work its magic with our loved ones with dementia and the power of creating our own Playlists too.

Playlists can help people with dementia feel safe and that they belong; they can bring families and partners closer together and keep memories and relationships alive. Music has many positive effects  on the symptoms of dementia and support carers and family members too.


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.




You’ll find lots of info on their website and their videos are moving and educational. Here’s Harry and Margaret and their Playlist for Life


Thanks to the Blyth Family Trust, we were able to bring Mary and Paula from Playlist for Life to train 16 of us from Day Centres, Care Homes, hospitals, sheltered housing and our Dementia Friendly Communities at The Fisherrrow Centre in Musselburgh.




We learnt about how music fires the whole brain – watch this amazing video to show how it all works: Why Music? Playlist for Life. And we then went on to learn to be ‘Musical Detectives’ and how to work with the person with dementia, their families and friends to develop a Playlist.  We shared songs that meant a lot to us as well; they captured significant moments from the first school disco to our children’s weddings.   I played mine to Mum when I got back, we shared some very poignant memories, beyond words. Really powerful stuff.


It was a really great day, with such a buzz of excitement and learning.  We left all full of plans to build on what we learnt that day and make Playlists available in our communities and workplaces.

There’s a lot of interest in setting up schemes locally and we hope to run more free training sessions and also maybe set up some professional training too. There’s also training for families that we can run or you can simply do online. Click on this link to access it. We can’t wait to see what happens next!


Massive thanks to Mary, Paula, Playlist for Life, The Blyth Family Trust and everyone who came along.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more and here’s to lots of Playlists round East Lothian!







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