The BBC has launched a new music website to help people living with dementia "reconnect with the music they have loved” and trigger happy memories.
Research has highlighted the health benefits that music can play in helping people reminisce. Memories tend to be strongest from people's teens and early twenties and reconnecting with music they associate with that period in their lives can have a powerful impact.
The new BBC Music Memories website, which can be easily accessed on a PC, tablet or smartphone, contains snippets of around 1,800 musical tracks, including the biggest songs from the last 100 years, TV and radio theme tunes, and the most popular pieces from 20 classical composers.
It's easy to search for favourite tunes that have personal significance and then save them in a personal playlist that can help trigger memories, prompt conversations, soothe and improve mood both in the immediate and long term.
BBC Music Memories is being supported by all the leading dementia organisations, and Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol has taken on the role of Ambassador for the site, appearing on The One Show on BBC Music Day 2018 to highlight the impact music can have on those living with the many different forms of dementia.
“My dad has dementia and anything that throws a light on the disease and helps in any way to reconnect people with their lost memories is something I want to be involved in.
Music is the most powerful international language. It can break you and mend you sometimes in the span of a single song.”
Tim McLachlan, Operations Director, local services at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “From talking to people with dementia we know the positive effect music can have, helping people at all points on their dementia journey…
“In latter stages, some people who may no longer be able to communicate much or at all through language can be transformed when they hear a song they recognise – joining in singing and/or dancing along."
BBC Music Memories is completely free to access and very easy to use. The site can be found at https://musicmemories.bbcrewind.co.uk/