Planning for Music: Make it Personal

Planning for Music: Make it Personal post page

By Online Dementia JournalDecember 18th, 2020

Planning for Music: Make it Personal

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by Mary Sue Wilkinson,

Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and Author of “Songs You Know by Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care”


This simple planning sheet was designed to help you address individual needs as you embrace using music in dementia care. It is an excerpt from my book, Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care. The book, which includes a contribution from Teepa, includes greater detail about how to use music relative to the GEMS® State Model. You can find the book, along with Mary Sue’s sing along CDs and other music resources in the Positive Approach to Care® store. For more musical resources including songbooks with lyrics, song guides, training videos, and free sing along videos visit Singing Heart to Heart. 

  • Think about the person you are caring for. What do you see that makes you think they are a Diamond, Emerald, Amber, Ruby, or Pearl GEMS State?
  • Describe a situation where using music will help you, the person you care for, or both?
  • Think about what your goal is for that situation: For example: soothe, energize, connect, entertain, move from point A to point B, distract and redirect, other?
  • Think about how you will use music: What song(s) and/or movement might you use? Refer to the Singing Heart to Heart website for song guides and suggestions.
  • Think about when and where you will try this: Get specific about the time, place, and location.

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