Free Music Playlists for the Elderly

Free Music Playlists for the Elderly

Categories: Activities Music Articles

Music has been proven to be very beneficial for the elderly in long term care, particularly those living with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Here are some wonderful free playlists of famous songs from the 40s, 50s & 60s!
This is one of many free samples.
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Music has been proven to be very beneficial for the elderly in long term care, particularly those living with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease.

Studies have shown that music promotes better health through the enjoyment of listening, dancing and singing.

Music also triggers long forgotten memories and enables residents to engage and reach a higher level of functioning.

Related: The Benefits of Individual Music Activities for the Elderly

Music has never been more affordable or easier to access. Websites such as ‘YouTube’ and ‘Spotify’, offer a wide variety of music free of charge.

Here is a brief description of YouTube and Spotify including links to music playlists we have created that are free to use.


YouTube has quickly become one of the most popular ways for people to listen to music.

You can even create your own playlists on YouTube, which is like a list of music videos that will automatically play one-after-the-other. Visit YouTube here:

Here are links to 4 play lists on YouTube we have put together for you to use with your clients:


Spotify is a music service that has an almost limitless range of songs and artists. There is a free version supported by ads, and a paid version for $12 a month without ads.

To use Spotify you will need to create an account and download software for your computer or smart phone / device. To get started simply go to their website and follow the instructions from there.

Here are links to 4 playlists on Spotify we have created for you. If you click "Follow" on the playlist, you will be notified when we add new music to the playlists.

YouTube vs Spotify

  • YouTube is free. There is a free version of Spotify but the ads can get annoying.
  • In Spotify, it is easier to create playlists than in YouTube where you have to hunt down all the music videos.
  • The quality of the sound is often better on Spotify.
  • It can be fun to watch the music videos on YouTube. Spotify is for listening to music only.

Both are great and well worth checking out.


Note: Please make sure to follow the relevant terms and conditions of each service.

Songs for Seniors Quiz
Sing-along with Picture Cards

We'd love to hear your feedback. Please leave your comments below.


Theresa 10th Sep 2016
What a wonderful idea. I'll be passing this one on to my resident family members.
Brenna chapman ADC, MT-BC 1st Jun 2016
Speaking as a music therapist, may I remind everyone that music preferences are very individualized. Songs trigger negative memories as well and you need to find out if a patient has any negative associations when you make a playlist.
Suzanne 26th Apr 2016
My hope is to be able to play music from an MP3 player - any ideas? Residents don't have mobile phones and I-Pad is not practical. Would I need to subscribe to Spotify Premium, download to computer and then put on MP3? My understanding is that there is no free and legal way of downloading.
Maurice 29th Apr 2016
Hi Suzanne,

With a simple MP3 player, the best way to use it is to put MP3 files directly onto the device, usually by taking MP3s off CD's or downloading them from the web. Then you just drag them onto the MP3.

Copyright laws are grey, especially internationally. I have to add a disclaimer that I do not know what is legal or not legal, but it is possible to use online websites to convert YouTube videos into MP3 files, and then put them on the device.

Hope that helps :).
Maurice 10th Dec 2014
Hi Irene,

I personally created my account using the "Sign up with Facebook" button".

The alternative is to signup with an email address here:

Usually a username like firstname + lastname + number is the way to go as a lot of people use Spotify.

Then, you can just download the app on your phone or computer, and login with those details.

Hope that helps!
May Ann 24th Nov 2014
Thanks Maurice!
Maurice 29th Oct 2014
Hi May,

I do believe it is possible to save YouTube videos to song files which you could then play on a USB, but you would have to google this. Apart from that I can't think of another solution.
May Ann 27th Oct 2014
Trying to save it to my USB, is that possible? I don't have an Ipad but we do have a player that can play from USB.
Maurice 25th Sep 2014
Hi Heather,

The paid version of Spotify actually lets you download any songs so you don't need an internet connection to listen to them. You can do this on the iPad.

They have a free 30 day trial so that might be a good way to test it and see if it works for you.
heather 24th Sep 2014
Hi. In my homes we have no wifi. Is it possible to download these pieces of music into my iPad so I can use them in the homes? Thanks. Heather
Patricia 5th Sep 2014
Hi Ivan, even though in Australia, near Brisbane, no bias, we love Scottish & Irish music, former Tasmanian, love it there also! Hope we can connect via computer! Thank you!
ivan 4th Sep 2014
This is a great thing. We also love music at any time. I present a weekly radio show featuring this type of music, hymns, singalongs, simple quizzes. As we're in Scotland there is a slight bias towards national likes. You can catch us on the Radio North Angus website. My show is on Fridays 10 -11.30am.
Caz 2nd Sep 2014
I used this activity weekly, Play U Tube, take request from all the residents individually , have a chat about the song/singer, reminisce ,, always great to liven things up and have some fun and the resident, who picked the tune , if they want to sing, give them a microphone to sing along.... visitors love it too, especially the kids, there are telling everyone they were singing along with "Granny" with U tube...great interaction,,,
Patricia 2nd Sep 2014
Thank you! Our group love a singalong at any opportunity, many of the songs I recognise & are their vintage.
Glenda 2nd Sep 2014
Every fortnight we have a music request afternoon. I hook the laptop to our big screen projector and we have requests from Youtube. Everyone loves the songs and accompanying clips and it always surprises me how varied the range of music is. From Vera Lynn to Queen!
Vicki 1st Sep 2014
Thanks, that is such great information . I am sure that my residents will benefit from this .


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