Dementia charity launched at GCU

26 March 2015

Playlist for Life founder and GCU Honorary Graduate Dr Sally Magnusson

Playlist for Life founder and GCU Honorary Graduate Dr Sally Magnusson

The Playlist for Life charity was officially launched at an event at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) this week (March 23).

The charity joined staff members from across the University to co-deliver the event for care professionals and the family and friends of people with dementia.

Playlist for Life founder and GCU Honorary Graduate Dr Sally Magnusson introduced the event, telling guests that she was inspired to set up the charity after observing the effect of personalised music on her mother, who lived with dementia. She explained the charity’s core work – to encourage families and other caregivers to offer people with the condition a playlist of the music that has been meaningful to them during their life – and its benefits.

Dr Magnusson said: “I wanted to tell the world that music can improve the lives' of people with dementia.”

Dr Magnusson also announced the launch of the charity’s online training package and a PhD research fund. GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences has agreed to match fund £30,000 for a PhD student to research the impact of personalised music as part of the palliative care package for people with dementia.

The new online training package is designed to guide carers on how to set up personalised music playlists on iPods and other digital devices. It was developed by Playlist for Life and Andrew Lowndes, a Research Fellow and Lecturer at GCU and the charity’s Deputy Chair.

Dr Gianna Cassidy, Senior Lecturer in Computer, Communications and Interactive Systems (CCIS) at GCU, and Playlist for Life Research Coordinator, presented the charity’s research developments to date. These include funding from Alzheimer Scotland for a music and dementia research network producing funded bodies of work to enrich evidence-based practice in music and dementia care; a digital app to deliver and evaluate the online training package; and matched funding from the Department of Health to launch the app as the flagship context for its new Citizen Science Platform.

For more information on Playlist for Life, the online training package and the PhD research fund, contact: