Did you know we have 240 playlists on Spotify?! Here are our top tips on how you can use Spotify to create the soundtrack of your life!
Each person’s playlist is unique and tracking down the right tunes from your life story or someone else’s life story can sometimes require a bit of investigative work by becoming what we call a ‘music detective’.
We now have over 240 playlists on our Spotify page which is a great tool for anyone to use for free. Our Spotify playlists cover a wide range of themes, from music collected by year/decade, to music from different faith groups, music associated with different countries and UK towns, TV & movie theme tunes and multiple music genres including musicals, Bollywood, classical and popular music. There are also tunes associated with sport and political movements too.
Many of these playlists have been specially curated by staff, researchers, volunteers and community groups across the UK. This community of music detectives has helped create playlists relating to their faith, culture, language and identity, ranging from Greek Orthodox church music and Hindu music, to reggae and Britpop.
We owe a special thanks to Paul Fernandes at Universal Music who has been key in helping us build these playlists with his team and finding other musicians and specialists that have helped us cultivate a diverse collection of playlists for everyone to use.
Here are some of our top tips for using Spotify to find music for your personalised playlist:
Learn how to set up a Spotify account and make a playlist on Spotify (using your computer) by watching our how-to video.
Develop your music detective skills by using the tools on our resources page for tips and advice on finding the right tunes for a loved one’s personalised playlist. One of our resource tips is to browse our themed playlists on our Spotify page to find more tunes for your personalised playlist.
Identify songs from ‘the memory bump’ of the person you are making a playlist for by using the decade playlists on Spotify or by using our 100 Years: A Century of Song book, which lists the most popular UK songs every year from 1915–2015.
Test the songs you have added to your Spotify playlist by finding a quiet time to sit with your loved one to listen to the tunes together. If you get a good reaction to a tune, keep it on the list; if you get a negative reaction, remove it from the playlist immediately (see our ‘how to use music safely’ advice page). It might take a few sessions to get a reaction at all, so be patient with tunes that don’t get a reaction the first time, as they may do on later occasions. Make sure you look for subtle positive signs like toe or finger-tapping, in addition to smiles or positive vocal reactions.
Share your playlist with a loved one! When you’re using Spotify on your computer, right click on the playlist name, positioned on the left-hand side of your screen, then click ‘copy playlist link’ (the URL will look something like this: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/LOTSOFNUMERS&LETTERS). You can paste this URL into an email message or share through a messenger/chat application. When your loved one (or someone who is helping them) receives your message and clicks on your link, they will be taken directly to your playlist. If they already have an account, they can play the playlist straight away. If they don’t have an account, they will be prompted to sign up for one. (Bonus tip: Share our how-to video in tip #1 if they’re not sure how to set up a Spotify account!)
If you have a monthly Spotify subscription, you can download the playlist onto a device such as a smartphone or tablet, which means you can play your playlist when you don’t have internet access. This can be really handy for when you’re out and about. Be aware that if you cancel your subscription, the songs will automatically be removed from your device. Additionally, with a Spotify subscription, you won’t hear any advertisements, which can deliver a better listening experience for some people living with dementia.
We hope you find these top tips helpful! Please feel free to share our blog with family, friends and colleagues.
We constantly strive to improve our information and services to meet the needs of our community, so please get in touch if you have any feedback on our resources.