Musical Activities for Seniors & Elderly

Music is something that people of all ages can enjoy and there are a variety of ways that seniors can enjoy music in their free time. Music can be a very beneficial therapy for seniors as it can help liven up their mood and awaken old memories of fun and happy times from their past. In this article we would like to offer some fun activities that seniors can engage in to enjoy music while spending time with others.

Songs Selection

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing songs for seniors to listen to is that the music should be age-appropriate. Seniors are more likely to enjoy music from their generation than they would be to enjoy today’s hits. Many seniors will likely remember their favorite artists from the past during their teen and young adult years but they probably will not recognize today’s popular artists and be able to enjoy their music. Next, you should make sure that you choose uplifting songs for seniors. Seniors are more prone to depression as many seniors face illness or the death of close friends, so sad songs are not likely to lighten their mood. Songs that are positive and uplifting can help take their mind off of negative things in the present and give them the chance to relive old memories.


Groups of seniors might enjoy participating in a sing-along. To start a sing-along you should select songs that the group knows and then find a way to display the lyrics for those who might have forgotten some of the words. For smaller groups you can try printing the lyrics out for everyone, but for larger groups it might be better to find a way to display the lyrics digitally such as on a television screen or with a projector. For holidays seniors might enjoy singing holiday songs together, and this is a great way to give them some variety. Seniors in a nursing home can even perform their holiday songs for their family members during the holiday season.

Name That Song

Another group activity that seniors can do is play “name that song”. For this game someone should play short clips of popular songs that the seniors will know and give them the chance to guess the song title or the artist. Once someone guesses the song you can let them listen to the rest of the song or move on to the next song clip to keep the gameplay going. To mix the game up some you can try choosing different genres or music from different decades of their lives.


Music Lessons

Seniors who are interested in learning more about music can try taking a music appreciation class. Seniors can look for classes at local universities or someone can create their own music appreciation class for a group of seniors. To create your own music appreciation class you can find out what types of music your students are interested in learning more about and research them and create a presentation with information about the musicians and some music clips for them to enjoy. This can be very beneficial for seniors because it gives them the chance to enjoy some new types of music and learn about famous musicians at the same time.

Classical Music

Listening to relaxing music is a great way for seniors to unwind and enjoy some down time. This musical activity is something that seniors can enjoy in a group or alone. Seniors should find a quiet area away from noise and distractions that has a comfortable spot for them to sit and relax. Classical music is a very popular genre for relaxation music but seniors can also enjoy other songs that are soft and slow. It can be helpful for seniors to listen to relaxing music before bed as it may help them calm and relax so that they will be able to fall asleep easily.


The last thing to remember is that seniors might not all enjoy the same type of music so groups with diverse musical interests can try taking turns and alternating genres or musicians so that everyone can enjoy the music and have a good time. Family caregivers should keep in mind that music gives seniors the chance to relive old memories and should watch to make sure that none of the songs arouse negative memories that will upset them. If this happens it is a good idea to try to avoid that song in the future. Following these tips will give seniors a chance to relax and enjoy social time with friends as well as some good music.

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