Reconnecting to an Instrument

Reconnecting to an Instrument

Activity Explanation

This activity reconnects a person to an instrument they used to play. If a person used to play an instrument, does your home have that instrument? Or could you arrange for one to be offered to the person? Once you have the instrument, gently invite the person to explore it. This could mean sitting with it and touching, looking or holding it, or it could mean playing it. If the person does play, be sure to give words of encouragement. If they don’t play, you can ask questions to start a conversation about the instrument, such as ‘Did you have lessons or were you self-taught?’, or ‘What inspired you to start playing?’. Spend time with the person, focusing on rekindling their relationship with the instrument.

What you will need

You will need the instrument that a person used to play. This can be challenging to find, but the more specific you are the better. For example, a small keyboard will not feel the same as a piano, and a button accordion will be hard to play for someone used to playing the keyboard accordion. It’s worth doing research with the person, their family and their friends. If in doubt, you can print out pictures of the various types of the instruments and ask the person to show you which one they played.

Potential benefits and uses

This is a good idea to offer someone who used to play a certain instrument frequently. Changes in a person’s environment and changes in their health can mean some people lose touch with their instrument. Therefore, reconnecting to it can be rewarding.  


Let the activity last for as long as the person wants it to, which may only be a few minutes at a time. It can be hard to reconnect to something like an instrument, so many small interactions over a week may be a better way to get started, rather than one long interaction.

Top Tip

Be aware that playing the instrument may be challenging for the person, especially if they experience difficulties with movement and/or memory. If the person can no longer play, or trying to play causes them sadness or frustration, try using the activity ‘Reconnecting to an Instrument without playing’.   

As with all of our ideas, follow the lead of the person you’re caring for and do what you can to tailor the idea to their personality and needs.

This guide was taken from Musikind’s ‘Idea’s Library’, a resource within our app that contains a wealth of different ways to use music in care. We believe that the different way’s that music can benefit a person’s well-being are limitless. Our aim within the ‘Idea’s Library’ is to help carer’s become aware of as many different uses of music as possible, so that they can be used within person-centred care.