Reconnecting, Without Playing

Reconnecting, Without Playing

Activity Explanation

This activity supports a person to reconnect to an instrument without needing to play it. Take a device such as a tablet/iPad into the activity area. Spend a few minutes greeting the person and then offer to play some music performed on the instrument they have played frequently in the past. You can say ‘I know you play the [piano], don’t you?’, or ‘Didn’t you used to play the [piano]?’.  For some people who haven’t played their instrument in years, it may still feel to them as if they play it frequently. We can respect this this by using the correct form of the question, i.e. ‘you play’ rather than ‘you used to play’.

Type in the name of the instrument into YouTube or other video playing app. Scroll through the options with the person and find a suitable video that shows clearly the instrument being played. For some instruments typing the word ‘solo’ after the instrument may give the best results.

What you will need

You’ll need a device connected to the internet like an iPad/tablet or a computer.  You’ll also need to know what instrument or instruments the person used to play.

Potential benefits and uses

The things we enjoy doing can become significant parts of our identity, so if we lose contact with those things it can feel like we’ve lost touch with parts of ourselves. This session could help a person maintain a connection to an instrument they can no longer play and support their sense of identity.


This activity can last for as long as the person it is for would like. Set aside at least 15 minutes for this as it may also offer great opportunities for reminiscent conversations.

Top Tip

Be aware of the person’s reaction to the video and be prepared to stop the video if they are not enjoying it. After each video you can take the opportunity to ask the person questions such as ‘Did you ever play that piece/song?’ or ‘Why did you start learning to the play the instrument?’

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.