Dementia Friendly Music Player

My dad could no longer operate a CD player or iPod. But he could use the music player that I designed and made for him, because it operates like a familiar two-knob radio. I was inspired to make this by the documentary Alive Inside which shows the profound joy felt by some people with dementia when listening to their favorite music.

My Dad using an early prototype, immersed in Beethoven

Easy to make – good project for kids

Order the parts from Amazon et al. Apply some glue, screw some things in, attach some wires, download some software. No soldering. No woodworking. No special tools. A 13 year old can do this with minimal assistance.

Heartwarming feedback

I recently assembled a dqmusicbox per your instructions – and it just . worked. Yesterday I turned over my incarnation of the box to my father. It has been a long time since I saw such an emotional reaction from him. I let him at it without explanations at all, and he made it work without instructions. He could not help me much naming songs and music he would like for the box, so I went from my own memory of what he enjoyed listening to. Some of his favorites triggered immediate responses – I should have filmed it. — Ketil

Have 3D printer? Make this model

3D printed model   Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos

Don’t have 3D printer? Make this model

Laser cut model  Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos 

Special thanks to Trey Bagley for the design of the beautiful retro-style 3D printed case.

If you enjoy making assistive technology projects like this, you might enjoy some of the maker projects at Makers Making Change. They “connect makers to people with disabilities who need assistive technology”. They have a nice library of helpful projects.

Ross Porter