My dad could not operate normal music players. But he could use the music player that I 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 feel when listening to their favorite music.

My Dad using an early prototype, immersed in Beethoven


It is easy to make one — good project for kids! I went through several revisions, making it simpler each time. Everything I did (e.g. software, wood case design) is open source. You can order the parts online from Amazon etc., including the pre-cut pieces for the case. No soldering. A 13 year old can probably do this with minimal assistance. Younger kids with more assistance.

Step by Step Instructions with Photos

Ross Porter