Providing a consistent source for music in a care setting is only the first step in our very important process. Personalization, maintenance and feedback then becomes our primary focus. In most cases caregivers are already overburdened with their normal day to day tasks keeping the residents in a safe and healthy environment to dedicate the time needed to make sure the program reaches its maximum impact potential. Music Is Our Weapon facilitates volunteer groups which come in regularly to spend the quality 1-on-1 time needed to dig into a residents musical past and curate the personalized aspect of our program. These visitation sessions are what we call Music Discovery Outings and here is how it works!



The Resident Music Questionnaire serves as a vital part of our music discovery process. It is simply formatted to gain information including the resident’s name, care facility name, date, resident’s birthday, preferred music genres, musicians, songs, albums as well as a section for stories about their past -relationships, hobbies, interests, jobs, military service, heritage , etc. We ask Activity Directors/Caregivers to distribute these questionnaires to the resident’s family members, friends and loved ones in order to gain insight into the resident’s music preferences. If there are not family/friends the caregiver fills out the form to the best of their knowledge.




Schedule visitation times for Volunteer Music Discovery Outings (1-2 visits) Once a date has been scheduled with the care facility we send out invitations to our volunteer pool and set up a formal calendar event page. Each accepted invitation to join us for the outing is then distributed our in-house Volunteer On-Boarding Form along with our Tips and Guidelines for visiting Memory Care Facilities. We also request that the care facility Activity Director retrieve the Resident Music Questionnaires by the scheduled Volunteer Music Discovery Outing date.


On the scheduled day of our Volunteer Music Discovery Outing we have our team of volunteers meet at least 15 minutes before the allotted time with their fully charged smartphone and/or tablet and their own personal headphones. We also ask for the Spotify music streaming app to be installed on said devices. Our Regional Coordinator then conducts a brief orientation to remind them about the Tips and Guidelines for Visiting Elder Care Facilities and to brief them on the music discovery process. Our Regional Coordinator then passes out the resident headphones, audio splitters and resident Questionnaires to each individual volunteer.




Volunteers are paired with residents along with the Resident Questionnaire and sat comfortably in front of or beside each participating resident typically gathered in the activity room. Using the Resident Music Questionnaire, volunteers are able to strike up conversation and speak to the resident with some insight. The volunteer refers to the questionnaire to determine what song/artist/album to start with and then applies the headphones to the resident and themselves both connected by an audio splitter in order to listen to the same music together. Using Spotify the volunteer starts a radio station or sources a well curated playlist from the Music Is Our Weapon Spotify account and the music discovery process begins. As the songs stream through the playlists/radio we look for special reactions such as smiles, foot-tapping, nodding, singing etc. As we discover music that they like a list is made onto the Resident Music Questionnaire as well as being added to a Spotify playlist dedicated for that specific resident. The goal by the end of the session is to expand on the suggestions given by the Resident Music Questionnaire and curate a playlist in Spotify for that resident’s daily use.