Music & Memory Program: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

WI Music and Memory

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Submit your questions to the DHS Music & Memory Program


Q: Are facilities permitted to charge iPods in the resident's bedroom directly into a receptacle outlet as depicted in the diagram below?

Ipod USB Adapter and cable

A: Yes, facilities are permitted to charge iPods in the resident's bedroom directly into a receptacle outlet as depicted in the diagram.

However, please note that Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 132.83(7)(j) has minimum duplex receptacle requirements for existing or new nursing homes. Basically, one duplex receptacle per bed for older homes and two duplex receptacles per bed for newer homes. The facility may need to prioritize resident care equipment due to the limited number of receptacles within certain resident spaces.

Also, as a general reminder, Music & Memory equipment, as with any equipment put within the resident care and treatment space falls under the general responsibility of facility administration per NFPA 99 section 7- Hence, the facility is responsible for the newly introduced equipment, its associated maintenance, and proper use.

Q: Are facilities able to use power strips to charge iPods at night?

A: Yes, facilities may use electrical charging devices such as, power strips, USB hubs, etc., in special use rooms such as utility rooms, to charge iPods at night. Generally, electrical charging devices are not for use in resident bedrooms.


Q: We are a certified Music & Memory facility. Are we able to code M&M programming on the MDS under Section O0400F Music Therapy? Or, must music therapy coded in this section, be provided by a certified music therapist?

A: A facility can code under MDS 3.0 (Section O0400F) for the Music & Memory Program, if the staff overseeing and/or implementing the program are "qualified personnel" as defined in the Resident Assessment User's (RAI) Manual. The RAI Manual defines Recreational Therapy in Appendix A as "Services that are provided or directly supervised by a qualified recreational therapist who holds a national certification in recreational therapy, also referred to as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist..." A certified music therapist also meets the definition of "qualified personnel."

Creating a playlist

Q: What approach should we take to loading music into our iTunes library?

A: Each nursing home will need to build their own iTunes library. The bulk of the library in the beginning will be composed of audio CDs already owned by the facility or that may be owned by your residents or their family that you may migrate to your iTunes library.

Be selective. Only add to your iTunes library the CDs that you have used or believe will be useful for your residents. The quality of your library is more important than the quantity of tunes. Apple has a 20-million song library. Build your library using the songs you are most likely to need.

  • Use only original CDs
  • Look for compilations (Best of)
  • Someone may offer their 80 GB drive with music for your library. We recommend that you don't accept it as your facility could get in trouble with the recording industry.
  • Even with popular singers, pick their most popular hits, the songs most likely to be familiar to residents. This is one of the secrets to success.

Q: Aside from being selective as to which songs to include in the library, how else can we easily identify the best songs from individual artists? (Smart Playlist--or how to easily identify your library's best songs.)

A: Unfortunately, the Popularity feature only exists in the iTunes Store and not in your iTunes library.

You can create your own Popularity list by using the Rating fields in your iTunes music library, or just click put 5 stars on the very best rather than marking every song.

Take this one step further by using Smart Playlist (found under the File menu). This enables you to easily generate playlists that are automatically updated based on parameters you set. For instance, if you use the Rating field within your iTunes music library and you give a group of music selections 1-5 stars, and you go to Create New Play list section under the file menu, then instead of Artist select Rating from the drop-down menu and then click on the number of stars you want.

You can make as many Smart Playlists as you need to quickly, which becomes increasingly useful as the music library increases in size. For example, you might have Best Classical, Best Spiritual, Best Big Band, all based on a 4 or 5 star rating system. These make for great starting lists when you learn a resident's favorite music genre, but not the specific songs the individual enjoys.

Last Revised: November 9, 2018