Aim: This paper reports the results of a study evaluating an implementation programme in improving nursing home staff's knowledge of and adherence to an individualized music protocol for older people with dementia.----- Background: The major barriers to evidence-based practice identified by nurses are the lack of knowledge and skills on implementing evidence-based practice. Some evidence supports the effectiveness of implementation strategies in facilitating practice change among healthcare professionals but need further testing. Little is known about what is the best way to facilitate nursing home staff's adoption of evidence-based care.----- Methods: A one-group pre-post test design was used with a convenience sample of 17 nursing staff from a long-term care facility. The implementation programme consisted of interactive education, reminders, a local opinion leader and audit. Data on nursing staff's knowledge of music protocol were collected by the music knowledge questionnaire and their adherence to the protocol was assessed by an audit checklist at baseline and week four after the implementation programme.----- Results: There was a significant improvement in nursing staff's knowledge (p < 0·001) of the music protocol. The improvement was greater among nurse aides; however, the improvement between the nurse group and the nurse aide group was not significantly different (p > 0·05). The mean level of their adherence to the protocol improved from nil at baseline to 72·35% on the post-test.----- Conclusions: An innovative implementation programme consisting of interactive education, reminders, use of a local opinion leader and audit led to an improvement in nursing home staff's knowledge of and adherence to an individualized music protocol in dementia care.----- Relevance to clinical practice: Multifaceted implementation strategies with careful consideration of local circumstances may be essential in promoting uptake of evidence-based practice among nursing staff in long-term care settings.