Molloy’s Expert Music Therapy Faculty Making a Global Impact

By Anthony Vela

Dr. John Carpente, Founder and Executive Director of The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy at Molloy College and Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Molloy College, is an expert in music therapy for children with autism. He lectured at the University of Melbourne, Australia in July on Musical Play to Support Children on the Autism Spectrum to Express their Identity. We sat down with Dr. Carpente to ask him a few questions about his lecture.

What was the focus of your lecture?

The lecture focused on a developmental relationship-based music therapy approach to working with individuals with autism. The lecture highlighted trends in supportive current research and application of the model in terms of clinical practice (i.e., assessment, treatment and evaluation).

How important is it for children on the autism spectrum to express their identity?

Expression of identity is important for anyone. For people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who may experience challenges in communication and expression, self-expression can be a difficult task. Music therapy provides opportunities for people with autism to experience relatedness and communication without needing to use words. Two-way purposeful communication is naturally embedded within musical interactions, and musical play also includes other forms of communication, such as gestural and body.

How was the lecture received?

Approximately 200 people registered for the lecture. Participants included music therapists, dance therapists, psychologists, speech and language therapists, parents, and musicians. Attendees came from various parts of Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, India and Singapore

How did you get invited to do the lecture?

I was initially invited by the Australian Music Therapy Association to provide a three-day training for Music Therapy professionals on an assessment model that I created and developed: the Individual Music-Centered Assessment Profile for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The University of Melbourne became aware of my visit and invited me to give a public lecture on the research and clinical work being conducted at The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy.

Dr. Carpente frequently lectures on his work and research internationally and domestically, representing Molloy College and The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy.

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