International TIME-A Research Team in Bergen, Norway


  Do You Know a Child with Autism?

The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy at Molloy College is recruiting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to participate in a research study investigating developmental trajectories and effectiveness of interventions. The main purpose of the study is to discover whether music therapy is an effective early intervention for children with ASD.

This study is the first well-controlled effectiveness study and largest randomized controlled trial on clinical interventions for autism to date. It is funded by the Research Council of Norway and builds upon a collaboration of seven countries worldwide. The Rebecca Center is the USA site for this study.

This study will include no-cost sessions and comprehensive diagnostic and cognitive assessments.

Who is Eligible?
• Children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder
• Between the ages of 4 and 7 years old
• Limited or no previous music therapy experience

The study is being conducted at The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy at Molloy College in Rockville Centre NY. If you have any questions or if you would like to consider your child to participate in the study, please contact Dr. John Carpente, Research Site Manager email:

Below are the collaborating countries and research site managers:

If you have any questions concerning the overall project please contact:

Principal investigator: Christian Gold (

Project coordinator: Karin Mössler (

Questions related to the study protocol should be addressed to the Principal investigator or Monika Geretsegger:

Site manager Austria: Monika Geretsegger (

Country specific questions and questions about participation in the study should be addressed to the particular site manager:

Site manager Australia: Grace […]

Dr. John Carpente Interviewed on Autism and Music Therapy on TBN Network

What informs treatment and clinical interventions? Past or Present?

Abstract: Research on the Effectiveness of Music Therapy & DIR/Floortime with Children with Autism (does this count as evidence? why? why not?)





The Effectiveness of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy within a Developmental, Individual-Differences, Relationship-based (DIR®)/Floortime™ Framework to the Treatment of Children with Autism

This study was concerned with the effectiveness of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy (NRMT) carried out within a Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®)/Floortime™ framework in addressing the individual needs of children with autism. In NRMT, the child is an active participant in the music making process, playing various instruments that require no formal training. The therapist’s task is to improvise music built around the child’s musical responses, reactions, responses, and/or movements to engage him or her in a musical experience that will facilitate musical relatedness, communication, socialization, and awareness.

The DIR® model provides a comprehensive framework for assessing, understanding, and treating the child. It centers on helping the child master the building blocks of relating, communicating, and thinking through the formulation of relationships via interactive play, using Floortime™ (a systematic way of working with the children to help them reach their developmental potential) (Greenspan & Weider, 1998).

This study sought to determine the effectiveness of NRMT in meeting musical goals specifically established for each individual child, and to conclude if progress in musical goals paralleled progress in non-musical (DIR®) goals.

In the present study, NRMT and DIR® were used in tandem. NRMT was used as the

primary treatment approach, and focused primarily on musical goals and the establishment of musical relationships between therapists and child. DIR® was used as the primary means of conceptualizing and assessing the child’s strengths and needs in nonmusical modes of interaction and relationship, and evaluating […]

It is with great sorrow that I share with you the news…

It is with great sorrow that I share with you the news that Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D. died on April 27, 2010. Dr. Greenspan was the world’s foremost authority on clinical work with infants and young children with developmental and emotional difficulties. His work will continue to guide parents, professionals and researchers all over the world. He will be missed.

Thank you Dr. Greenspan for all of the knowlesge and wisdom that you have shared throughout the years. It was an honor and a privilage to be a part of your Weds afternoon clinical discussions/case conferences. Your work has, and will continue to influence my life as a  therapist, educator and most of all as a parent.

Thank you,


Individual Music-Centered Assessment Profile Assessing Level II on the IMCAP-NDRC: Musical (self) Regulation

The Individual Music-Centered Assessment Profile for Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Relating and Communicating (IMCAP-NDRC®) is a population specific, music-centered based music therapy assessment profiling system targeting specific areas of musical resposnsiveness pertaining to the child’s ability to engage, relate and communicate within in the context of musical play. This post includes the assessment process of Level 2, Musical (self) Regulation of the IMCAP-NDRD.  It is imperative to keep in mind that the entire assessment process, which includes levels 1-6, is all withn the context of live, improvised musical interation between the child and therapist.

IMCAP-NDRC: Assessing Level II- Musical (self) Regulation


Musical (self) regulation refers to the strategies that a child employs in order increase his/her attention to the music being processed, either receptively or interactively. This includes the child’s ability to maintain calmness while being “available” for interaction through a wide range of sensory experiences (i.e. auditory, visual, propreoception, tactile, etc.). In assessing musical (self) regulation, the therapist is observing the child’s ability to achieve  a state of attention while experiencing music, either interactively and/or receptively. Within the context of musical play or receptive musical experiences, the therapist is observing the duration and the quality of the child’s ability to experience shared attention while live improvised music is being processed. Duration of musical (self) regulation is assessed by musical measures. The quality of musical (self) regulation is determined by the child’s ability to co-regulate and experience shared attention during musical interactions or receptive musical experiences. To that end, the therapist must be aware and mindful to include a wide range of musical elements and affect within the clinical improvisation, while observing the child’s ability to maintain calmness. In observing the child, the therapist will attempt to determine […]

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy & DIR/Floortime Model: PowerPoint from the Mid Atlantic & Great Lakes Regional Conferences, 2010

Hi all,

Attached is a compiled version of the powerpoints that I presented at the Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic Regional Music Therapy Conferences on the use of NRMT within the DIR/Floortime framework.  Best, John

MAR 2010 CMTE DIR-Music


In the context of a music therapy process, the developing child begins to exhibit the ability to self-regulate, and  displays signs of musical awareness. This may lead the child to be interested in playing an instrument while the therapist attempts to faciliate music engagement and interaction through improvisation. The moment this happens, the child’s sensory motor system comes into play. This may be followed by the child’s ability to motor-plan as he/she executes an idea to play an instrument. In addition, there is an intent to do something (play instrument) based on his/her own wish or desire, which is then carried out by the “doing” of an idea to play. So, the next step is to try to determine the child’s motive to play an instrument. Is it based on his/her intent to engage and relate to therapist’s music, or is it based on the child’s desire to fulfill a sensory need which may have nothing at all to do with relating to another person. That being said, if we are working within a relationship-based framework, the motive or wish behind the intent of the child is what we want to understand- the general goal may be for the child to engage in music making for the purpose of relating and communicating, musically and interpersonally, while actively engaging with the therapist in the context of musical play.

If there is the intent to play in a related manner to the therapist’s music, emotionality may now be entering into the picture-  a combination of sensory-motor-affect is being displayed, as well as the integration of  various sensory stimuli necessary for co-active music making (auditory, visual, tactile, etc.). In short, once the activity becomes interactive, or related in some fashion, there is […]

Individualized Music-Centered Assessment Profile for Child with Autism

 The IMCAP® is a population based, music-centered assessment profiling system targeting specific  areas of musical responsiveness as they pertain to musical interactions. The IMCAP’s goal is to create a Musical-Emotional Profile for each child being assessed. In essence, the IMCAP is basically painting a musical portrait of the child.

Although the IMCAP® is a music-centered based assessment, each of the seven levels of musical responsiveness are based on social-emotional development and are consistent with the DIR®/Floortime™ Model, Jean Piaget and Margaret Mahler.

Each level of musical responsiveness are being assessed within the context of interactive musical play between the therapist/s and the child, while observing the child through various modes of musical interaction (instruments, voice, movement, & gestures). Each level is evaluated based on the duration and quality of the child’s musical responsiveness within the context of music play, and, the type of the support (i.e. visual cues, verbal, gestural cues, high affect, etc.) that the therapist utilizies to assist the child in a particular musical area.

Seven levels of Musical Responsiveness:

  1. Musical awareness: the awareness that the child displays of the music and any of its facets (elements); how and if the child processes, on any level observable, the music as a whole and/or specific elements.
  2. Musical (self) regulation: the child’s ability to remain calm, interested and available during musical interactions over a wide range of affects and emotions; how the child self soothes and takes in the sights and sounds in the musical environment; the ability to use sensory modulation during musical play
  3. Musical mutuality/engagement & forming relationships: the child’s ability to relate (the quality of the relatedness) to the music and therapist through a range of […]

How do we facilitate back and forth interactions through a wide range of affects?

On behalf of The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy at Molloy College, I would like to thank all of our 400+ fans (on facebook) for following us as we continue this journey of improving the quality of life of children with autism through effective and cutting-edge music therapy interventions. We have been on a mission, and in essence creating a movement through educating and promoting humanistic and developmental interventions that promote initiative, creativity, and high regard for human relationships. We have come to the realization that autism is not a disorder of memory or a disorder of behavior (whatever that means)…it is a disorder of  RELATING AND COMMUNICATING (When I say communication, I mean functional and conversational back and forth signaling between 2 or more individuals- with the INTENT to express and idea, thought, etc.) So, if that’s the case, why is it that most children with autism are being treated with memory-based/behavioral interventions? why? why? why?

If communication and language are based on symbolism, abstract thinking and initiating ideas through a wide range of affects/emotion, how can we facilitate these skills through memorized responses using prompts? Does that make sense? How do you teach a child to initiate ideas if there always being prompted? How do we teach a child to formulate ideas and be symbolic if they are always being provided with the ideas in terms of always being “asked” to do something for something? (“say this,” “do that, ” “good job”) the answer, I feel, is very simple…: the same way we facilitate reciprocal interactions, symbolism and language in typical developing babies/children- through a continuous flow of back and forth interaction! That being said, when I say back and forth interaction I am not […]