The Serenade program was designed by Miriam Lense, PhD and Sara Beck, MS.
Miriam Lense, PhD
Miriam Lense is a Research Instructor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Program for Music, Mind, and Society at Vanderbilt, where she co-directs the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab. She is a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and a fellow at The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. Dr. Lense received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Vanderbilt University. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral training at the Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine. Her research and clinical work focuses on infants, children, and adults with or at-risk for developmental disabilities, with a particular emphasis on autism spectrum disorder and Williams syndrome. She is experienced in clinical assessment and diagnosis, parent training, and parent-child therapy. Her research focuses on music, rhythm, and social engagement in individuals with and without developmental disabilities.
Sara Beck, MS
Sara Beck is a PhD student in Psychology and Human Development, whose research interests focus on how children’s prosocial behavior is shaped by engagement with active music making. Sara is a singer/songwriter. She’s released five albums of original music, written for other artists, and contributed to film and TV soundtracks (sarabeck.net). Her most recent recording project was an album of prosocial children’s songs, created in partnership with Vanderbilt PhD Candidate Colleen Russo and The Curb Center for Arts, Enterprise, & Public Policy called KindnessKids: Join In The Song!
Adam Summers, MA, LCAT, MT-BC
Christina Liu, MS
Christina Liu is a Research Analyst assisting with the Serenade program and related studies. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Emory University and completed her M.S. in Physiology at Case Western Reserve University. She has worked with individuals with ASD and other developmental disorders in various capacities and was a Behavioral Therapist at the Cleveland Clinic’s School of Autism before relocating to Nashville to join the Music Cognition Lab.
Funding and Support
The Serenade program and research is supported by Vanderbilt University Transinstitutional Programs (TIPs); VUMC-Meharry Medical College Community Engagement and Research grant; Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy; Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD); Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Beginning April 2018, the Serenade program and research is part of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab focusing on the arts, health, and social/emotional well-being.