About Us

The Serenade program was designed by Miriam Lense, PhD and Sara Beck, PhD.

Miriam Lense, PhD

Miriam Lense is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 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, PhD

Sara Beck is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Randolph College. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Beck’s research interests focus on how children’s prosocial behavior is shaped by engagement with active music making. Sara is also 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

Adam Summers is a board-certified music therapist and Lecturer of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Clinical Practicum Supervisor at Belmont University. Mr. Summers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a minor in Business from Susquehanna University and a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from New York University. Mr. Summers has over 10 years of clinical experience providing music therapy services to a wide range of populations, including pediatric medicine, adult addiction treatment, adult psychiatry, children with special needs, and older adults. Mr. Summers holds an advanced certification in Vocal Psychotherapy through the Music Psychotherapy Center in New York City. In addition, Mr. Summers has completed post-graduate training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (Level I), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.

Lauren booke, mt-bc

Lauren Booke is a board-certified music therapist. She received her Bachelor of Music from Belmont University where she is now a Clinical Supervisor for undergraduate music therapy students. Lauren will begin working to earn her Master of Music Therapy Degree at Augsburg University in Fall 2020. In 2018, Lauren founded In Tune Music and Wellness, a private music therapy practice in Nashville, TN. In Tune Music & Wellness provides individual as well as group music therapy services to all ages. Her diverse clinical experience includes providing services to children with special needs, children with serious medical illnesses, stroke rehabilitation, preschool music classes, and older adults in memory care. She is also certified as a HealthRHYTHMS Facilitator.

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.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in materials on this website are those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of the National Endowment for the Arts Office of Research & Analysis or the National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts Endowment does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included in these materials and is not responsible for any consequences of its use. This NEA Research Lab is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (Award#: 1844332-38-C-18).