Professor Denise Grocke
BMus Melb & Michigan MMus PhD RMT MT-BC FAMI
Head of Music Therapy
T: +61 3 8344 5259
Denise Grocke is the Convenor of Music Therapy, a position she has held for 28 years, and Director of the National Music Therapy Research Unit (NaMTRU), established in 1999 following a very successful International Music Medicine Conference. Since 1999, interest in postgraduate research has mushroomed, and there are currently 5 PhDs and 5 research Master’s students in the music therapy area at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Denise is involved in two research projects, both investigating the effect of music therapy on the lives of people with severe and enduring mental illness.
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant ($237,000), exploring the effect of a group music therapy intervention on quality of life of people with severe and enduring mental illness, who are living in the community. Co-investigators: Prof Sidney Bloch and Prof David Castle, of St Vincent’s Mental Health Service.
Collaborative study with University of Bergen (Norway). A multi-site international study measuring the effect of individual music therapy sessions on symptoms of mental illness and motivation for therapy, in patients been hospitalised with mental illness for lengthy periods of time. Co-investigators: Dr Linda Kader and Prof Christos Pantelis from the Neuropsychiatry Department, University of Melbourne.
Another area of interest is the psychotherapy arm of music therapy – the effect of music listening (predominantly music of the Western classical tradition) on spontaneous imagery that normally carries metaphoric meaning for the participant.
Denise has co-authored a book on Receptive Music Therapy (2007), and co-edited two books, one on Music Medicine (1999), and the other on Guided Imagery and Music (2002). A survey of music therapy training programs which resulted from a world-wide survey was published in 1996. She is co-author of two Cochrane Reviews (with colleagues at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA), and has initiated collaborative agreements with a consortium of nine Universities (in Europe, UK, USA and Australia) who offer PhD programs in music therapy.
Denise Grocke obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Melbourne, and subsequently completed a second Bachelor of Music degree, specialising in music therapy from Michigan State University. She returned to Australia in 1970 and established a music therapy program at Larundel Psychiatric Hospital. This was the first recognised position for a music therapist in the country. She co-established the Australian Music Therapy Association in 1975 (with Dr Ruth Bright), and established standards for Registration of music therapists, accreditation of education training programs, and standards of clinical practice.
In 1975, Denise began discussions with Dr Percy Jones to establish a course in music therapy at the University of Melbourne, which finally came to fruition with initiatives of Mr Max Cooke, the Dean at that time. In 1990 she established a Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy for people wanting to make a career change, and this was converted to a course-work Master’s degree in 2007. The Graduate Diploma in Guided Imagery and Music was established in 1995.
National Music Therapy Research Unit
Founder and Director, 1998 (continuing)
- Established Advisory Board of international consultants
- Organised bi-annual intensive seminars with international consultant from 2002 (continuing).
- Established collaborations with Aalborg University, Denmark and University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany (2002).
- Established collaborations with Aalborg University, Denmark and Temple University, Philadelphia, USA (2007).
- Established collaborations with Aalborg University, Denmark, University of Bergen, Grieg Academy of Music, and the University of Queensland, School of Music, 2007.
- More information on NAMTRU
- President of the World Federation of Music Therapy (1999-2002)
- President of the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA), serving twice.
- Honorary member of the AMTA
- April 2008: attended and presented at the second course for Supervisors of Music Therapy PhDs at Aalborg University, Denmark, and taught on the PhD course (offered through intensive seminars).
- July 2008: teaching at the University of Hong Kong as part of a collaborative program with that University, and at the Institute of Art and Music in Vitoria, Spain.
- September 2008: teaching at the University of Oslo and University of Bergen in September.
- Music Therapy Methods 1/Music Therapy Skills 1
- Music Therapy Methods 4/Music Therapy Skills 4
- Music Therapy for Adult Clients/Applications of Music in Therapy B
- Music Therapy Research Methods
- Minor Thesis in Music Therapy
- Philosophy and Symbolism in Guided Imagery and Music
- Analysis of Advanced Programmed Music 1
- Professional Practice in Guided Imagery and Music
- Analysis of Advanced Programmed Music II
- The rehabilitative effects of piano-playing music therapy on unilateral and bilateral motor coordination of chronic stroke patients: a MIDI analysis
- The effect of music therapy on hospitalised cancer patients' quality of life, mood and satisfaction with hospital stay - a randomised controlled trial.
- Evaluating the therapeutic effects of music interventions on hospitalised people with dementia
- The markers of interplay between the music therapist and the medically fragile newborn infant
- An investigation into the mechanisms used when singing and the effect of singing trainng on respiratory function and voice projection for people with quadriplegia
- The effect of music therapy on anxiety, depression, coping and pain in women with stage I and stage II breast cancer
Other positions held
An annual award is made in her honour to the best student presentation at the annual AMTA conference (the Denise Grocke Award).
Denise is currently supervising dissertations on: