DR Grace Thompson

DR Grace Thompson


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (Social communication)
  • Families and Children (Parent-child relationship)
  • Music Therapy (Children with developmental disabilities)



  • Dr Grace Thompson is a registered music therapist, senior lecturer and researcher. Dr Thompson completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2012, and focused on investigating child and parent outcomes following home-based music therapy sessions with preschool-aged children with autism and their mothers. Prior to her academic career, Dr Thompson worked exclusively in the Early Childhood Intervention sector supporting families with a child with disability. As music therapist and team leader, Dr Thompson developed a collaborative approach to music therapy practice with these families guided by ecological theories and family-centred philosophy. Her music therapy practice and research is therefore underpinned by a desire to support parent-child relationships through participating in engaging and mutually enjoyable musical play activities. Dr Thompson’s post-doctoral research focuses on music therapy with children with autism, disability, and delivered within ecologically oriented strategies. Dr Thompson’s research expertise is in mixed methods studies that have a translational focus. She is the co-editor of “Music Therapy with Families: Therapeutic Approaches and Theoretical Perspectives”, was Keynote speaker at the 2014 National Australian Music Therapy Conference, and a Spotlight speaker at the 2014 World Federation of Music Therapy Congress in Krems, Austria.   


Member of

  • ASfAR - Autism Research Community. PhD student member 2010 -
  • Early Childhood Intervention Association. General Member 2000 -
  • Australian Music Therapy Association. Registered Music Therapist 1994 -
  • Australian Music Therapy Association. Past President 2014 - 2017


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • GCUT, University of Melbourne 2016
  • PHD, University of Melbourne 2012
  • BMUS(THRP), University of Melbourne 1993

Awards and honors

  • Project title: Contemporary music therapy training: Designing best practice teaching and learning resources to develop clinical reasoning skills., Faculty Special Studies Project (Long), 2018
  • Faculty Teaching Award, 2015
  • Ruth Bright award for excellence in conference presentations, Australian Music Therapy Association, 2011



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Dr Thompson's research expertise is in mixed method designs that are applicable to real world clinical contexts. Graduate Research Supervision at The University of Melbourne: - Masters (complete) “Music therapy performances with pre-adolescent children and families living in crisis: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.” Fairchild, Thompson, McFerran. 2013-2014. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/44207 - Masters (complete). “Music therapy teaming and learning: how transdisciplinary experience shapes practice in an autism specialist school.” Arns, Thompson, McFerran. 2016-2018. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/212464 - PhD (complete) “How do pre-adolescent children use music as a health resource throughout their experience of living in crisis?” Fairchild, McFerran, Thompson. 2015-2018. - PhD (complete) “Exploring parents experiences and perceptions of singing and using their voice with their baby in a neonatal unit: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.” McLean, Thompson, McFerran. 2014-2018. - Masters (ongoing). Churchill, Thompson. 2018-ongoing