Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jennifer Pacht Goodman

Autism Light #252 is Jennifer Pacht Goodman.

Jennifer Pacht Goodman is a music therapist from Watchung, New Jersey who is utilizing music to change the lives of people with autism.  A former child actress and Broadway singer, Jennifer Goodman opened her music therapy business called Jammin Jen in 2009. Jennifer Goodman is an Autism Light for the help she is providing those with autism through music therapy.

The following is a video of Jennifer Goodman providing music therapy. Dozens of other videos are available on her YouTube Channel.

Early Career:  Jennifer Pacht Goodman explains her early career via Autism Light in this way:
As a child, I was an actress, I auditioned for Broadway shows, commercial, and movies. I decided as a young adult to go to school for Musical Theater thinking I could be a Broadway star. I loved the theatre and after graduating the Boston Conservatory of Music, where I studied theatre, I immediately was cast on Holland America cruise ship as a cast member for their shows. IT WAS FUN! I was young and I was living what at the time, I thought was my dream. I also traveled throughout Europe doing Broadway tour shows.
Jennifer Pacht Goodman reflected on how her life was changed at age 25 when she took her first Music Therapy class at New York University. She said, "I literally can remember, like it was yesterday where in the classroom I was sitting when I knew in my heart, that I wanted to be a Music Therapist."  At that point her plans changed from seeking the lights of Broadway to being a music therapist and an Autism Light for children with autism.

Education: Jennifer Pacht Goodman graduated with the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater from the Boston Conservatory of Music and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Music Therapy from New York University.

ABA Certification: Jennifer Pacht Goodman is an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist who is trained in three forms of ABA (Source).

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis: Discrete Trial Testing (DTT)
  • Vincent Carbone's techniques of Verbal Behavior
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
Jennifer Pacht Goodman finds that the combination of Music Therapy and ABA principles is the most effective approach.

Jammin Jen Music Therapy Program: Approximately 50 children receive one on one therapy at Jammin Jen's studio. In addition, they lead programs in 10 private and public schools in New Jersey that reach dozens of additional students.

Here is one of the many testimonials from a parent with a child in Jammin Jen's program.
Jenn has truly helped James find his "voice". He has such a great time singing, dancing, and playing instruments, it doesn't seem like the hard work it is. Since starting with Jenn, his speech and coordination continue to improve and his learning skills that will bring him a lifetime of enjoyment. If only therapy was this fun (Source).--Linda M. Autism Mother

Contact: You can find out more about Jennifer Pacht Goodman's music therapy at her website at Or you can email her at or call (917) 922-3227. 

Other Programs: Creative Speech Solutions, Inc. describes some of Jennifer Pacht Goodman's other accomplishments beyond Jammin Jen like this. "Jennifer created the Music Therapy Program at the McCarton Center in New York City, where she enhanced the lives of numerous children. She is also co-creator of a special needs music class at Tumble James in Scotch Plains, NJ. She skillfully combines her theatrical and multifaceted clinical training into an effective, unique, and energetic approach (Source)."

Value of Music Therapy: Jennifer Pacht Goodman states her belief in the value of Music Therapy this way via Autism Light.
The value of music therapy to those with autism is extraordinary and unique relative to other therapies that children with autism commonly receive. Music is special in a way that humans universally can appreciate, of course including those with with special needs. Music is a medium that transforms those subjected to it. It affects our mood, our processing, our sensations, and our abilities. It is a tool utilized to enhance progress, processing, and goal attainment. As we all know music can generate joy, recreation, and fun for example. As certain music is played/chosen, it is used to deliberately evoke certain responses. Often progress transcends what might be other wise possible in other therapies or settings. Please understand that I think other therapies like, ABA, occupational, speech, and others are crucial. Their importance, if not emphasis should not be discounted. It's just that I understand the power of music. I see it at work every day.
Incorporating Music Therapy into Everyday Life: Jennifer Pacht Goodman has this suggestion for how to incorporate music therapy into the life of those with autism.
Working with a seasoned and talented music therapist is a terrific idea.  But by no means is that the only way an individual with autism should experience music.  The best thing about music is that is is everywhere!  It is inexpensive to buy and readily available.  Listen, move, play, dance!!!!  Let it impact you.  Parents can use melodies of simple, familiar children's songs to get their children to accomplish something that might be difficult.  An example might be, a child is having a tantrum because they do not want to put their PJs on for bedtime ritual.   Instead of the parent becoming frustrated, they can help their child by making the situation less of a struggle, by singing.(Sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle " It is nighttime and it's time to go to sleep.  Pj's on, Pj's on we must put our Pj's on.  It is nighttime, it is time to go to sleep."  Musical repetition, allows for security so I encourage all caretakers of a child with special needs to try this, and tailor the lyrics to fit your child's unique needs.
Social Media: You can follow Jammin Jen on the following social media areas:
Special thanks to Jennifer Pacht Goodman for her work in music therapy. She is truly an Autism Light, changing autism one life at a time.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post is used with permission of Jennifer Pacht Goodman

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