My name is Fabrizio, I’m an Italian musician living in Barcelona, and I’ve got Asperger syndrome.
According to the DSM-5, Asperger syndrome is considered an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), although I don’t really like the definition of disorder since it makes me feel like I’m broken, something to be fixed. I would rather say that autism is a condition of neurodiversity.
I got a degree in piano from the Conservatory of Naples and, immediately after, I moved to Holland to study harpsichord. While in Amsterdam, in order to pay my living expenses, I became the assistant of two harpsichord makers and eventually, within a few years, I opened my own workshop.
In 2009 I moved to Barcelona. Here I went on building harpsichords and playing concerts. Two years ago, after suffering from severe pain in my hands due to the hard work in my atelier, I decided to quit the office of harpsichord maker and concentrate all my efforts on my lifelong “special interests”, my great passions since I was a boy: music and psychology.
In 2015 I met a great person and incredible music therapist, Nuria Escudé, and a few months ago we decided to start working together on a very exciting project. We are writing a book that will enable all those people on the autism spectrum, their family and friends, to use music to improve their well-being. Music is an incredibly powerful, non-invasive tool, and with our knowledge of music, psychology and music therapy (and my view from inside autism), we are sure this book will be of great help to many.
Right now, I’m a lecturer and coordinator of the Master of Music Therapy at the University of Barcelona-IL3, and am a member of the organization team of the XVIII International Conference of the International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM) and coordinator of music therapy research at the Palliative Care Unit of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona.
Autism is still regarded by many people as a disease or something that can be fixed. There is no cure for autism, while it is possible to find the right strategies to reduce the downsides and enhance the upsides of this condition. A music-based therapy is, according to my personal experience, a constructive, intellectually enriching, amusing strategy.
Many therapies still try to train autistic people to learn more “normal” and acceptable behaviors. From my point of view, as an autistic myself, this may not always be the most effective strategy and, from an ethical point of view, sometimes it doesn’t take into account the needs and desires of the autistic. I want to contribute, together with many other autistics who already do it with courage and determination, to explain what autism is in reality, how we feel inside, how we see the world. We are the only ones who can make the world change the view on autism and accept us with our differences.
Different does not mean wrong.