Government Relations Report

Respectfully Submitted:
Amy Rodgers Smith, MMT, MT-BC
Neurologic Music Therapist



The American Music Therapy Association is monitoring changes to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). AMTA is encouraging members and others to exercise your rights and responsibilities as citizens and consider participation in the democratic process in the following ways:

·         Call or email your legislators to express your opinions on the Affordable Health Care Act

·         Sign up for email updates from your state and federal legislators

·         Follow your state and federal legislators on social media

·         Attend advocacy events in your home district

·         Meet with your state and federal legislators in their home district offices

·         Invite your legislators to visit your clinical site, as appropriate, so they can observe “music therapy in action”

·         Follow AMTA Advocacy activities on social media  

Click here to see AMTA updates on the AHCA as they become available:


The MAR Board has renewed the charges to state task forces and continues to appreciate the work the task force chairs, professional members, and student representatives do to advance music therapy in their respective states.


DESTF (Chair – Keva Melvin)

The Delaware State Task Force is finalizing their phone survey and preparing for the upcoming advocacy training.

For more information contact:


MDSTF (Chair – Niki Runge and Tatyana Martin)

The Maryland State Task Force continues to work with the board of professional counselors and therapist to negotiate language to avoid opposition for the resubmission of the bill. Within the next year we will continue to reach out to our legislators to educate, develop, and maintain rapport to gain support for the next bill. 

For more information contact: 

NJSTF (Chair – Paula Unsal)

Visit the New Jersey State Task Force page on the MAR website to follow our progress!

For more information contact:

NYSTF (Chair – Donna Polen)

Mandatory Continuing Education Requirements for LCATs

Now required by law and specified in regulation, LCATs must now accrue 36 hours of continuing education (CE) during every 3-year registration period, effective January 1, 2017. These CE hours must be earned through state-approved providers. Please read our “Hey NY – Did You Know??!?” column for updates on how to calculate your hours as a presenter.

Music therapy licensing – moving forward with our bill!

S5264 is a 2-tiered license, providing for the licensing of professional and clinical music therapists. You can read the bill in detail here:

If you want to get involved, contact us to get on the Advocacy Support Network (ASN) mailing list, and come to one of our upcoming local meetings. The task force is working hard to roll out the ASN in the next few weeks!

Would you like to learn more? Do you have questions? Do you want to get involved? INVITE US TO YOUR TOWN!

The task force wants to hear from YOU and we’d like it even better if it were in person! We are embarking on a new initiative and planning local meetings in cities and towns across the state. These meetings will include information regarding the LCAT as well as advocacy strategies for the MT licensure bill. If you would like to have the task force visit your area, please let us know. We would be especially grateful to hear from those of you who are able to host these meetings by providing meeting space, ideally with internet access and a projector and screen. Please let us hear from you!

If you have specific questions or areas of law or regulation that you would like us to address in future issues, please notify us at our shiny new email address:


PASTF (Co-Chairs – Nicole Hahna and Michelle Muth)

The PA State Task Force is pleased to welcome our newest member, Kate Myers-Coffman to the task force. This new addition leaves us with 6 professional members as 1 student member as follows: Kristyn Beeman, Madison Frank, Nicole Hahna, Michelle Muth, Kate Myers-Coffman, Jillian Tolman, and Amy Van Brug.

Music Therapy Rally Overview

The PA Task Force has been very active since the Spring. We held a rally at the capitol to celebrate music therapy in the Commonwealth. The sponsor of the House Bill and Senate Bill for Music Therapy spoke at the rally along with clients, families, and professionals. We had over 100 people attend the event as well as press coverage of the event. Here’s a link to the article about the rally:  We were also able to showcase prominent research in music therapy at a poster session held at the event which highlighted both student research as well as clinician-based research. Thank you to everyone for your participation in this event. If you missed it, you can stream it here:

PA Rally Day

Music Therapy Bill

We have a new bill for the 2017-2019 legislative session. In the House, our sponsor is Representative Eddie Pashinski. In the Senate, our sponsor is Senator Elder Vogel, Jr.

Here’s a link to HB 1438: The Senate Bill will be issued shortly.

Stay Connected

Click here for the PASTF full update. If you are a resident of PA, stay connected to the task force through the monthly E-Newsletter by signing-up here. You can also “like” the PA Task Force on FB to receive updates on our advocacy work in PA.

For more information or questions contact:

VASTF (Briana Priester)

The Virginia state task force is gearing up to execute a new action plan focused on renewing music therapy advocacy and education efforts across the state.

For more information contact:

WVSTF (Chair – Amy Rodgers Smith)

The West Virginia state task force is waiting for the Music Therapy Sunrise Application to be placed on a meeting agenda for further discussion with the state auditor’s office.

For more information please contact: