AMTA August Updates: Board Meeting and WFMT Announcement

A few announcements from the national and international level:

  • The annual AMTA midyear board meeting will be held on August 23, 2022, from 8:15 to 9:45 pm ET / 7:15-8:45 CT / 6:15-7:45 MT / 5:15-6:45 PT. You are invited to attend the board meeting on a virtual platform.
    • If you are interested in attending, please complete the RSVP form. We ask that you complete the form by Monday, August 22, at 8:15pm ET / 7:15 CT / 6:15pm MT / 5:15pm PT so that we can send you the meeting information. 
  • We have been asked to share a request for input from the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT). Below the separator, you can find information regarding the placement of World Music Therapy Day (WMTD). The WFMT invites you to review the information and provide input by August 31, 2022. Input can be sent to
  • If anyone from the MT community would like to reach out to AMTA directly with questions, suggestions, and/or assistance, please do so via Contact Us .

Dear members,
The WFMT Council seeks your opinions and suggestions on the matter that follows.
Immediately preceding World Music Therapy Day (WMTD) 2021, we were notified by a member
about a blog post and subsequent social media posts written by people concerned about the
overlapping of WMTD and Disability Day of Mourning (DDoM). We immediately researched
DDoM, and began a long period of consultation with disabled music therapists and other
people with disabilities. Though no one approached us directly, we continued to deliberate
about what to do. When WMTD was established, the WFMT had researched celebratory and
awareness days around the globe and DDoM did not appear in any of our searches. When we
learned about DDoM, we reached out to the creator of DDoM to ask her opinion of the
coinciding days. She responded, “Of course the two events can be on the same day — there are
only so many days in the year, after all.” She advised us at the time that she did not feel it was
necessary to make a formal statement about it.

After some deliberation, we decided to keep WMTD on March 1st for 2022, with the view that
multiple awareness days around the world will overlap, and music therapists are often holding
space for multiple emotions and occasions. However, we continued to see social media
feedback leading up to the 2022 WMTD suggesting that WMTD should not occur on DDoM. We
recognized that the comments we saw were voiced on social media, and from one country of
the world. As you know, we are a global organization and seek to do the best for as many
people worldwide as we can.

Over the past few months, the council has discussed this and spent numerous hours engaging
others on the topic, particularly some disabled music therapists who were willing to dialogue on
the issue. At the last WFMT council meeting, we voted to change WMTD to World Music
Therapy Month for the following reasons:
• Create more flexibility and opportunity for people to engage with the education and
advocacy of music therapy over the course of multiple days
• Some countries already have events that occur over the month of March in
observance of WMTD
• Some countries and WFMT members have a long history of celebrating their national
music therapy day on March 1, which aligned with WMTD
• March is a month in which most universities around the world are in session, thus
making it easier for students to engage in events (this is one of the reasons March 1 was
chosen initially)

We do not know what the consequences or harm may be if we move World Music Therapy Day
after it is already established. We also acknowledge that for some, having a month may be
more difficult to acknowledge than a day, particularly in terms of advocacy and marketing.

Upon notifying a group of disabled music therapists with the council’s decision to change
WMTD to the month of March to provide space and flexibility for recognition of all things, some
were relieved while others stated that it amplified the problem and caused more harm.

And so, I bring this to you, the members of the WFMT, for your feedback and suggestions.
WMTD has provided a space for the profession of music therapy to be recognized, particularly
in areas of the world where little is known and misconceptions occur. We seek to continue the
advocacy and public education that WMTD fosters. We want to do so in a way that no one is
harmed. We know that with any initiative, it is impossible to please everyone. Yet we seek your
opinion and suggestions.

For those who are not familiar with the history of WMTD, a few of the things that influenced
the selection of the initial date in 2017 included:

• Time of year where most universities were in session
• Observance of religious and secular holidays and observances that fall on the
same date each year
• Busy and less busy times of the year for music therapists

After an extensive search and months of information gathering, the council (representative of
all world regions) provided input into the selection of March 1 and it was voted upon. The
motion passed unanimously.

And so now, I ask you what your opinion and desire for the day or month is. Please reply to with your thoughts about this concern. I will take your reflections to the
Council, and continue to carefully deliberate on a course of action that will enact the least
harm. We ask that you support our dialogue on this matter away from social media as we do
not have the capacity to monitor all the available outlets, and are seeking honest, reflective
feedback directly from our members.

Note: Please respond by August 31, 2022, if possible.