MAR and the State Operational Plan:

MAR has 7 active state task forces. This work is a collaborative effort involving AMTA, CBMT, MAR and the individual state task forces. Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) have collaborated on a State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to get music therapy and the MT-BC credential recognized by individual states in MAR so that citizens can more easily access music therapy services. The AMTA Government Relations staff and the CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provide guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as they work towards state recognition. Music therapists across the country are actively involved in advocacy on the state and federal level designed to increase access to quality services in healthcare and special education settings.

AMTA and CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan

Major Goal: Achieve state recognition for the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice.

Outcome: Appropriate state agencies will include music therapy and the MT-BC credential within their listings of recognized professions and providers.

Objective: Proceed systematically throughout all 50 states focusing first on the states where increased reports of issues related to access are requiring attention.

Tasks/Action Steps:
a) Prioritize order of states needing current attention, in groupings of 5-7 states at a time.
b) Create state-based task forces to work together with AMTA and CBMT to facilitate and implement the operational plan of objectives and tasks.
c) Identify the state agency(s) and system(s) that regulate related professions.
d) Identify the state agency(s) which list or recognizes professions for service inclusion. The list includes but is not limited to the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Aging, Medicaid, etc.
e) Identify where, if listed, music therapy is currently located in state statutes, regulations and agency documents.
f) Analyze data and investigate methods required to enact changes in state statutes, regulations, and agency documents.

  • Consider the need for exemption language in existing state statutes, regulations and
  • Consider the process required for inclusion of specific music therapy listing within state agency regulations.
  • Consider the feasibility of and the process required to create official state recognition (i.e., certification, registration, or licensure).

g) Determine legislative or regulatory actions to be recommended.
h) Collect data on music therapy practice and create state-specific fact sheets for use in advocacy.
i) Implement state advocacy plan, which includes communication with state legislators, state agencies, professional and consumer advocates.
j) Utilize state music therapy representatives to assist with implementation.

How to be an Advocate:
State advocacy is not just limited to the task forces, you too can become involved! Advocacy encompasses many different kinds of actions. These include educating the public, legislators, or other music therapists on state music therapy advocacy efforts, organizing or building grassroots and grasstops networks, and taking action on regulatory efforts though letter writing, voting, and attending advocacy events and Hill Days. By serving as an advocate for your profession, you are helping to further the state recognition operational plan and the music therapy profession to increase access to services for clients.

Click here to learn more about advocacy.

Further Resources: