Legislative News

The following legislative information is made available to Therapeutic Musicians to educate them about legislative action in their states.


The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) are collaborating on a national initiative to seek state recognition of the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice. State recognition may include title protection, registration, state certification, or licensure. The purpose of their efforts are to improve consumer access to music therapy services and to establish a state-based public protection program to ensure that “music therapy” is provided by individuals who meet established education, clinical training, and credentialing qualifications.

Within this legislation, AMTA and CBMT have agreed to ask for exemption language that specifies that the legislation does not limit the Therapeutic Musicians and they are not prevented from playing music at the bedside.

Sometimes when a bill goes through the bill draft office, wording gets changed and the exemption language is left out. For this reason it is important that Therapeutic Musicians be aware of state legislation that may affect their practice.

2016 Legislative Update (2/15/2016)

The NSBTM continues to work with the American Association of Music Therapists (AMTA) to incorporate exemption language for Therapeutic Musicians in the proposed Licensure/Certification legislation for Music Therapists.

This was the AMTA and CBMT 2015 State Recognition Operational Plan. Specific activities are listed for California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. In addition, Colorado, Idaho and Texas had resolutions introduced in 2015 which simply state that music therapy is a valid healthcare service.

This is the State Recognition Operational Plan for 2016. Specific activities are listed for Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Following is the proposed exemption language agreed upon by the AMTA and NSBTM:

After (DATE), no person without a license as a music therapist shall use the title ‘music therapist’ or similar title or practice music therapy. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to prohibit or restrict the practice, services, or activities of the following:

(1) Any person licensed, certified, or regulated under the laws of this state in another profession or occupation or personnel supervised by a licensed professional in this State performing work, including the use of music, incidental to the practice of his or her licensed, certified, or regulated profession or occupation, if that person does not represent himself or herself as a music therapist; or

(2) Any person whose training and national certification attests to the individual’s preparation and ability to practice his or her certified profession or occupation, if that person does not represent himself or herself as a music therapist; or

(3) Any practice of music therapy as an integral part of a program of study for students enrolled in an accredited music therapy program, if the student does not represent himself or herself as a music therapist; or

(4) Any person who practices music therapy under the supervision of a licensed music therapist, if the person does not represent himself or herself as a music therapist.

The AMTA is requesting the support of Therapeutic Music community to support their efforts for state recognition and to ensure the above exclusion language is included in any licensure/certification bills.

Further, there are proclamations being drafted in four states: MO, TN, FL, and PA. These are statements of acknowledgement and support for the work of Music Therapy.

Click to download Guidelines for Finding/Following Legislation
Click to download Music Therapy/Therapeutic Musician Comparison

Click for legislative news as of April, 2016