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July 2008 MUSIC THERAPY MAKES A DIFFERENCE Together we can build the future of music therapy.





Welcome to the Guidebook of the American Music Therapy Association for Students (AMTAS).

The purpose of this Guidebook is to assist music therapy students of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) in understanding the history, function, affiliations and structure of the organization.

We want you to be a vital member of our professional organization.

Your contributions, opinion, and ideas are important to us. We would like to learn what your vision of music therapy is. You can learn from us what we have experienced and learned from other students, clients, and colleagues so far. Only together can we build the future of music therapy. Be a vital part of an exciting profession, take responsibility and make a commitment to advance our profession in research, practice and education.

Dr. Petra Kern, MT-BVM, MT-BC, MTA Chairperson, SAAB

Revised (July, 2008) by Dr. Petra Kern and Gretchen Chardos.

Visit for additional information.


Table of Contents


Greetings from the Presidents………..4

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)...5


Mission Statement ...5

Definition of Music Therapy ...6

Affiliations of AMTA ...7

Governing Bodies ...8

Publications ...10

Student Affairs Advisory Board (SAAB)………... ………11

American Music Therpay Assocaiation for Students (AMTAS) ...12

Mission Statement….…….……….…….12

AMTAS Membership...12

AMTAS Board of Directors ...13

Join us on the Web..………..…..14

Student Scholarships ...15

E.Thayer Gaston Writing Competition………...15

STARS Award………15

AMTAS President’s Challenge………15

Edwina Eustis Dick Internship Scholarship….…...……15

Brian and Cathy Smith Memorial Fund………...15

Conferences and E-Journals. ...13

AMTA Conference……….……….16

International Music Therapy Conferences………16

E-Journals in Music Therapy…..………...…..16

Internship Info……….…...17

Guide for Students Planning Internships ...17

"Welcome to the Professional World" Intern Packets...18

Certification Board of Music Therapy ...19

Contact Information At-A-Glance...20


Greetings from the Presidents

Dear Music Therapy Student,

Congratulations on becoming a student member of AMTA! You have made a wise choice to become involved in your professional association at the same time that you are learning to be a music therapist.

Developing skill as a music therapist and involvement in your professional association go hand-in-hand. Both will contribute to your success!

Your involvement in AMTAS will help you understand how the music therapy profession works. The more that you know about all facets of music therapy, the better prepared you will be for all that you will encounter. This involvement will help you as you choose an internship and later decide where you want to work and pursue employment. Your awareness of the issues confronting music therapists and how to be involved in solving them will help you in so many ways!

Congratulations on becoming an AMTAS member and welcome to the wonderful world of music therapy!

Barbara L. Wheeler, PhD, MT-BC AMTA President

Dear MT Students & Interns,

Thanks for reading this guidebook prepared for you and all members of the American Music Therapy Association Students. We play an important role in the music therapy field and are greatly supported by professionals in AMTA.

Please stay actively involved as a member of AMTAS. This AMTAS Guidebook is a valuable tool that details scholarship opportunities, electronic networks, and more! Officers on the AMTAS Executive Board and Board of Directors are here to serve you and if we may be of further assistance to you, please contact us! We look forward to meeting with you in St. Louis during the AMTA Conference and AMTAS Business Meetings. Thank you for being an advocate of music therapy.


Gretchen M. Chardos, AMTAS President

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The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)


At the turn of the last century there was a renewed interest in the use of music in various hospital settings. This led to the formation of several groups and organizations promoting the effects of music with persons in need of emotional and physical health. Ultimately, a professional organization to promote training and research in music therapy was formed in the years following the Second World War.

The first curriculum specifically designed to train music therapists was established in 1944, which is today Michigan State University.

The continued need to provide standards for hospital musicians trained in clinical music therapy techniques led to the formation of The National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT) in 1950. In 1971, a second national organization for music therapy, the American Association for Music Therapy (AAMT) was established at New York University in New York City.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) was officially formed on January 1st, 1998 through the unification of NAMT and AAMT. The aim of having one professional association is to lead and represent music therapy with a unified strong voice into the future. In 2000, AMTA celebrated the 50 anniversary of music therapy in the USA. Today, AMTA represents over 3,800 music therapists, affiliated members and related associations worldwide.

Mission Statement

The mission of the American Music Therapy Association is to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world. (Retrieved from the Internet, June 30, 2008 at


Definition of Music Therapy

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005).

Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

promote wellness

manage stress

alleviate pain

express feelings

enhance memory

improve communication

promote physical rehabilitation.

After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings (Retrieved from the internet, June 30, 2008 at


Purpose of AMTA

The purpose of AMTA is to advance music therapy and to increase access to quality music therapy services. The Association strives to improve and advance the use of music, in both its breadth and quality, in clinical, educational, and community settings for the betterment of the public health and welfare. The Association serves as the primary organizational agency for the advancement of education, clinical practice, research, and ethical standards in the music therapy profession. The purpose is carried out in a non- partisan, non-sectarian manner with equal opportunity being given to all, regardless of race, religion, gender, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin. The goals of the Association are those which support music therapy most effectively in restoring, maintaining, and improving the mental and physical health of all persons. These goals are derived from the above purposes and are expressed in the addendum to this document entitled "Purposes and Goals of AMTA" (from the AMTA Bylaws).


AMTA is a member in various coalitions including the

• Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

• National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations

• National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations

• Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF)

• National Association of Critical Care Nurses

• National Rehabilitation Caucus

• World Federation of Music Therapy.

AMTA serves as the primary organizational agency for the advancement of education, clinical practice, research, and ethical standards in the music therapy profession.


Governing Bodies

AMTA is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors consisting of both elected and appointed officers. Other governing bodies include the Assembly of Delegates and Standing Committees.

Assembly of Delegates

Policies are set by an Assembly of Delegates consisting of representatives from each of the Association’s seven regional chapters.

Standing Committees

Sixteen standing committees and boards represent the following areas:

• Academic Program Approval

• Affiliate Relations

• Association Internship Approval

• Communications and Technology

• Continuing Education

• Education and Training

• Employment and Public Relations

• Ethics

• Government Relations

• International Relations

• Membership

• Professional Advocacy

• Reimbursement

• Research

• Special Target Populations

• Standards of Clinical Practice

Please visit AMTA’s website to learn more about the current tasks of each committee. Each of the 16 standing committees has one

elected student representative.

Each of the Standing Committees has 1 Student



AMTA Regions

AMTA is divided into eight regional chapters: Seven regions and AMTA for Students (AMTAS).

1) Great Lakes Regions, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,

Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


2) Southeastern Region, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

3) Mid-Atlantic Region, including Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. 4) Midwestern Region, including

Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,

North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 5) New England Region, including

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 6) Southwestern Region, including

New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.


7) Western Region, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada,

Oregon, Utah, and Washington. 8) AMTA Students, including

all Student and Graduate Student Members of AMTA.

h Please note, the student organization (AMTAS) is seen as its own “region.”

AMTA Publications

The major AMTA publications are

• The Journal of Music Therapy: A quarterly research-oriented journal

• Music Therapy Perspectives: A semi- annual, practice-oriented journal

• AMTA Member Sourcebook: A

comprehensive listing of current members and employment data, including AMTA Bylaws, Standard of Clinical Practice, Code of Ethics, School Directory, Competencies, Region and State Directory, and a map with regions outlined.

• Music Therapy Matters: A quarterly online newsletter focusing on AMTA business and current happenings in the field.

• Music Therapy E-news: An E-newsletter relevant to the profession of music therapy.

• A variety of monographs, bibliographies, and brochures.

AMTA membership includes the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and Music Therapy Matters.

For more details check the AMTA website


Student Affairs Advisory Board (SAAB)

The Student Affairs Advisory Board consists of sixteen (16) voting members and two (2) non-voting member:

President of AMTAS

Past President of AMTAS

A student representative from each region (7)

Professional member from each region (7)

A liaison from the AMTA Board of Directors (1) without the right to vote, and

A national student advisor (1) without the right to vote.

The SAAB considers any concerns brought to its attention by students or concerning students. Professional members of the SAAB are elected/appointed according to the Constitution and/or Bylaws of each Regional Chapter of the Association. Regional Student Representatives are elected/chosen by the students of each region in accordance with its respective Constitution and/or Bylaws


This is SAAB

Our purpose is to examine issues that impact you and to provide a forum where you are able to bring up any student concerns. We are working closely with the AMTA Board of Directors and the national office. AMTA, your regional student advisor, and the national student advisor would like to stay in touch and up-to-date with current student life. We would like to hear from you about a) What is trendy?

b) What you are dreaming about? c) What you think we are doing well as an organization?

and d) What improvements would you suggest? Please don’t hesitate to contact us and get involved. We are here for you and like to have you on board!


How do I become a member? Fill out an AMTA Membership Registration Form and send it to AMTA along with your membership fee. Forms are available at

The American Music Therapy Association Students (AMTAS)

Mission Statement

On a global level, AMTAS will increase awareness, involvement, and knowledge of music therapy students by fostering communication and growth in preparation for a professional career.

(Retrieved from the Internet, June 30, 2008 at

AMTAS Membership

AMTAS Membership is open to students who are declared music therapy majors enrolled in AMTA-approved schools or other interested students. Student membership will provide the privilege of participation in the activities of the Association, both on the national and regional levels, and the right to receive the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and other selected national and regional publications of the Association. Student membership does not include the right to vote or to hold office at the national level. Such rights at the regional level will be as specified by the regional Bylaws.

Benefits of being an AMTAS member are manifold:

• AMTAS keeps you informed

• AMTAS keeps you connected

• AMTAS saves you money

• AMTAS offers leadership opportunities

• Answers questions.

(Retrieved from the Internet, June 30th, 2008 at ership_ind.html)


AMTAS Board of Directors

The student Association’s Board of Directors consists of thirteen (13) voting members and one (1) non-voting member:

• National President of AMTAS

• Past-President of AMTAS

• Vice-President of AMTAS

• Parliamentarian

• Secretary

• Treasurer

• Seven (7) Student

Representatives, one (1) from each AMTA region, and

• The chairperson of SAAB without the right to vote.

h Duties for each of the officers may be viewed in the AMTAS Bylaws, available online at or by contacting the AMTAS Parliamentarian.


If you are interested in running for one of the offices to share your knowledge, ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm with us, please contact us. Contact information is available on p. 20.


Join us o the Web

Please check the AMTAS website at for updates.

And, join the AMTAS Facebook on We have currently 562 members (June 2008). Look under groups for AMTAS.


Student Scholarships

There are several scholarships available to AMTA students and interns. More information, forms, and dates can be obtained through the AMTA website member only section or the AMTAS website.


Sponsored by the American Music Therapy Association in cooperation with the Student Affairs Advisory Board. Papers on any topic relevant to the music therapy profession using the philosophical, historical, descriptive, or experimental mode of research are invited. A cash award of $500 to the winner(s) and an opportunity to have the paper reviewed for possible publication in the Journal of Music Therapy.


AMTAS offers two scholarships for one AMTA sophomore or junior student and one other to an equivalency student (non Board Certified) each year.

Applicants must have an interest in being involved in AMTAS at the school, state, regional and/or national levels. The total scholarship award package includes student membership dues to AMTA for one year and reimbursement for the student registration fee for the annual National Conference.


The AMTAS President’s Challenge was started in 2002 as a way for student music therapists to show our support for music therapy and to thank the professionals who have supported us in so many ways. The recipient must be a music therapist who a) is starting a music therapy program on a limited budget or with limited funds and b) lives near the national conference site.

We will support the recipient with donated musical items.


Funds to establish a scholarship program for music therapy interns. Two cash scholarships of $500 will be available for interns each year.


This scholarship is for music therapy interns pursuing training in chemical dependency or in adolescent programs. One cash scholarship of $500 will be available each year.

For regional scholarship information, contact your regional AMTAS President or visit your regional website.


AMTA Conferences

The AMTA hosts one National Conference in the fall and each AMTA region hosts a regional conference in the spring. At conferences, students can attend sessions, concerts, buy instruments and books, and connect with other therapists and students from their own region and across the nation.

Students are welcome to submit conference proposals, too.

Approach your professor or internship supervisor and ask for support.

International Music Therapy Conferences

The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) hosts an international music therapy conference every three years. The European Confederation of Music Therapy (ECMT) hosts an international conference located in Europe every three years.

Current information can be obtained at The Canadian Association of Music Therapy hosts an annual music Therapy conference in Canada. Visit

Music Therapy is a growing profession. Many countries around the world have annual music therapy conferences. Visit the international association’s websites to obtain detailed information. Explore the world of music therapy.

E-Journal in Music Therapy


Music Therapy Today



Internship Info

Guide to Planning for an Internship: From and for Students

Begin looking through the AMTA internship directory available at your school or through the Internship Directory link on the AMTA Website. The Directory is updated quarterly so visiting the website may provide the student with the most current information. Make note of specific sites which might appeal to you. (Suggestion: begin two years prior to completion of coursework)

Become familiar with your school’s options for University Affiliated Internships. Speak with your Department Head for more information.

Begin to write for information and applications. Student may also contact the Clinical Training Committee Representative in the various regions to determine any changes in programs or if any new internship sites are opening in their region. The Representative also has copies of intern site evaluations for all current internship programs in their respective region. These may provide some additional insight into the type of training a specific site has to offer. (Suggested 1- 1 ½ years prior to completion of coursework)

Begin the application process. You may have no more than four active applications out at one time. The application process can be quite lengthy and detailed, so allow sufficient time to prepare all materials professionally. Be sure to give ample time for reference letters to be prepared. Once you have been notified by a site that you have been turned down, or you have withdrawn an application, you may submit an application to another site.

Make certain that all of your necessary materials have been received. If an on-site interview is not required, arrange an appointment to visit the internship site and meet with the Clinical Training Director if possible.

Remember to write a thank you letter after each interview or site visit opportunity.

Once you have received an offer of an internship placement, you will have thirty days to accept or decline the offer in writing. After you have accepted an internship offer, it is your responsibility to notify the other sites where you have active applications so that they can remove your application from consideration at that facility.

Begin looking for your internship site early on.

Be informed!


“Welcome to the Professional World”

Intern Packets

AMTA welcomes young professionals with a “Welcome to the Professional World” Intern Packet. These packets are a resource offered to current music therapy interns who have reached the mid- point of their internship. The packets are designed to help make the transition from student to professional. You must be a current music therapy intern at an approved music therapy internship site and in the third month or later of your internship to receive this packet.

It includes great specials for all interns getting ready to enter the professional world. For instance, you will receive

$70 off the first year of Professional AMTA Membership

$50 off for one conference registration within the first 5 years

$30 off for anything in the AMTA catalog + free shipping

Valuable information on finding a job, experiences of professionals etc.


Overall value $175 + advice and experiences for free.

You will receive the "Welcome to the Profession" Packet after filling out a form, which should be handed out by your internship director and/or can be found on the AMTA website.

Please take advantage of this great offer!

Make the transition from student to

professional and stay



Certification Board of Music Therapy (CBMT)

CBMT administers and maintains a national certification and recertification program for music therapists by awarding the credential of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). First-time professionals sit for a national board certification exam after completing specific educational and clinical training requirements set forth by AMTA. Each certified music therapist must re-certify every 5 years by either earning 100 Continuing Education Units or by re- taking the board certification exam.


The mission of the Certification Board for Music Therapists is to define the body of knowledge that represents competent practice in the profession of music therapy; to create and administer a program to evaluate initial and continuing competence of this knowledge; to issue the credential of MT-BC to individuals that demonstrate the required level of competence; and to promote music therapy certification. (Retrieved from the Internet, June 30, 2008 at

Check the website for detailed information


Contact Information At-A-Glance

AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION (AMTA) Telephone: (310) 589-3300 Fax: (301) 589-5175



Telephone: (800) 765-2268 Fax: (610) 269 9232




AMTAS Board of Dierctors

SAAB Advisor and Chair

Regional Student Representatives

Regional Student Advisors



American Music Therapy Association

8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000 Silver Spring, Maryland 20910,


Phone: (301) 589-3300 Fax: (301) 589-5175 Email:

There are three easy ways to contact us:

• Visit us on the Web

• Send us an email

• Call us





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