AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training

Preamble

The American Music Therapy Association, Inc., aims to establish and maintain competency based standards for all three levels of education (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral), with guidelines for the various curricular structures appropriate to different degrees, as defined by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Using this competency based system, the Association formulates competency objectives or learning outcomes for the various degree programs, based on what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed by music therapists to work in various capacities in the field. Academic institutions should take primary responsibility for designing, providing, and overseeing the full range of learning experiences needed by students to acquire these competencies, including the necessary clinical training.

A bachelor's degree program should be designed to impart professional level competencies as specified in the AMTA Professional Competencies, while also meeting the curricular design outlined by NASM. Since education and clinical training form an integrated continuum for student learning at the professional level, academic institutions should take responsibility not only for academic components of the degree, but also for the full range of clinical training experiences needed by students to achieve competency objectives for the degree. This would include developing and overseeing student placements for both pre internship and internship training.

A master's degree program should be designed to impart selected and specified advanced competencies, drawn from the AMTA Advanced Competencies, which would provide breadth and depth beyond the AMTA Professional Competencies that are required for entrance into the music therapy profession. At this level the degree should address the practice of music therapy wherein the music therapist applies and integrates a comprehensive synthesis of theories, research, treatment knowledge, musicianship, clinical skills, and personal awareness to address client needs. The curricular design would be appropriate to the degree title, per agreement between AMTA and NASM.

The doctoral degree should be designed to impart advanced competence in research, theory development, clinical practice, supervision, college teaching, and/or clinical administration, depending upon the title and purpose of the program. AMTA will work with NASM in the delineation of the doctoral degree in music therapy.

Academic institutions and internship sites should take primary responsibility for assuring the quality of their programs, jointly and/or separately. This is accomplished by regular, competency based evaluations of their programs and graduates by faculty, supervisors, and/or students. The Association will assure the quality of education and clinical training through its approval standards and review procedures. The Association encourages diversity among institutions and programs and respects the operational integrity within academic and clinical training programs.

In implementing these standards, the Association shares the beliefs that education and clinical training are not separate processes, but reflect a continuum of music therapy education; that education and clinical training must be competency based at all levels; that education and clinical training must be student centered; and that education and clinical training must exist in a perspective of continuous change to remain current. The Association also believes in the importance of music as central to music therapy and that music study must be at the core of education and clinical training.

The Association's standards are based on a vision of the future for music therapy education and clinical training. In establishing and maintaining these standards, it has a responsibility related to education and clinical training in relationship to the outside world that includes clients, professionals of other disciplines, and settings. The Association's relationships with the outside world include the identification of levels of professional practice and training, interface with professionals of other disciplines and with their professional associations, involvement with regulatory entities, and alliances in the private sector. The Association works from a philosophy of inclusiveness that embraces a wide range of approaches and a broad base of therapeutic models including uses of music for persons with disabilities and disease, as well as those who desire music therapy for health, wellness, and prevention. The Association must therefore give academic institutions and clinical training programs the flexibility they need to simultaneously meet student needs, market needs, client needs, and quality standards.

The Association believes it can maintain high quality in education and clinical training while it provides for maximum flexibility in the ways professional standards and competencies are implemented. It also believes that standards can be implemented in ways that prevent overregulation and micromanagement. Quality assurance for education and clinical training must be accomplished at the local level, managed by the academic faculty at the academic institutions and the music therapy supervisors at clinical training sites rather than solely by the Association. The Association shall use these competency based standards as the basis for evaluating academic and clinical training programs and awarding its approval.

These standards must be viewed along with the Association's Professional Competencies, Advanced Competencies, Standards of Clinical Practice, Advisory on Levels of Practice in Music Therapy, Code of Ethics, Policies and Procedures for Academic Program Approval, and National Roster Internship Guidelines. In addition, academic programs in music therapy should refer to the NASM Handbook for general standards and competencies common to all professional baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in music, as well as specific baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in music therapy. Academic institutions and clinical training programs have the responsibility for determining how their programs will impart the required professional and/or advanced competencies to students (i.e., through which courses, requirements, clinical training experiences, etc.). The standards have been designed to allow institutions and programs to meet this responsibility in ways that are consistent with their own philosophies, objectives, and resources. All AMTA approved academic and clinical training programs will strive to attain these standards.

    AMTA STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION AND CLINICAL TRAINING   1.0 GENERAL STANDARDS FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS

1.1 Only regionally accredited, degree-granting institutions awarding at least the bachelor’s degree may offer an academic program in music therapy eligible for program approval by the Association.

1.2 The Association will grant academic program approval only when every music therapy curricular program of the applicant institution (including graduate work, if offered) meets the standards of the Association. Note: This policy excludes doctoral degree programs in music therapy until such time as AMTA and NASM have worked together to delineate the doctoral degree in music therapy.

1.3 The administrative section of the academic institution housing the music therapy unit shall have a clearly defined organizational structure, with administrative officers who involve music therapy faculty at the appropriate level of decision making and who provide the necessary support systems for effective implementation of the program.

1.4 The music therapy unit shall be administratively organized in a way that enables students to complete the program and accomplish its educational objectives within the designated time frame.

1.5 The academic institution shall have the space, equipment, library, technology, and instrument resources necessary to support degree objectives.

1.6 The rationale and objectives of each music therapy degree program offered by the academic institution shall be clearly defined, responsive to significant trends and needs in the profession, and consistent with clinical and ethical standards of practice.

1.7 The degree title shall be consistent with educational objectives and curricular requirements of the program.

1.8 The music therapy unit shall have criteria and procedures for admission that reflect the abilities and qualities needed by the student to accomplish degree objectives. The unit shall also have criteria and procedures for determining advanced standing and transfer credit.

1.9 The music therapy unit shall have criteria and procedures for determining student retention, and specifying conditions for dismissal. These shall reflect the level of competence expected of students at various stages during and upon completion of the program.

1.10 The music therapy unit shall take primary responsibility for academic advisement and career counseling of all music therapy majors.

1.11 The music therapy unit shall conduct periodic evaluation of its programs and graduates according to competency objectives of each degree program. The results of these evaluations shall be used as the basis of program development, quality control, and change.

1.12 All music therapy programs in branch campuses or extension programs must meet all NASM Standards for Branch Campuses and External Programs.

1.13 All programs approved by the Association that offer distance learning programs must meet NASM Standards for Distance Learning and the AMTA Guidelines for Distance Learning.

2.0 STANDARDS FOR COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION

2.1 The Association shall establish and maintain competency-based standards for ensuring the quality of education and clinical training in the field. Specifically:

2.1.1 The Association shall establish educational objectives for academic and clinical training programs that are outcome specific. That is, the standards shall specify learning outcomes, or the various areas of knowledge, skills, and abilities that graduates will acquire as a result of the program.

2.1.2 The Association shall formulate and update these competency objectives based on what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed by graduates to perform the various levels and types of responsibilities of a professional music therapist. As such, the standards must continually reflect current practices in both treatment and prevention, illness and wellness; embrace diverse models, orientations and applications of music therapy; address consumer needs; and stimulate growth of the discipline and profession.

2.1.3 The Association shall use these competency-based standards as the basis for evaluating academic and clinical training programs and awarding its approval.

2.2 The Association shall establish curricular structures for academic programs based on competency objectives and title of the degree. A curricular structure gives credit distributions for broad areas of study that must be included in each degree type (e.g., for the M.M. degree, 40% in music therapy, 30% in music, 30% in electives). These curricular structures shall be consistent with those outlined by NASM.

2.3 Academic institutions shall design degree programs in music therapy according to the competency objectives required or recommended by AMTA and the appropriate curricular structure.

2.4 Internship programs shall be designed according to competency objectives delineated by the Association, and in relation to the competency objectives addressed by affiliate academic institutions.

2.5 The academic institution and internship program shall evaluate students of its programs according to the competency requirements established by AMTA, and shall use the evaluation in determining each student’s readiness for graduation.

3.0 STANDARDS FOR BACHELOR’S DEGREES

3.1 Academic Component

3.1.1 The bachelor’s degree in music therapy (and equivalency programs) shall be designed to impart professional competencies in three main areas: musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations and principles, as specified in the AMTA Professional Competencies. A program of academic coursework and clinical training that gives students who have degrees outside of music therapy the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in music therapy may be offered post-baccalaureate. For equivalency programs combined with the master’s degree, all AMTA Standards for Master’s Degrees must be met.

3.1.2 In compliance with NASM Standards, the bachelor’s degree in music therapy shall be divided into areas of study as follows (based on 120 semester hours or its equivalent). Please note that the following outline of content areas listed below is not intended to designate course titles.

Musical Foundations (45%)
Music Theory
Composition and Arranging
Music History and Literature
Applied Music Major
Ensembles
Conducting
Functional Piano, Guitar, Percussion, and Voice
Improvisation

Clinical Foundations (15%)
Exceptionality and Psychopathology
Normal Human Development
Principles of Therapy
The Therapeutic Relationship

Music Therapy (15%)
Foundations and Principles
Assessment and Evaluation
Methods and Techniques
Pre-Internship and Internship Courses
Psychology of Music
Music Therapy Research
Influence of Music on Behavior
Music Therapy with Various Populations

General Education (20-25%)
English, Math, Social Sciences, Arts,
Humanities, Physical Sciences, etc.

Electives (5%)

3.1.3 The academic institution shall take primary responsibility for the education and clinical training of its students at the professional level. This involves: offering the necessary academic courses to achieve required competency objectives, organizing and overseeing the student’s clinical training, integrating the student’s academic and clinical learning experiences according to developmental sequences, and evaluating student competence at various stages of the program.

3.1.4 The music therapy unit shall evaluate each student’s competence level in the required areas prior to completion of degree or equivalency requirements.

3.2 Clinical Training Component

3.2.1 The academic institution shall take primary responsibility for providing students with the entire continuum of clinical training experiences with a representative range of client populations in diverse settings. Toward that end, the academic institution shall establish and maintain training and internship agreements with a sufficient number and diversity of field agencies that have the client population, supervisory personnel, and program resources needed to train interns and/or provide pre-internship clinical training experiences. Qualified supervision of clinical training is required and coordinated or verified by the academic institution.

3.2.2 The academic institution shall design its own clinical training program, including types of pre-internship and internship requirements, the number of hours for each placement, the variety of client types involved, and whether internship sites will be approved by the Association, the academic institution, or both. These pre-internship and internship experiences shall be designed, like academic components of the program, to enable students to acquire specific professional level competencies. At least three different populations should be included in pre-internship training.  A qualified, credentialed music therapist must provide direct supervision to the pre-internship student, observing the student for a minimum of 40% of pre-internship clinical sessions.  (See Qualification Standards for definition of pre-internship supervisor.) Direct supervision includes observation of the student's clinical work with feedback provided to the student. The academic institution shall describe the design of its clinical training program in the application for approval or re-approval by the Association.

NOTE: Academic course hours that include role-playing or instructing students in music skills, session planning, documentation, and related skills for hypothetical clinical sessions in music therapy may not be utilized as clinical training hours.

3.2.3 Internship, here defined as the culminating, in-depth supervised clinical training at the professional level, may be designed in different ways: part or full time, in one or more settings, for varying periods or time frames, and near or distant from the academic institution. Internships are always under continuous, qualified supervision by a credentialed music therapist. (See Qualification Standards for definition of internship supervisor.) Each internship shall be designed or selected to meet the individual needs of the student. This requires joint planning by the academic faculty, the internship supervisor, and the student, as well as continuous communication throughout the student's placement.

3.2.4 Internship programs may be approved by an academic institution, the Association, or both. Academic institutions will maintain information about affiliated internship programs that they have selected and approved for their own students, and the Association will maintain a national roster of all AMTA-approved internship sites open to any student from any academic institution. Internship sites may choose to establish both university-affiliated internship(s) and a national roster internship program so long as the internship site stays within the standards set by the National Roster Internship Guidelines. The internship supervisor shall make final acceptance decisions regarding applicants for their internship, regardless of whether the internship has been approved by the academic institution or the Association.

3.2.5 University-affiliated internship programs must meet all AMTA standards of the Clinical Training Component and Qualifications for Clinical Supervisors in this document, as well as AMTA Guidelines for Distance Learning (if applicable). These programs will be reviewed in conjunction with academic program approval or re-approval by the Association. University-affiliated internships must be designed so that the music therapy intern spends at least half of the internship hours at one or more placements under the direct supervision of a credentialed music therapist who regularly provides professional music therapy services at that placement(s). For any portion of the internship when there cannot be a music therapist on site, the student must have a credentialed music therapist providing direct supervision under the auspices of the university. Direct supervision includes observation of the intern’s clinical work with feedback provided to the intern.

3.2.6 The academic institution shall develop an individualized training plan with each student for completion of all facets of clinical training based on the AMTA competencies, student's needs, student’s competencies, and life circumstances. The various clinical training supervisors will work in partnership with the academic faculty to develop the student's competencies and to meet the individualized training plan. It is recommended that this training plan for clinical training shall include specification of placements, minimum hours in each aspect of clinical training including both pre-internship and internship experiences, and the roles and responsibilities of the student, the qualified on-site supervisor, and the academic faculty. A written internship agreement will also be made between the student, internship supervisor, and the academic faculty to describe the student’s level of performance at the initiation of the internship. The academic faculty will assume responsibility for the initiation of the internship agreement with the intern and the internship director. The internship agreement shall include

  • The academic institution's evaluation of the student's level of achievement on each of the AMTA Professional Competencies based on information gathered from music therapy faculty, recent supervisors, written evaluations of clinical work, and the student.
  • The number of clinical training hours the student has completed (> 180) and the minimum number of hours required for internship (> 900) to a total of > 1200).
  • The starting and estimated ending dates of the internship. For national roster sites, these are provided by the internship director.
  • Any academic requirements the student must fulfill for the University during internship. The signature of the internship director on the internship agreement signifies that these requirements may be reasonably completed over and above the site’s requirements of the intern.

All parties will participate in the formulation of the agreement which should be completed by the end of the first week of the internship. The agreement will carry the signatures of the academic faculty involved in assessing student competence, the internship director, and the student.

The internship agreement may also include other pertinent information, such as the length of the internship; the student’s work schedule; the supervision plan; role and responsibilities of each party; and health, liability, and insurance issues. The content and format of each internship agreement may vary according to the situation and parties involved. This internship agreement is required for both the university affiliated and AMTA national roster internship programs. These individualized training plans and internship agreements are separate and distinct from any affiliation agreements or other legal documents that delineate the terms of the relationship between the university and the clinical training site(s).

3.2.7 The internship program shall have its own competency-based evaluation system to determine whether each intern has attained required AMTA competencies. The internship program shall also solicit intern site evaluations for quality assurance purposes. These evaluations shall be forwarded to the intern's academic institution.

3.2.8 Every student must complete a minimum of 1200 hours of clinical training, with at least 15% (180 hours) in pre-internship experiences and at least 75% (900 hours) in internship experiences. Clinical training is defined as the entire continuum of supervised field experiences, including observing, assisting, co-leading, leading, and assuming full responsibility for program planning and music therapy treatment implementation with clients. It is recommended that hours of clinical training include both direct client contact and other activities that relate directly to clinical sessions in music therapy. Such experiences also may include time in group and individual supervision of client sessions, session planning, and documentation for clients.

Academic institutions may opt to require more than the minimum total number of hours, and internship programs may opt to require more hours than the referring or affiliate academic institution. In addition, when a student is unable to demonstrate required professional level competencies, additional hours of internship may be required of the student by the academic institution in consultation with the internship supervisor.

3.2.9 The internship must be satisfactorily completed before the conferral of any music therapy degree or completion of a non-degree equivalency program. The student must have received a grade of C- or better in all music therapy courses in order to be eligible for internship. The academic institution has the ultimate responsibility to determine whether these requirements have been successfully met.

3.2.10 Existing internship sites already approved by the Association shall maintain their approval status pending adherence to the National Roster Internship Guidelines.

4.0 STANDARDS FOR MASTER’S DEGREES

The purpose of the master’s degree programs in music therapy is to impart advanced competencies, as specified in the AMTA Advanced Competencies. These degree programs provide breadth and depth beyond the AMTA Professional Competencies required for entrance into the music therapy profession.

4.1 Curricular Standards: Each graduate student in a master’s degree program is expected to gain in-depth knowledge and competence in both of the following areas. These areas may be addressed in either separate or combined coursework as deemed appropriate.

4.1.1 Music Therapy Theory (e.g., principles, foundations, current theories of music therapy practice, supervision, education, implications for research);

4.1.2 Advanced Clinical Skills: In-depth understanding of the clinical and supervisory roles and responsibilities of a music therapist. Advanced clinical skills are acquired through a supervised clinical component, defined as one or more music therapy fieldwork experiences that focus on clients and require post-internship, graduate training.

NB: All master’s degrees in music therapy must include a supervised clinical component beyond the completion of the 1200 hours of clinical training required for acquisition of the AMTA Professional Competencies and concurrently with or following completion of graduate music therapy courses. It is strongly advised that the student receive direct supervision under the auspices of the University in either on-site or consultative form. Such supervision must be provided by a music therapist who has acquired advanced clinical competencies.

In addition, each graduate student in a master’s degree program is expected to gain in-depth knowledge and competence in one or more of the following areas:

4.1.3 Research (e.g., quantitative and qualitative research designs and their application to music therapy practice, supervision, administration, higher education);

4.1.4 Musical Development and Personal Growth (e.g., leadership skills, self-awareness, music skills, improvisation skills in various musical styles, music technology);

4.1.5 Clinical Administration (e.g., laws and regulations governing the provision of education and health services, the roles of a clinical administrator in institutions and clinical settings).

4.2 Curricular Structures

4.2.1 Practice-Oriented Degrees. These degrees focus on the preparation of music therapists for advanced clinical practice.

4.2.2 Research-Oriented Degrees. These degrees focus on the preparation of scholars and researchers in music therapy, preparing graduates for doctoral study.

4.2.3 Degrees Combining Research and Practice Orientations. These degrees focus on the simultaneous development of the ability to produce research findings and utilize, combine, or integrate these findings within the practice of music therapy.

4.2.4 Graduate education requires the provision of certain kinds of experiences that go beyond those typically provided in undergraduate programs. These include opportunities for active participation in small seminars and tutorials and ongoing consultation with faculty prior to and during preparation of a final project over an extended period of time.

4.2.5 A culminating project such as a thesis, clinical paper, or demonstration project is required.

4.2.6 Master’s degree programs include requirements and opportunities for studies that relate directly to the educational objectives of the degree program, including supportive studies in music and related fields.

4.2.7 Within master’s degree programs, academic institutions are encouraged to develop graduate level specialization areas and courses on advanced topics based on faculty expertise and other resources available at the institution. Therefore, the curriculum and the requirements of each program must be tailored to the resources available, the mission of the institution, and the contribution they aspire to make to the profession of music therapy.

4.2.8 At least one-half of the credits required for the master’s degree must be in courses intended for graduate students only. A single course that carries both an undergraduate and a graduate designation is not considered a course intended for graduate students only. To obtain graduate credit, students enrolled in a single course that carries a separate undergraduate and graduate designation or number must complete specific published requirements that are at a graduate level. Distinctions between undergraduate and graduate expectations must be delineated for such courses in the course syllabi. Only courses taken after undergraduate courses that are prerequisite to a given graduate program may receive graduate credit in that program.

4.2.9 Students entering the master’s degree without the bachelor’s degree in music therapy and/or the MT-BC credential must take a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours graduate credits toward advanced competence in addition to and beyond any courses needed to demonstrate AMTA Professional Competencies.

4.2.10 A master’s degree in music therapy must include a minimum of 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours of graduate credits in music therapy in addition to and beyond any courses needed to demonstrate the AMTA Professional Competencies. These courses must be intended for graduate students only and should not carry designations for both graduate and undergraduate students.

4.3 Degree Formats and Titles

4.3.1 Master of Music degree places advanced music therapy studies within a musical context: 40% music therapy, 30% music, and 30% electives in related areas. The studies in music may include coursework in diverse areas (e.g., performance, ethnomusicology, advanced musicianship, and analysis). The electives consist of supportive studies in related areas that bear directly on the specific educational objectives of the degree program.

4.3.2 Master of Music Therapy degree places advanced music therapy studies within a disciplinary context of theory, research, and practice in music therapy: 50% music therapy and 50% electives. The electives consist of supportive studies in related areas that bear directly on the specific educational objectives of the degree program.

4.3.3 Master of Arts or Master of Music Education degree places advanced music therapy studies within the context of creative arts therapy, expressive therapies, psychology, counseling, social sciences, education, arts, and/or humanities: 40% music therapy, 30% specialization field, and 30% electives. The electives consist of supportive studies that bear directly on the specific educational objectives of the degree program.

4.3.4 Master of Science degree places advanced music therapy studies within the context of medicine, allied health, and the physical sciences: 40% music therapy, 30% science specialization, and 30% electives. The electives consist of supportive studies that bear directly on the specific educational objectives of the degree program.

4.3.5 Master’s degrees in music therapy may be designed additionally to prepare certified professionals for state licensure.

5.0 STANDARD FOR DOCTORAL DEGREES

The doctoral degree shall impart advanced competence in research, theory development, clinical practice, supervision, college teaching, and/or clinical administration, depending on the title and purpose of the program. Requirements for the doctoral degree must remain flexible to ensure growth and development of the profession. The academic and clinical components of each doctoral degree must be formulated by the institution according to student need and demand, emerging needs of the profession, faculty expertise, educational mission of the institution, and the resources available. Admission of candidates for doctoral degrees in music therapy should require at least three years of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work. Doctoral students who have less than five years full-time clinical experience in music therapy or the equivalent in part-time experience should be encouraged to acquire additional experience during the course of the doctoral program. AMTA and NASM will work together in the delineation of the doctoral degree in music therapy.

6.0 STANDARDS FOR QUALIFICATIONS AND STAFFING

The following are minimal qualification standards to be used by academic institutions when hiring faculty, selecting clinical supervisors, making placements, and approving their own internship programs, and by the Association in endorsing internship programs for the national roster. These standards shall be upheld by the Association through its initial and periodic reviews of academic institutions and internship programs on the national roster, rather than through authorization of individual faculty and supervisors.

6.1 Academic Faculty

6.1.1 Undergraduate Faculty: An individual employed full-time at a college or university with primary responsibilities for teaching music therapy and/or directing a music therapy program at the undergraduate level.

  • Holds an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy;
  • Holds a master’s degree in music therapy or related area, with a minimum of 12 semester hours or the equivalent of graduate credits in music therapy beyond the undergraduate equivalency requirements;
  • Has at least three years of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work;
  • Pursues continuing education relevant to his/her teaching responsibilities;
  • Demonstrates the following: mastery of all professional level and applicable advanced competencies in music therapy; effectiveness as a music therapy clinician in at least one area of practice; the ability to teach and clinically supervise undergraduate students; and the ability to organize and administer an undergraduate music therapy program.

6.1.2 Graduate Faculty: An individual employed full-time at a college or university with primary responsibilities for teaching music therapy and/or directing music therapy programs at the master’s and/or doctoral level.

  • Holds an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy;
  • Holds a master’s degree in music therapy or related area, with a minimum of 12 semester hours or the equivalent of graduate credits in music therapy beyond the undergraduate equivalency requirements. A doctorate is preferred.
  • Has at least five years of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work;
  • Pursues continuing education relevant to his/her teaching responsibilities;
  • Demonstrates the following: mastery of all professional level and applicable advanced competencies in music therapy; effectiveness as a music therapy clinician in at least one area of practice; the ability to teach and clinically supervise graduate students; ability to guide graduate research; and the ability to organize and administer a graduate music therapy program.

6.1.3 Adjunct Faculty: An individual employed by a college or university to teach specific courses in music therapy on a part-time basis.

  • Holds an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy;
  • Holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy or its equivalent;
  • Has at least two years of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work;
  • Pursues continuing education relevant to his/her teaching responsibilities
  • Demonstrates specific competencies appropriate to the teaching assignment.

6.2 Clinical Supervisors

6.2.1 Pre-internship Supervisor: An individual who has a clinical practice in music therapy (either private or facility-based) and supervises students in introductory music therapy clinical training (variously called fieldwork, practicum, pre-clinical, etc.).

  • Holds an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy;
  • Holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy or its equivalent;
  • Has at least one year of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work;
  • Pursues continuing education relevant to his/her clinical and supervisory responsibilities;
  • Demonstrates the following: all professional level competencies; effectiveness as a music therapy clinician in at least one area of practice; general understanding of the supervisory needs of pre-internship students, and professional level skills in supervision.

NOTE: In an exceptional case, a student may have an on-site supervisor or facility coordinator who may not be a music therapist but holds a professional, clinical credential (e.g., OT, nurse, special educator, etc.). Under these circumstances, the student must have a credentialed music therapist as a supervisor under the auspices of the university. A pre-internship supervisor (a credentialed music therapist) must provide direct supervision to the student, observing the student for a minimum of 40% of pre-internship clinical sessions. Direct supervision includes observation of the student's clinical work with feedback provided to the student.

6.2.2 Internship Supervisor: An individual who has a clinical practice in music therapy (either private or institutional) and supervises students in the final field experiences required for the music therapy degree or equivalency program.

  • Holds an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy;
  • Holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy or its equivalent;
  • Has at least two years of full-time clinical experience in music therapy or its equivalent in part-time work;
  • Has sufficient experience working in the internship setting as defined in the National Roster Internship Guidelines or by the university program.
  • Pursues continuing education relevant to his/her clinical and supervisory responsibilities;
  • Demonstrates the following: all professional level competencies; effectiveness as a music therapy clinician in at least one area of practice; general understanding of the supervisory needs of internship students, and established skills in supervision.

6.3 Staffing

6.3.1 Academic institutions shall have a minimum of one full-time faculty position in music therapy for each degree program offered. If an equivalency program is offered in an institution without a degree program in music therapy, the institution shall have a minimum of one full-time faculty position in music therapy. Additional full or part-time faculty may be required depending upon student enrollment in each degree program and teaching loads.

7.0 STANDARDS FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE

7.1 Differential Roles

7.1.1 The academic institution and internship site shall take primary responsibility for assuring the quality of their programs, jointly and/or separately. This shall be accomplished by regular, competency-based evaluations of its programs and graduates, by faculty, supervisors, and/or students. Each academic institution and internship program shall develop its own system of evaluation, and shall use the results as the basis for program development, quality assurance, and program change.

7.1.2 AMTA shall assure the quality of education and clinical training by: a) establishing and maintaining standards of excellence for education and clinical training in the field; and b) using these standards as evaluative criteria for granting its approval to academic institutions and internship programs.

7.1.3 AMTA shall consider academic institutions and/or internship programs for approval upon initial application and review, and every ten years thereafter in conjunction with the NASM accreditation/affirmation review.

7.2 National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

7.2.1 Only academic institutions accredited or affirmed by NASM are eligible to apply for AMTA approval. Schools that are eligible for NASM membership must be accredited by NASM. Schools that are ineligible for NASM accreditation must seek affirmation by NASM through the alternative review process.

7.3 Grandfathering

7.3.1 All academic institutions previously approved by AAMT and NAMT shall maintain their approval status with AMTA during the transition from previous standards to the standards set forth herein. AMTA-approved academic programs in institutions that did not offer degrees or majors in music and that did not hold NASM accreditation or affirmation at the time the AMTA standards were originally adopted are eligible to re-apply for AMTA approval according to the standards without seeking NASM accreditation or affirmation. AMTA-approved academic programs in institutions that did offer degrees or majors in music at the time the AMTA standards were originally adopted but do not currently hold NASM accreditation or affirmation must apply for NASM accreditation or affirmation in order to maintain AMTA approval.

8.0 Guidelines for Distance Learning 

Rationale: Technology is rapidly becoming integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. The utilization of technology in education in university teaching is a natural step. With this in mind, it is imperative that the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) formulate guidelines for distance learning in education. Technology beyond the posting of syllabi, course outlines, and use as a communication device, is currently being used in 50% of music therapy undergraduate and 58% of graduate programs in the United States (Keith & Vega, 2006). Of those undergraduate training programs, 45% of these programs use face-to-face instruction and use technology only for discussions and online assignments. American Music Therapy Association receives a significant number of requests from prospective music therapy candidates who are unable to move geographically to institutions with AMTA approved music therapy programs. The AMTA Academic Program Approval Committee has received applications for new program approval for distance learning programs and is therefore in need of standards and guidelines for its program approval process. Institutions are encouraged to be innovative both in education delivery and financially. It is recognized that with the rapid changes in technology, these standards and guidelines will require flexibility and will be in a continued state of development.

8.1 Definition: The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) defines distance learning as learning that "involves programs of study delivered entirely or partially away from regular face-to-face interactions between teachers and students in classrooms, tutorials, laboratories, and rehearsals associated with course work, degrees, and programs on the campus. . . . Programs in which more than 40% of their requirements are fulfilled through distance learning will be designated as distance learning programs.. The distance aspect of these programs may be conducted through a variety of means, including teaching and learning through electronic systems..."

8.2 Standards Applications: The American Music Therapy Association requires that all AMTA approved music therapy programs meet the NASM standards for distance learning: "Distance learning programs must meet all NASM operational and curricular standards for programs of their type and content. This means that the functions and competencies required by applicable standards are met even when distance learning mechanisms predominate in the total delivery system." (NASM) The American Music Therapy Association also requires that baccalaureate, equivalency, and master’s degree programs in music therapy meet AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training when such programs meet the above criteria for distance learning. All new distance learning programs that meet the above criteria must apply for AMTA academic program approval even if the existing degree/equivalency program already has AMTA program approval.

8.3 General Standards: There are several NASM standards that must be fully addressed before a music therapy program initiates a distance learning format. They include the following:

8.3.1 Financial and Technical Support. "The institution must provide financial and technical support commensurate with the purpose, size, scope, and content of its distance learning programs." (NASM)

8.3.2 Student Evaluations "Specific student evaluation points shall be established throughout the time period of each course or program." (NASM)

8.3.3 Student Technical Competence and Equipment Requirements. "The institution must determine and publish for each distance learning program or course (a) requirements for technical competence and (b) any technical equipment requirements. The institution must have means for assessing the extent to which prospective students meet these requirements before they are accepted or enrolled. The institution shall publish information regarding the availability of academic and technical support services." (NASM)

8.3.4 Distance Learning vs. Traditional Learning. "When an identical program, or a program with an identical title, is offered through distance learning as well as on campus, the institution must be able to demonstrate functional equivalency in all aspects of each program. Mechanisms must be established to assure equal quality among delivery systems." (NASM)

8.3.5 Student Instructions, Expectations, and Evaluation. "Instructions to students, expectations for achievement, and evaluation criteria must be clearly stated and readily available to all involved in a particular distance learning program. Students must be fully informed of means for asking questions and otherwise communicating with instructors and students as required." (NASM)

8.4 Guidelines for Music Therapy Programs

8.4.1 Hours of Face-to-Face Instruction: Distance learning programs should specify how much face-to-face instruction will occur per course, if any. Such courses are often referred to as "hybrid courses" (also known as blended or mixed mode courses) in which a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online. Faculty need to be knowledgeable about modules and course management systems specific to their college/university, different file types, browsers, broadcasting systems, etc., and continue to keep updated with new technology.

8.4.2 Office Hours: The course instructor may fulfill office hours either by posting virtual office hours or by instituting a policy of responding to student needs within a 48 hour time frame.

8.4.3 Support Services: The methods and technological requirements for online learning should be published (e.g., Discussion Board on Blackboard, webinars, Skype, etc.). It is suggested that each course of study devote time to teaching the use of technology in the program. The program shall publish information regarding the availability of academic and technical support services. Any online courses outside of music therapy that are available for support should also be indicated. Provisions for using library resources should be published.

8.4.4 Admission: Admission will be in compliance with each university’s admission policies and procedures for music therapy programs.

8.4.5 Residency Requirement and Transfer Credits: If the university has a "residency requirement," such a requirement will be honored by the music therapy programs. Furthermore, music therapy core courses and clinical training from AMTA approved institutions will be eligible for transfer as determined by the university’s policies and evaluation of student competencies. The number of credit hours that can be taken at another educational institution and in what areas should be indicated to the student at the time of admission.

8.4.6 Music Therapy Courses: Music therapy programs must meet the curricular structures as outlined in the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training. Academic faculty should determine what learning should be done in residence as opposed to online and how this must be implemented. Course syllabi should clearly provide the course outline and assignments to indicate what each course entails, including the technological requirements and the online course management systems. Means of evaluation of the student’s work at periodic times throughout the course must be provided in the syllabi. Course syllabi should indicate the AMTA Professional Competencies and/or Advanced Competencies (whichever if applicable) that will be addressed in the course(s) and how these competencies will be evaluated using distance learning methods.

8.4.7 Academic Faculty: Academic faculty teaching music therapy courses must meet AMTA standards for academic faculty. These guidelines for distance learning apply to all baccalaureate, equivalency, and master’s degree programs in music therapy. Administering an online program and teaching online courses will require a significant amount of time over and beyond the credits awarded for the course. Load issues and overload issues should be taken into account when designing the program and distributed in a fair and equitable way to the music therapy faculty.

8.4.8 Music Competencies: Each student’s music competencies in performance and functional music skills will be evaluated prior to acceptance into a distance learning program and upon completion of the program will meet AMTA standards stated in the Professional Competencies and/or Advanced Competencies (whichever is applicable to the degree/equivalency programs). This includes competencies in functional keyboard, guitar, voice, percussion, and improvisation. Music competencies may be evaluated through face-to-face auditions, web-based conferencing juries, or through videotaping. Credit for functional music skills may be acquired either at the college/university offering the program or transferred in from other academic institutions. Requirements for meeting any deficiencies in these areas must be specified in a plan for the student’s remediation and continued evaluation. Methods of evaluating musical proficiencies long distance must be specified.

8.4.9 Clinical Training: The pre-internship and internship learning experiences for students should meet all AMTA standards for clinical training. Pre-internship field experiences may be established through distance learning. There should be legal contracts and/or affiliation agreements for these distance learning relationships which specify the roles and responsibilities of the academic faculty, pre-internship supervisors, internship supervisors, and the student. The music therapy faculty/staff at the academic program site (full-time or adjunct) should provide training and supervision for the on-site pre-internship and (if applicable) university affiliated internship clinical training supervisors and serve as a liaison between the academic program and the pre-internship/internship clinical training program(s). All clinical training supervisors must meet the AMTA "Standards for Qualifications and Staffing" for Pre-internship Supervisor and Internship Supervisor (whichever is applicable), including that of holding an appropriate professional credential or designation in music therapy (e.g., MT-BC; ACMT; CMT; RMT).

8.4.10 Online Supervision: Online supervision may be provided for the clinical supervisors along with site visits by the academic faculty. Supervision for the student’s clinical training experiences includes individual supervision of the student by the qualified music therapist at the host site, as well as supervision by the academic faculty. Feedback of the student’s clinical work can be provided to academic faculty through such means as audio-visual media and other forms of technology and telecommunications to evaluate the student's clinical competencies. Please note that the issues related to client confidentiality must be addressed.

8.4.11 Group Supervision: Group supervision may also be provided through online discussion boards such as those found in Blackboard and/or live-time webinars with faculty and students. Please note that the issues related to client confidentiality must be addressed.

8.4.12 Related Coursework: The music therapy program should state explicitly whether courses that are required outside of the music therapy program (e.g., psychology, statistics or other research courses) are also available in distance-learning format.

Keith, D. & Vega, V. P. (2006) A survey of online courses in music therapy. Unpublished manuscript.

GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS

AAMT: The American Association for Music Therapy was one of the two former organizations that merged to form the American Music Therapy Association.

Academic Institution: A college or university offering music therapy degree program(s).

Academic Faculty: The full-time, part-time and adjunct teaching professionals in an academic institution that have responsibility for instruction, research, and service as per academic institution policies. Academic faculty members have responsibility for the music therapy academic program(s).

Accreditation (NASM): The process whereby a private, governmentally authorized agency grants public recognition to an academic institution that meets standards of quality for higher education in a particular field, as determined through initial and subsequent periodic reviews. In the field of music, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) is the only authorized accrediting agency empowered to accredit academic institutions offering music degrees in any area in the United States. Thus, NASM accreditation (or "NASM membership") signifies that all the music degrees offered by an academic institution have been evaluated by NASM and found to be consistent with national standards. Please note the following differences between NASM accreditation, NASM affirmation, and AMTA approval: NASM accredits an academic institution based on the quality of all of its music degree programs; NASM affirms an institution ineligible for NASM accreditation, based on the adequacy of its music resources for music therapy programs; AMTA approves an academic institution based on the quality of its music therapy programs only. See respective definitions.

ACMT: "Advanced Certified Music Therapist" is a designation formerly given by the American Association for Music Therapy.

Affirmation (NASM): NASM offers an alternative review process for music therapy programs that are ineligible to apply for NASM accreditation (e.g., in an institution in a foreign country). The alternative review process leads to a statement of affirmation from NASM assuring that the institution and its music programs provide a context for and qualitative outcome by the music therapy program consistent with NASM standards. Academic institutions that meet NASM standards and receive such affirmation are not "accredited" members of NASM. Please see under "Accreditation (NASM)" for an explanation of the differences between NASM accreditation, NASM affirmation, and AMTA approval.

AMTA: The American Music Therapy Association is the organization formed by the unification of AAMT and NAMT.

Appropriate Music Therapy Credential or Designation: Appropriate music therapy credentials or designations include three designations that were issued by the former Associations—RMT or Registered Music Therapist, CMT or Certified Music Therapist, and ACMT or Advanced Certification in Music Therapy; and the MT-BC or Music Therapist-Board Certified, which is the professional credential in music therapy granted in the United States. An appropriate music therapy credential or designation could also include a professional designation or credential from a country other than the United States.

Approval of Academic Institutions: Approval is a process whereby the professional association in music therapy grants public recognition to an academic institution for its degree (and/or equivalency) programs in music therapy. Approval is granted when the degree program meets the Association’s standards of quality, as determined through initial and periodic review by the Association. Please see under "Accreditation (NASM)" for an explanation of the differences between NASM accreditation, NASM affirmation, and AMTA approval.

Approval of Internship Sites: Internship approval by AMTA is the process by which AMTA determines that an internship site meets its standards of quality and grants public recognition to that fact. The Association maintains a national roster of approved internship sites for use by approved academic institutions and their students. Academic institutions also may approve and individually affiliate with internship sites. These university-affiliated internship programs will be reviewed in conjunction with academic program approval or re-approval by the Association.

Approval Review Process: The entire sequence of procedures established by AMTA for the evaluation of an academic institution or internship site. The "review" typically involves application by the academic institution or internship site using established forms, a process of evaluation by designated committees within the Association according to the standards and criteria for approval established by the association, and procedures for communication and appeal.

Board Certification: The credential of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) is initially obtained by successful passage of the national board certification examination designed and administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Each certificant must re-certify every five years. Re-certification may be accomplished either through re-examination or through accrual of appropriate continuing education as specified by CBMT.

CBMT: The Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Clinical Training: Clinical training is the entire continuum of supervised field experiences, including observing, assisting, co-leading, leading, and assuming full responsibility for program planning and music therapy treatment implementation with clients. This continuum includes all experiences formerly called observations, fieldwork, field experience, practicum, pre-clinical experience, and internship. For the sake of clarity, clinical training has been conceived as having two main components: pre-internship and internship. Pre-internship training consists of all the various practical field experiences taken by a student in conjunction with music therapy coursework as pre-requisites for internship placement. This may include experiences formerly called observations, practica, fieldwork, pre-clinical placements, etc. The internship is the culminating, in-depth supervised clinical training experience in a degree program in music therapy (or its equivalent) that leads to the achievement of the professional competency objectives.

CMT: "Certified Music Therapist" is a designation formerly given by the American Association for Music Therapy.

Competency-Based Education in Music Therapy: An approach to higher education and clinical training which has the following components: 1) the specification of student competencies or learning outcomes that serve as educational objectives for the program; 2) the distribution of these competency objectives into a developmentally sequenced curriculum of instruction, study, and/or practical training, 3) the design of specific courses and practical or field experiences to meet designated competency objectives, and 4) methods of quality assurance based on student competence upon completion of the program. The inventory entitled the AMTA Professional Competencies lists the professional competencies and the AMTA Advanced Competencies lists the advanced competencies.

Credential: Please see "Appropriate Music Therapy Credential or Designation."

Equivalency Program: A program of academic coursework and clinical training that gives students who have degrees outside of music therapy the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. Like the bachelor’s degree, an equivalency program is designed to impart professional level competencies in music therapy and to prepare the student to begin professional practice. Usually, the equivalency program consists of all core music therapy courses at the undergraduate level, all clinical training requirements, plus any pertinent courses in other fields (e.g., abnormal psychology). In those academic institutions offering a bachelor’s degree, the student usually earns undergraduate credit for these equivalency courses, while in some that only offer the master’s degree, students earn graduate credit for the same courses. It should be noted that an equivalency program is always regarded as professional level, regardless of the level of credit awarded for the coursework.

Internship: The culminating, in-depth supervised clinical training experience in a professional level degree program (or its equivalent) in music therapy.

Music Therapy Unit: The academic department, section, division, or subdivision within a college or university that takes administrative and programmatic responsibility for the music therapy degree(s) offered (e.g., a department of music therapy, a music therapy section within the department of music education, a music therapy program within the division of arts).

MT-BC: Music Therapist-Board Certified. Also see Board Certification.

NAMT: The National Association for Music Therapy was one of the two former organizations that merged to form the American Music Therapy Association.

NASM: The National Association of Schools of Music is the sole agency designated by the government to accredit music schools in the USA. (Refer to "Accreditation.")

Pre-internship: Pre-internship training is constituted by clinical training experiences conducted in conjunction with academic work in music therapy that are prerequisites for internship placement. This may include experiences formerly called observations, practica, fieldwork, pre-clinical placements, etc. Pre-internship experiences include both direct client contact and other activities that relate directly to clinical sessions in music therapy.

Professional Designation: Please see "Appropriate Music Therapy Credential or Designation."

RMT: Registered Music Therapist is a designation formerly given by the National Association for Music Therapy.

 

The AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training were adopted, 2000
Revised, 2010

    POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR ACADEMIC PROGRAM APPROVAL   I. Application for AMTA Approval:

The American Music Therapy Association will provide upon request materials for AMTA approval of baccalaureate and equivalency programs in music therapy and/or for AMTA approval of graduate programs in music therapy, including AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training, Professional Competencies, application forms and related information.

American Music Therapy Association, Inc.
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3392
Telephone: (301) 589-3300
Facsimile: (301) 589-5175

Only academic institutions accredited or affirmed by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) are eligible to apply for AMTA approval. NASM accredits institutions, while AMTA approves programs. (Refer to Glossary in the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training for explanations of "Accreditation," "Affirmation," and "Approval.")

An institution may apply for AMTA approval concurrently with application for NASM accreditation/affirmation review. Schools should contact NASM in regard to NASM accreditation/affirmation standards and procedures and AMTA in regard to AMTA approval standards and procedures. For institutions with NASM accreditation, the institution may apply for AMTA approval concurrently with application for NASM Plan Approval. (Refer to NASM Handbook for procedures required for instituting new curricula). If an institution does not have NASM accreditation or affirmation, the institution should contact NASM to determine if it is eligible to apply for NASM accreditation or affirmation. For institutions seeking NASM affirmation, an institution must have a letter of authorization from AMTA indicating that it meets one or more of the eligibility criteria for the NASM Alternative Review Process. (For additional information, refer to Section II, "Institutions Seeking AMTA Approval for New Programs" in this document). The institution then notifies the respective associations involved of its intent to apply for NASM accreditation/affirmation and/or AMTA approval.

Final approval by AMTA will not be granted until the academic institution has NASM accreditation or affirmation. It is the responsibility of the academic institution to verify with AMTA when it has obtained the NASM accreditation or affirmation. For institutions that (1) have completed the AMTA review process and (2) are in the process of seeking NASM accreditation or affirmation, AMTA may grant conditional approval pending NASM accreditation or affirmation. Conditional approval by AMTA will allow the institution to appoint music therapy faculty, recruit students, and offer music therapy courses for a limited time period.

During this period, the institution will notify students that applications to NASM and AMTA are pending. Institutions that already offer music degree programs should seek NASM accreditation or affirmation concurrently with the application for AMTA approval, with a time limit of one year from the date of the AMTA application for scheduling the NASM review and two years from the date of the AMTA application for completing the on-site portion of the NASM review. Institutions that do not currently offer music degree programs may seek AMTA conditional approval before applying for NASM accreditation or affirmation, with a time limit for scheduling the NASM review not to exceed two years beyond the date of the AMTA conditional approval and the time for completing the on-site review portion of the NASM review not to exceed three years beyond the date of the AMTA conditional approval. The specific deadlines for scheduling and completing the on-site portion of the NASM review will be determined mutually by AMTA and NASM within these time frames. In all cases, the AMTA conditional approval will not exceed four years.

Applications for AMTA approval will be submitted to AMTA for review by the Academic Program Approval Committee. This Committee may make a recommendation to (1) approve the program; (2) defer approval until necessary changes are documented; (3) grant conditional approval pending NASM accreditation or affirmation for a limited period of time; or (4) not approve. The Committee’s recommendation will be submitted to the Executive Board for official action. The Executive Director will then notify the academic institution in writing of the status of its application, with an explanation of the Board of Directors’ decision (if applicable).

II. Institutions Seeking AMTA Approval for New Programs:

Only academic institutions accredited or affirmed by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) are eligible to apply for AMTA approval. An institution may apply for AMTA approval concurrently with application for NASM accreditation or affirmation review.

Steps in Applying for AMTA Approval:

Step 1. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) will provide upon request application materials and related information, including the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training, Professional Competencies, Standards of Clinical Practice and Code of Ethics.

Step 2. If the academic institution is already accredited by NASM, please advise AMTA of this status. If the institution is not accredited by NASM, contact NASM to determine if the institution is eligible for NASM accreditation or affirmation, and to request the NASM Handbook and application materials. If the academic institution is not eligible for NASM accreditation, it should also request the document, "Procedures: Alternative Review Process for Music Therapy Programs" which is applicable to programs seeking NASM affirmation. If the academic institution meets the AMTA eligibility criteria for NASM affirmation, the institution must request an official letter from AMTA indicating that it meets the eligibility criteria.

Step 3. Refer to the "Application for AMTA Approval of New Baccalaureate and Equivalency Programs in Music Therapy" or the "Application for AMTA Approval of New Graduate Programs in Music Therapy" (whichever is applicable) for completing the application to AMTA.

Step 4. Refer to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (including the "Preamble") and the Professional Competencies in designing the curricular structure, which includes the areas of Music Foundations, Clinical Foundations, Music Therapy, and General Education. Develop the program(s) according to the entry-level competencies for baccalaureate and equivalency programs and/or the master’s degree standards for graduate programs (whichever is applicable); that is, design the program based on the learning outcomes, or the various areas of knowledge, skills, and abilities that graduates will acquire as a result of the program.

Step 5. Determine in what specific courses and clinical training experiences each of the specific entry-level competencies or master’s degree standards are being targeted (whichever is applicable). Integrate the student’s academic and clinical learning experiences according to developmental sequences.

Step 6 . Survey clinical resources in the community and/or the nearby geographic area to develop a list of sites to be used for pre-internship clinical training experiences. Design the requirements and supervision of pre-internship placements. (Applicable to graduate programs offering the equivalency). Also compile a list of names and credentials and/or professional designations of on-site supervisors.

Step 7. Design the clinical training program to meet the AMTA standards, which include plans for both the pre-internship and internship clinical training experiences. Determine if the academic institution will approve its own internship sites and/or whether it plans to use sites on the AMTA National Internship Roster. Design a plan for selecting internship placements for students and the respective roles and responsibilities of the student, the internship supervisor(s), and the academic faculty advisor. (Applicable to graduate programs offering the equivalency).

Step 8. Outline procedures for developing an individualized training plan with each student for completion of all facets of clinical training.

Step 9. Outline procedures for developing internship agreements made between the student, internship supervisor, and academic faculty as outlined in the AMTA standards.

Step 10. Develop a system for evaluating student competence at various stages of the program. (Note: A sample form for "Evaluation of Student Competencies" is available from AMTA). For graduate programs evaluate the AMTA master’s level standards and/or standard for doctoral degrees.

Step 11. Develop a competency-based system for evaluation of the program and its graduates by faculty, supervisors, and/or students.

Step 12. Determine if the academic faculty and clinical supervisors meet the AMTA Standards for qualifications and staffing.

Step 13. Complete the application form(s) for AMTA Approval of New Baccalaureate/Equivalency Programs in Music Therapy and/or the AMTA Approval of New Graduate Programs in Music Therapy, and submit five (5) copies of all application materials to AMTA. If the academic program is not located in the United States, a total of six (6) copies of the application materials must be submitted to AMTA. All materials submitted must be in English.

III. Reapplying for AMTA Approval According to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000):

All academic institutions previously approved by AAMT and NAMT shall maintain their approval status with AMTA during the transition from previous standards to the standards adopted in 2000, which were effective March 1, 2001. The transition period has been designated as five years (March 1, 2001 - March 1, 2006). For academic institutions previously approved by AAMT and NAMT that are not scheduled to reapply for AMTA approval during the designated time period for the transition, such institutions shall maintain their approval status with AMTA until their next scheduled review.

1. AMTA-Approved Programs in NASM Institutions:

AMTA shall review approved academic institutions according to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) at the time of their next scheduled review by NASM. If the review is scheduled during the first three years of the transition period from previous association standards to the standards adopted in 2000, an academic institution may request deferral of the AMTA review for a maximum of two years. Inasmuch as the policies and procedures for reapplying for AMTA approval according to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) were adopted one year after the beginning of the designated transition period this time period for deferrals will be extended by one year, beginning with the 2002-2003 academic year. (Refer to Step 1.a.2 below).

1. a. Procedures for Reapplying According to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000):

Step 1.a.1 Determine when the institution is scheduled for its next review by NASM. This is defined as the year in which the site visit by NASM is scheduled.

Step 1.a.2 If the review is scheduled during the years of 2002-2003, 2003-2004, or 2004-2005, the institution may request a deferral of the AMTA review for a maximum of two years after the scheduled NASM review.

Step 1.a.3 Notify AMTA in writing of the year in which the institution is requesting the AMTA review to coincide with the NASM review or request a deferral as specified in Step 1.a.2 above. Indicate if the review is for a baccalaureate/equivalency program and/or a master’s degree program in music therapy.

Step 1.a.4 AMTA will send the institution the application information for AMTA review of baccalaureate/equivalency programs and/or master’s degree programs.

Step 1.a.5 The institution should prepare its application for reapplying for AMTA approval review during the same academic year as the NASM site visit.

Step 1.a.6 Prepare the application materials for AMTA review of baccalaureate/equivalency programs and/or master’s degree programs as outlined below in Sections 3 and 4. Note that this will include copies of the NASM Self-Study documentation related to undergraduate and/or graduate programs in music therapy, as well as additional information requested by AMTA, which is related to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000).

Step 1.a.7 The application should be submitted to AMTA no later than June 1st of the academic year of the AMTA and NASM reviews.

Step 1.a.8 If there are any questions or additional information needed for the AMTA review, the Academic Program Approval Committee will contact the institution no later than September 1st of the year in which the application is submitted for review. The institution should respond to such a request within 30 days.

Step 1.a.9 Following the review of the application by AMTA, if there are any questions, recommended changes, or additional information needed, the institution will be notified and must respond in a timely manner as requested by AMTA.

Step 1.a.10 Following the NASM review, the institution must notify AMTA in writing of the status of its NASM accreditation review. If NASM action has been deferred for any reason, it is the responsibility of the institution to notify AMTA annually in writing of the status of the institution’s accreditation. If NASM accreditation is suspended, the institution must notify AMTA immediately in writing, since the institution’s AMTA-approved academic program will no longer be in compliance with AMTA Standards.

1.b Steps in Subsequent Periodic Reviews by AMTA:

AMTA shall consider academic institutions for approval review every ten years after the initial application and review in conjunction with the NASM accreditation review. The steps outlined above should be followed for subsequent periodic reviews by AMTA.

2. AMTA-Approved Programs in Institutions Not Affiliated with NASM:

AMTA-approved academic programs in institutions that do not offer degrees or majors in music and that did not hold NASM accreditation or affirmation at the time the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) were adopted are eligible to reapply for AMTA approval according to these standards without seeking NASM accreditation or affirmation. AMTA-approved academic programs in institutions that do offer degrees or majors in music but do not currently hold NASM accreditation or affirmation must apply for NASM accreditation or affirmation in order to maintain AMTA approval.

2. a. Procedures for Reapplying According to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000):

Step 2.a.1 AMTA will determine a schedule for review of the academic institution and will notify the institution at least two years prior to the review. AMTA will send the institution the application information for AMTA review of baccalaureate/equivalency programs and/or master’s programs.

Step 2.a.2 Institutions that offer degrees or majors in music but do not currently hold NASM accreditation or affirmation must contact NASM to schedule a review for either accreditation or affirmation in the year in which the AMTA review is scheduled. Institutions seeking NASM affirmation should request the NASM Handbook and the NASM document, "Procedures: Alternate Review Process for Music Therapy Programs." Note: To initiate the NASM Alternative Review Process, an institution must have a letter of authorization from AMTA indicating that it meets one or more of the criteria for eligibility for the Alternative Review Process by NASM. (A copy of the "AMTA Eligibility Criteria for Institutional Use of the NASM Alternative Review Process" can be obtained from AMTA).

Step 2.a.3 The institution should prepare its application for reapplying for AMTA approval review during the academic year scheduled by AMTA.

Step 2.a.4 Prepare the application materials for AMTA review of approved baccalaureate/equivalency programs and/or master’s degree programs as outlined below in Section 3, "Preparing the Application for AMTA-Approved Programs Reapplying for AMTA Approval." Note that for academic programs in institutions that offer degrees or majors in music, this will include copies of the NASM Self-Study documentation related to undergraduate and/or master’s degree programs in music therapy as specified in Section 4. For academic institutions that do not offer degrees or majors in music and are not required to seek NASM accreditation or affirmation, refer to the NASM Handbook for the following information: general standards for baccalaureate and graduate programs in music, as well as competencies, standards, guidelines, and/or requirements for specific baccalaureate and or master’s degree programs in music therapy; and provide the documentation to AMTA which is required in Section 4.

Step 2.a.5 The application should be submitted to AMTA no later than June 1st of the academic year scheduled by AMTA.

Step 2.a.6 Upon receipt of the application by all Academic Program Approval Committee subcommittee members, the Academic Program Approval Committee will acknowledge receipt of the application materials.  If the Academic Program Approval Committee requires additional clarification for its review, the Academic Program Approval Committee will contact the institution within 60 days of receipt.  The institution should respond to such as request within 45 days of receipt.

Step 2.a.7 Following the review of the application by AMTA, if there are any questions, recommended changes, or additional information needed, the institution will be notified and must respond in a timely manner as requested by AMTA.

Step 2.a.8 Following the NASM review for affirmation or accreditation (if applicable), the institution must notify AMTA in writing of the status of its NASM review. For institutions required to have the NASM review, if NASM action has been deferred for any reason, it is the responsibility of the institution to notify AMTA annually in writing of the status of the institution’s accreditation or affirmation. In such cases, AMTA will determine a time limit for the institution to meet the NASM standards for accreditation or affirmation in order to receive AMTA approval of its music therapy program(s). If the designated time limit is not reached, the institution’s academic program(s) in music therapy will not be in compliance with AMTA standards.

2. b. Steps in Subsequent Periodic Reviews by AMTA:

AMTA shall consider academic institutions for approval every ten years after the initial application and review by AMTA. The steps outlined above should be followed for subsequent periodic reviews by AMTA.

Preparing the Application for AMTA-Approved Programs Reapplying for AMTA Approval:

Step 3.1 Refer to "Procedures for Reapplying According to the AMTA Standards" in Section 1.a. or 2.a. above (whichever is applicable), and the application materials for reapplying for AMTA approval.

Step 3.2 Gather and refer to all of the following AMTA documents: Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) (including the "Preamble" and "Policies and Procedures for Academic Program Approval"), Professional Competencies, Standards of Clinical Practice, Code of Ethics, and the NASM Handbook.

Step 3.3 Make copies of the information requested in Section 4.a below. For institutions that do not offer degrees or majors in music and that do not currently hold NASM accreditation or affirmation, prepare a report for AMTA that includes all of the information requested in Section 4.a below.

Step 3.4 Prepare a report for AMTA outlining information related to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) as outlined in Section 4.b below.

Step 3.5 Prepare a cover page as directed in Section 4 and submit five (5) copies of all application materials to AMTA. If the academic program is not located in the United States, a total of six (6) copies of the application materials must be submitted to AMTA in English.

Application Materials Requested for AMTA Review of Music Therapy Programs Reapplying for AMTA Approval According to the AMTA Standards:

Prepare a cover page for the application materials, which includes the name and address of the institution; date application is submitted; status of NASM accreditation or affirmation; names of music therapy program director and head of academic unit for the music therapy program. (Please note that AMTA must be informed immediately of any changes in the NASM status).

4.a. Submit Copies of Information Reported in the NASM Self-Study Document for Accreditation or Affirmation Reviews re: Instructional Programs in Music Therapy for Each Degree Program Being Reviewed by AMTA:

Please note that NASM reviews the procedures for the NASM Self-Study Document every five years for possible revisions, which includes the following items 4.a.1 through 4.a.8. If there are revisions by NASM to these items, AMTA will recognize any revised and current versions of this information in its review).

4.a.1 Provide a Curricular Table which includes Degree Title; Number of Years to Complete the Degree; Number of Credits and Percentage of Credits in the Major Area, Supportive/Other Courses in Music Studies, General Studies, and Electives; Total Number of Credits; Current Semester’s Enrollment in Majors; and Names of Program Supervisors. List course numbers, titles, and credit allotments under each applicable category (Major Area, etc).

4.a.2 Program or degree title, with emphasis if applicable, followed by a statement of goals and objectives (for example, for whom the program or degree is intended, its preparational emphasis, etc).

4.a.3 An assessment of compliance with the NASM standards for the degree. (Refer to the NASM Handbook, all applicable instructional standards outlined under "Standards for Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree-Granting Institutions and Programs," and appropriate Handbook appendices. Note: Special attention should be given to common standards and goals for all baccalaureate and/or master’s degree programs as well as requirements for the specific baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in music therapy). This assessment must address the competencies required by the Standards in terms of specific content, expectations for knowledge and skills development, and levels of achievement required for graduation.  If the program involves distance learning, analyze it in light of NASM standards in this area. (Refer to the Operational Standards section (item II.) of the NASM Handbook). If the program is designed as a multi- or interdisciplinary combination, describe the music therapy program or degree in relation to the other disciplines. For academic institutions that do not offer degrees or majors in music and are not seeking NASM accreditation or affirmation, discuss admission policies regarding standards for musicianship and other entrance requirements for students entering the program; and how deficiencies in musicianship would be remedied.

4.a.4 Institutions offering graduate degrees must include a discussion of the following: (Note: This section is not applicable to doctoral degrees at this time, since AMTA does not yet have policies and procedures for approval of doctoral degrees).

(This section is applicable only to master’s degree programs. If not applicable, skip to item 4.a.5).

(1) Proficiencies required for entrance to the program (for example, keyboard, diction, aural skills, theoretical skills, etc.); when these must be achieved and how they are tested; whether credit toward the degree is permitted for study directed toward completion of these proficiencies.

(2) Research and professional tools required in the program (for example languages, statistics, computer science, etc.); when these must be achieved and how they are tested; whether credit toward the degree is permitted for study directed toward completion of these proficiencies.

(3) The institution’s policy for conducting a comprehensive review at or near the conclusion of degree study of master’s degree candidates.

(4) Candidacy and final project requirements for the program (for example theses, recitals, research projects, etc.). Discuss the purpose of these requirements and how they serve the objectives of the program.

4.a.5 Results of the program related to its goals and objectives, means for evaluating these results and assuring that requisite student competencies are being developed, and means for using these evaluations as the basis for program improvement.

4.a.6 An assessment of strengths and areas for improvement, including an assessment of the extent to which the program is meeting institution-wide or music unit aspirations for excellence.

4.a.7 A rationale for continuation of the program if it has had no graduates during the past five years.

4.a.8 Plans for addressing weaknesses and improving results.

4.b. Additional Information Requested by AMTA which Relates Specifically to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) (Please note that the information submitted in this section 4.b must follow the outline and be designated with the appropriate numbers and letters for each item):

4.b.1 For baccalaureate/equivalency programs, refer to the AMTA Professional Competencies and list in which courses and clinical training experiences each of the areas for entry-level competencies (e.g. #1, #2, #3, etc.) are being addressed.

4.b.2 For master’s degree programs in music therapy, refer to the "Standards for Master’s Degrees" in the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2000) and describe how the master’s degree imparts further breadth and depth to entry-level competency areas while also imparting basic competence in advanced topics. If an "equivalency" program in music therapy is combined with a master’s degree, describe the requirements for the equivalency work in order for the student to demonstrate the entry-level competencies in musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy.

4.b.3 Describe the design of your clinical training program, including a list of field agencies used for clinical training, including both pre-internship and internship placement (unless the site is on the AMTA National Internship Roster); and provide the names and professional designations or credentials for clinical training supervisors (with the exception of the sites on the AMTA National Internship Roster).  Please refer to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training, "Standards for Bachelor's Degrees," section on "Clinical Training Component," items #2 and #7.

4.b.4 List the names, degrees, and professional designations/credentials of all music therapy faculty and indicate if they are full-time or part-time. (Note that academic institutions shall have one full-time faculty position in music therapy for each degree program offered).

4.b.5 List all individuals who teach music therapy courses in your program, and under each name, list the courses that each teaches per term, the number of credits for each course, and the usual or average student enrollment in each course:

Faculty Member Courses Taught # credits (Sem./Qt.) # Students

4.b.6 Include course descriptions for all music therapy courses (may be copied from the institution’s bulletin), submit copies of all current music therapy course syllabi, and submit course sequence/time-lines for all degree programs being reviewed.

4.b.7 Provide a curriculum vitae for each faculty member teaching a music therapy course. If the faculty member does not have a graduate degree in music therapy, please indicate if that faculty member has a minimum of 12 semester hours or the equivalent of graduate credits in music therapy beyond the undergraduate degree or equivalency requirements; or indicate if the faculty member was hired as faculty in an Association-approved program prior to the year 2000.

4.b.8 (Optional) Comments may be added to provide additional information or clarification for the reviewers' consideration.

IV. AMTA Review Processes for Approval of Academic Programs:

Step 1. Academic institution sends five (5) copies of application materials for AMTA approval review to AMTA. If the academic program is not located in the United States, a total of six (6) copies of the application materials must be submitted to AMTA. If an institution is applying for new program approval, the application may be submitted at any time.

Step 2. AMTA Director of Professional Programs maintains one copy of application materials in AMTA office and distributes the other copies as follows: one copy to Chair of Academic Program Approval Committee; one copy each to three members of a Subcommittee appointed by the Chair of the Committee, to include the regional representative on the Committee in the region from which the institution is located when the application is for new program approval. If the application is from a program not located in the United States, an additional copy of the application materials will be distributed to a member of the International Relations Committee to be designated by the Committee Chair. This representative will serve as a member of the Subcommittee for Academic Program Approval for the review of this application only.

Step 3 Subcommittee members and the Committee Chair review the application materials to determine if additional information is needed. If so, the academic institution will be notified in writing regarding information being requested. If an institution is applying for new program approval, the institution will be notified in writing no later than 60 days after the application is received by all members of the Academic Program Approval Committee subcommittees if additional clarification is being requested by the Committee.

Step 4. Subcommittee members and the Committee Chair review the application materials to determine if the academic program meets the AMTA Standards.

Step 5. Subcommittee members submit a written report on the review of the application to the Committee Chair, with a recommendation to (1) approve the program; (2) defer approval until necessary changes are documented by the institution; (3) grant conditional approval pending NASM accreditation or affirmation for a limited period of time; or (4) not approve. The Committee Chair compiles a report on the reviews by the Subcommittee members and the Chair.

Step 6. The institution notifies AMTA in writing of the status of its NASM accreditation /affirmation review (if applicable) as soon as it receives such notification from NASM. The Committee Chair will add this information to the report on the AMTA approval review.

Step 7. If the recommendations by the Committee Chair and the Subcommittee members are unanimous for AMTA approval, the Committee Chair will forward a summary of the report for a recommendation for approval to the AMTA Board of Directors for official action. If the recommendations are not unanimous for AMTA approval, the application will be considered by the entire Academic Program Approval Committee at the next annual meeting of AMTA. The Committee will make a recommendation to (1) approve the program; (2) defer approval until necessary changes are documented by the institution; (3) grant conditional approval pending NASM accreditation or affirmation for a limited period of time; or (4) not approve. The Chair will then forward the Committee’s recommendation to the AMTA Board of Directors.

Step 8. If the Academic Program Approval Committee recommends a deferral of approval until necessary changes are documented by the institution, the institution will be notified in writing regarding the necessary changes to be made, with a timetable for such changes to be determined by the Committee. The institution then sends five (5) copies of the documented changes to AMTA. If the academic program is not located in the United States, a total of six (6) copies of the documented changes must be submitted to AMTA in English. The Director of Professional Programs distributes the copies to the Chair and Subcommittee members of the Committee. After the documented changes are reviewed by the Chair and Subcommittee, the same procedures as outlined above will apply.

Step 9. The AMTA Board of Directors considers the Committee’s recommendations and will resolve to (1) approve the program; (2) defer approval until necessary changes are documented; (3) grant conditional approval pending NASM accreditation or affirmation for a limited period of time; or (4) not approve the program. The Executive Director will then notify the institution of the Board’s decision in writing, with an explanation (if applicable).

V. Consultation Services Available:

Institutions may request consultation services from either AMTA or NASM for assistance in the future development of a music therapy program or for assistance in the resolution of problems by contacting the respective offices of the associations. Academic institutions requesting an on-site consultation from AMTA for new program development would be charged a consultation fee plus expenses for this service.

VI. AMTA Annual Reports from Approved Academic Programs:

Approved academic programs shall submit annual reports to AMTA as requested by the Director of Professional Programs. Such reports as the Enrollment Data Form should be submitted to AMTA in a timely manner as requested. The purposes of such reports are to use this statistical data in predicting trends in the field, provide information to institutions that are interested in implementing a new music therapy degree program, and to support educators in justifying the need for additional faculty as they experience growth in their programs. In addition, the information also updates the AMTA files on the names of music therapy program directors, institution addresses, telephone numbers, fax, and e-mail addresses.

VII. Procedures for Deferring AMTA Approval upon Review:

If an institution’s music therapy program(s) is not granted AMTA approval following its application to apply for new program approval or for maintaining its approval, AMTA may grant a deferral. After the second consecutive deferral of an application of a music therapy program for failure to meet a specific standard of AMTA, AMTA may approve an application with a request for a progress report; place a music therapy program on probation for a specified period of time; or withdraw approval of a music therapy program after all procedures regarding petition for review of adverse decisions have been followed (see below).

VIII. Procedures Regarding Petition for Review of Adverse Decisions

When a serious disagreement arises concerning AMTA’s decision on the approval status of an institution’s program(s) or a decision of non-compliance with AMTA Standards and/or Code of Ethics, the institution may petition the AMTA Board of Directors to review its decision. Procedures for the review of adverse decisions are as follows:

Step 1. The institution submits a written petition to the AMTA Executive Director outlining why the approval status for its music therapy program(s) should be reconsidered by AMTA.

Step 2. The AMTA Board of Directors evaluates the petition and presents its findings to the Academic Program Approval Committee and/or other appropriate bodies of the Association.

Step 3. The AMTA Academic Program Approval Committee and/or other appropriate bodies of the Association reconsider the music therapy program’s application in light of information presented and the Board of Directors’s evaluation of the petition.

Step 4. The AMTA Academic Program Approval Committee and/or other appropriate bodies of the Association submit their recommendations regarding the petition to the AMTA Board of Directors.

Step 5. The AMTA Board of Directors considers the recommendations, and the Executive Director then notifies the academic institution in writing of the Board’s final decision on the AMTA approval status of the institution’s music therapy program(s).

IX. Non-Compliance with AMTA Standards and/or Code of Ethics:

AMTA may occasionally receive complaints about an approved music therapy academic program for non-compliance with the Association’s Standards or Code of Ethics. Five copies of a complaint of non-compliance shall be in writing and sent via registered mail to the Executive Director of the Association. An additional copy shall be sent via registered mail to the Music Therapy Program Director and any other relevant parties against whom the complaint has been made at the academic institution. AMTA assumes no responsibility for reviewing isolated individual grievances. Complaints will be considered only when the reported conditions are substantially documented and reflect conditions within a music therapy program(s) that jeopardize the quality of the education and training program and/or the general welfare of the program. Complaints will be referred to the Academic Program Approval Committee and/or any other appropriate bodies within the Association, such as the Ethics Board, for evaluation of the complaint. The appropriate bodies shall investigate, consult with all other appropriate bodies within the Association (if applicable), and jointly make a decision regarding the resolution of the alleged violation. A recommendation shall then go to the Board of Directors for official action. A copy of this decision shall be sent via registered mail to all principals by the Executive Director.