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AMTA BoD 2018 Annual Meeting Highlights

December 13, 2018 09:59 AM

November 20, 2018

Highlights of the Board of Directors’ Meetings at the AMTA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas - November 13-18, 2018

The AMTA Board of Directors met for approximately 18 hours during the 2018 annual AMTA conference. The meetings began with a retirement dinner celebration for Executive Director, Dr. Andi Farbman. The Board of Directors thanks Dr. Farbman for her 30 years of dedicated service to AMTA and the profession of music therapy.

Continuing the long tradition of reciprocal Board attendance, CBMT Chair Lori Lundeen Smith attended, as well as incoming Chair Natalie Wlodarczyk, who starts in January 2019. Guests visiting the Board of Directors included Lee Grossman the new AMTA Executive Director as of 1/1/19; NCCATA Chair Ronna Kaplan and AMTA’s representative to NCCATA, Past President Amy Furman; the AMTAS Executive Board; and Regional Presidents and Presidents Elect. The AMTA Board supported the recommendation of no dues increase for the 2020 membership year, and formed a work group to investigate options of a graduate level of membership.   The commissioning of a White Paper for use in educating legislators, federal agency staff, health and education administrators and the general public about music therapy, has been recommended by the Board. Below are selected highlights of the meetings, draft motions passed at the meetings, as well as a pdf of the 2018 Board/Assembly Book, which provides additional information.

Slate of Nominees for Officer Elections in 2019 for the term 2020-2021

The following members have been nominated to run for office at the end of 2019.

  • Vice President Elect: Andrea Dalton & Heather Wagner
  • President Elect: Lori Gooding, Andrew Knight & Trish Winters
Financial Status

Treasurer Clair and Presidential Advisor Kahler presented the Board of Directors, Assembly, and General Membership the final FY 2018 income and expenditures. Although a ($76,000) deficit was projected for the FY 2018 budget when it was approved, Clair and Kahler, in consultation with Executive Director Andi Farbman, reported a $6,722 surplus at the end of FY 2018.  Several unanticipated revenues, including a modest increase in the number of members, a successful 2017 conference, and a larger amount of donations than expected, contributed to this surplus, as well as continued conservative management of expenses.

Drs. Clair and Kahler presented the budget for FY 2019, which was approved at the mid-year meeting and includes an estimated income of $1,874,000, estimated expenses of $1,956,500 and a projected ($82,500) deficit. They reported the publications of the four new textbooks:  Music Therapy: An Introduction to the Profession - Editors Andrew Knight, Blythe LaGasse & Alicia Clair; A Guide to Designing Research Questions for Beginning Music Therapy Researchers - Authors Katrina McFerran and Michael Silverman; Music In Special Education, 3rd Edition - Authors Mary Adamek and Alice-Ann Darrow; and Early Theoretical Writings on Music Therapy: 1951-1960 - Editor and Author Kenneth Bruscia (Collaboration between AMTA & Barcelona Publishers).

Two expense items, i.e., $12,000 for a government relations legislative tracking resource and $5,000 for an Ethics Board retreat to develop an implementation plan for the new code that takes effect of 2/1/19, were added to the FY 2019 Budget when it was reviewed at the last meeting of the Board on Sunday morning. The government relations subscription service provides an up-to-date sophisticated and user-friendly web-based legislative and regulatory tracking system to expedite the analysis of what impacts the practice of and access to music therapy services. This technology will enhance music therapy advocacy as it relates to the AMTA mission and assist members with interacting with lawmakers at all levels of government.

Finally, Clair and Kahler, pursuant to motions by the Board and Assembly, reported that there will be no dues increase for 2020.  It is important to note that dues have not been increased since 2015. For further details, please see the extensive Treasurer’s report in the AMTA 2018 Annual Board Book. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Ed Kahler as the AMTA Treasurer effective January 1, 2019.

Clair will be retiring from the role of Treasurer for which we are deeply indebted to her.

Council on Education and Clinical Training

The Academic Program Approval Committee (APAC), co-chaired by Rebecca Engen and Betsey King proposed additions/changes to the Standards for Education and Clinical Training (which were subsequently voted on and approved by the Board of Directors and Assembly of Delegates).  The first change involves adding an additional standard (6.1.4 Academic Program Director) that specifies the qualifications and responsibilities for an Academic Program Director. The rationale for the addition is that the Standards did not adequately define the position resulting in non-music therapy faculty being appointed to these positions.  The second change involves adding language (4.1.2 Advanced Clinical Skills) to clearly define the purpose and supervision requirements for Advanced Clinical Skills.

The work of the Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC), led by Eve Montague and Lauren DiMaio is continuing and involves: reviewing applications for new National Roster Internship sites; providing continuing education opportunities for internship directors and supervisors; and reviewing the National Roster Internship Guidelines.

The Continuing Education Committee (CEC), co-chaired by Julie Andring and Jean Nemeth continues working to: ensure that continuing education courses adhere to the guidelines established by the Certification Board for Music Therapists; and promote the value of Board Certification by providing opportunities that meet the educational needs of AMTA members.

Council on Association Services

This Council is comprised of seven standing committees: Clinical Practice Networking, Interprofessional Collaborative Resources, International Relations, Membership, Professional Advocacy, Workforce Development and Retention, and the newly renamed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

The Clinical Practice Networking Committee chaired by Clair Ghetti has been working to make connections among members through networking sessions at both regional and national conferences. They are also beginning to examine mentoring as part of their work.

The newly renamed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (formally Diversity and Multicultural Committee) chaired by Melita Belgrave, is beginning to work on a member tool kit to post on the AMTA Website, which will include diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, information about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and easily accessible Practices (or Fact Sheets) for “cultural humility and ethical practice.”

The Interprofessional Collaborative Resources Committee, chaired by Meganne Masko and Scott Horowitz, has been working on their ongoing task to update the Fact Sheets for various clinical populations.

The International Relations Committee, co-chaired by Soo-Jin Kwoun and Melody Schwantes, has been working to increase members’ knowledge of international opportunities. They had a joint meeting with APAC at the conference to discuss various music therapy travel courses/clinical experiences.

Membership Committee, co-chaired by Angie Elkins and Jennifer Hicks, continues to work on the growth and development of AMTA members. During conference, they recorded a blast of membership vignettes, which will appear on the AMTA website.

The Professional Advocacy Committee, chaired by Emily Bevelaqua and Leslie Henry, continue to do an amazing job working with folks to respond to misrepresentations of music therapy, and creating relationships with folks who may not understand the definition of music therapy.

The Workforce, Development and Retention Committee, chaired by Gretchen Benner and Courtney Biddle, are designing a survey to examine trends in the music therapy workforce and also examining workforce retention plans and strategies of related professions.  

Council on Professional Practice

The Council on Professional Practice is comprised of 5 committees that work throughout the year to educate, advocate, and support the music therapy profession.  Each committee is guided by the extraordinary leadership of committee chairs and co-chairs. The services and resources provided by each committee are invaluable to members and non-members, and include E-courses, webinars, Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) courses, consultative services, program development, podcasts, research, etc.

The Government Relations Committee, co-chaired by Judy Simpson and Rebecca Preddie, continue to educate and advocate for music therapy and encourage AMTA members from all Regions to participate in the 2019 Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts, scheduled for March 4th and 5th, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The Reimbursement Committee, co-chaired by Judy Simpson and Rebecca Preddie, is using a Document repository to collect reimbursement resources to share with members. New online reimbursement resources have been created for member use and additional web resources are currently in development for posting, including, Use of Modifiers in Reimbursement, National Provider Identifier (NPI), Reimbursement Source Overview, and CPT® Codes 2019.

The Standards Committee, chaired by Ellary Draper, continues to review and revise the Standards of Clinical Practice.  They completed a thorough comparison of related documents from other allied health professions to ensure accurate and inclusive information at this years’ conference. The revised draft of the Standards of Clinical Practice will be presented for review to the Assembly of Delegates in 2019.

The Research Committee, chaired by Cindy Colwell, presented concurrent sessions during conference and hosted the Research Poster Sessions with more than 55 participants. The committee began planning for concurrent session offerings for the 2019 National Conference, made suggestions for website updates to the committee page, and is reviewing committee member representation to possibly include a clinician-researcher with regional rotation.

The Technology Committee, chaired by Grace O’Leary, continues to offer solutions, strategies, and insight on trending topics and concerns for members in the area of technology.  Suggestions for website resources, FAQs for terms of use and streaming services, and upcoming concurrent sessions and CMTEs were discussed. The committee is also shifting its focus of content and resources to include more intermediate/advanced technology users.

Regional President Representative

The regional presidents and presidents-elect had a productive meeting at the National Conference, sharing ideas for providing financial support to members who are appointed to serve national committees, utilizing technology to carry out the business of the region, and ensuring that processes are in place at the regional level to address diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as harassment. Additionally, the regional presidents announced that in recognition of Dr. Farbman's retirement and celebration of her tenure with AMTA, each region has pledged monetary support to the newly established Andrea Farbman Government Relations Advocacy Fund.

Disaster Response Update

The newly formed Disaster Response Task Force met for the first time at the National Conference to begin the work on the charges from the board. Each region has representation on this task force, and those members are already engaged in disaster response efforts for their regions in a variety of ways. As disasters continue to affect music therapists' ability to continue to provide services to their clients, the task force members will be assisting to provide information and resources and build community efforts for support as needed. The Task Force is building a repository of resources and plans to develop a response packet, which can be customized quickly based on location and the nature of the event.

Student Affairs Advisory Board

SAAB Chair, Jeff Wolfe, has done an outstanding job helping the regional presidents and advisors manage the work of the enthusiastic students, including Passages, awards, volunteerism, and their new AMTAS President, David Farsetti.  In an effort to ease the transition between advisors, Jeff Wolfe created a much needed manual for advisors, helping to educate and provide much needed information regarding responsibilities, timelines, sample reports, and more.  The manual is intended to be available on the AMTA website once it is reviewed.

Education and Training Advisory Board

Beth Schwartz is stepping down as chair of ETAB as her term ends. Annette Whitehead-Pleaux is the new chair, elected by the ETAB committee, and Bill Matney and Adenike Webb will begin their four year terms.

Judicial Review Board

Now being chaired by Minda Gordon, the JRB is revising procedures for filing, and will provide them to the Board for review and approval by Midyear.   They are also planning a session outline for regional conferences, to help educate membership about the role of the JRB.

Ethics Board

Chaired by Carol Shultis and Jan Schreibman, the Ethics Board submitted a new, aspirational code of ethics to the Assembly for approval.    The Assembly voted to accept an interim new Code of Ethics, allowing the Ethics Board opportunity to edit the document with suggestions made during Assembly.    The Ethics Board has been commended by the Board and Assembly for their outstanding work in creating a new and much needed aspirational Code of Ethics.

Highlights from the Assembly of Delegates

The Assembly of Delegates had a full agenda and accomplished much at the 2018 Conference. The Speaker presented an orientation for the new 2018-2019 Assembly Delegation to support full participation and representation from each Delegate during formal Assembly proceedings. In addition to President Weldon-Stephens’ President’s Address, the following are highlights from the Assembly of Delegates’ meetings held Nov. 15, 16, and 17 in Dallas:

  • All AMTA Regions pledged donations to the new Andrea Farbman Government Relations Advocacy Fund to honor the distinguished accomplishments of Executive Director Dr. Farbman.
  • The Board reviewed the process involved with decisions made on the recommendations forwarded in the Masters Level Subcommittee’s Final Report, including the decision to form a Commission on the Education and Clinical Training of 21st Century Music Therapists (21st Century Commission). Time was allotted for questions, answers, and comments. 
  •  An update from the Task Force on the 21st Century Commission that was formed to organize the new Commission included the following: 1. Composition of the Commission – 11 voting members (5 appointees recommended to the Board by the Task Force and 6 Commission members to be elected by the Assembly in Dallas); 2. The thought process followed by the Task Force; and 3. The nomination and election process. Commission appointees previously approved by the Board are:
    • Ron Borczon (CA) WR)
    • Jennifer Hicks (MN) (GLR)
    • Betsey King (NY) (MAR)
    • Marisol Norris (MA) (NER)
    • Donna Polen (NY) (MAR)
  • The Assembly worked together to refine the voting process for the 21st Century Commission members. They approved a two-step ballot to ensure regional representation. From a slate of 37 candidates, the Assembly elected the following people for the six remaining positions on the 21st Century Commission:
    • CharCarol Fisher (MO) (MWR)
    • Feilin Hsiao (CA) (WR) 
    • Jennifer D. Jones (IL) (GLR)
    • Tracy Richardson (IN) (GLR)
    • Cori Snyder (GA) (SER)
    • Daniel Tague (TX) (SWR)
  • The Assembly approved the Board’s recommendation not to increase dues for 2020.
  • The Assembly approved the Interim Conference Code of Conduct and requested the Assembly be consulted for feedback as this document and procedures are further developed throughout the coming year.
  • The Assembly approved the formation of an Assembly work group to write anti-harassment policy and procedures to be submitted to the Board for legal review and subsequent Assembly approval.
  • The Assembly approved the following appointees to the Judicial Review Board as brought forward by President Weldon-Stephens:
    • Kelley Pujol (MO) (MWR)
    • Joy Allen (MA) (NER)
  • The Assembly approved language changes to the Standards for Education and Clinical Training brought forth by the Academic Program Approval Committee (APAC) involving the following: 1. Added Standard 6.1.4 Academic Program Director to clarify that music therapy program directors need to be music therapy faculty and to delineate responsibilities for that role; and 2. Added new wording in Standard 4.1.2 Advanced Clinical Skills to clarify the expectations for the Advanced Clinical Skills standard. (Watch the AMTA website for the updated Standards.)
  • The Assembly approved an Interim Code of Ethics to take effect February 1, 2019, pending legal review. It includes edits recommended by Assembly members during the Dallas Conference. If changes are required for consideration before February, the Ethics Board will collaborate with the Assembly of Delegates. 
  • The Assembly approved updates to the current Code of Ethics to take effect November 17, 2018 to January 31, 2019. (Watch the AMTA website for the updated Code of Ethics.)
  • The Assembly Bylaws Task Force will continue their work related to Bylaws Articles VI and VII and will discuss exploration of agenda preparation; Assembly responsibilities to research issues related to policy, communication and collaboration between the Assembly and the Councils; distinctions between fiduciary and non-fiduciary responsibilities; and electronic voting.
  • The Assembly re-elected Carol Shultis (PA) (MAR) to the Ethics Board.
  • The Assembly was introduced to Lee Grossman who will serve as the AMTA Executive Director beginning in January 2019.

Board of Directors and Assembly of Delegates Book, 2018 Annual Meeting

Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting
November 13 - 18, 2018
Dallas, Texas


MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.
Author, Deb Williams.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the AMTA Board of Directors’ and Executive Committee’s packet of Minutes and Motions from June 25, 2018 – November 9, 2018.  
Author, Jennifer Geiger.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to recommend that the Board commission a State of the Profession White Paper for use in educating federal and state legislators and agency staff as well as health and education administrators and the general public about music therapy.
Author, Judy Simpson.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the Board appoints Dr. Edward Kahler, II, as AMTA Treasurer as of January 1, 2019.
Author, Amber Weldon-Stephens. The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to remove Goal #2/Task #1 from the Workforce Development & Retention Committee as it has been completed.
Author, Michele Forinash.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to form a workgroup to investigate options for a graduate student level of membership, in order to inform a potential Bylaws’ revision proposal, to be chaired by Deb Williams and to include Gary Verhagen, Lori Gooding, Andrea Dalton, and Ed Kahler.
Author, Andrea Dalton.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to move into Executive Session.
Author, Gary Verhagen.    The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the following slate of officers from the Nominating Committee for the 2019 election:President-Elect: Lori Gooding and Andrew Knight; & Vice President-Elect: Andrea Dalton and Heather Wagner.
Author, Jennifer Geiger.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Assembly Agenda for November 15, 16, and 17, 2018.
Author, Angie Snell.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to acknowledge and thank the National Office staff for working on behalf of the entire music therapy community while also attending to the needs of individual music therapists within this community.
Author, Gary Verhagen.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to move into Executive Session.
Author, Lori Gooding.    The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to commend the dedicated focus, commitment and vision of Dr. Sheri Robb and Dr. Tony Meadows as they conclude their eight years as Editors in Chief of the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives, respectively.
Author, Jennifer Geiger.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the Board move into Executive Session.
Author, Amber Weldon-Stephens.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the following motion regarding a change to the Standards for Education and Clinical Training be taken to the Assembly meeting today (11/17/2018):  

“to add Standard for Education and Clinical Training “6.1.4 Academic Program Director (or equivalent institutional title): An individual employed full-time by the university with primary responsibilities for directing/coordinating the music therapy program. These responsibilities may be assumed by an existing undergraduate or graduate music therapy faculty member. For undergraduate programs, the program director must meet the requirements for Standard 6.1.1. For graduate programs, the program director must meet the requirements for Standard 6.1.2. Their degrees, credentials, and experience reflect the degree program(s) that they are managing. The academic program director:

  • Is accountable for upholding the educational and clinical training standards of the music therapy program.
  • Is accountable for upholding the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training and the AMTA Code of Ethics.
  • Receives, responds to, and distributes communication from AMTA regarding program status to appropriate music therapy faculty and administration.
  • Is responsible for monitoring and communicating eligibility of music therapy students for internship via a letter of eligibility.
  • Is responsible for monitoring and communicating eligibility of music therapy students to register for the CBMT exam.”

Author, Eric Waldon.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to take the following motion to the Assembly meeting today (11/17/2018) for their consideration:

“to change Standard for Education and Clinical Training “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 one or more clinical component(s) supervised under the auspices of the university institution. These clinical component(s) are defined as substantive music therapy fieldwork experiences that focus on clinical practice and occur after the 1200 hours of required clinical training and acquisition of the AMTA Professional Competencies. Students in advanced clinical training courses should demonstrate a depth of understanding of relevant and advanced clinical approaches, theoretical frameworks, and/or advanced clinical supervisory theories and techniques. Each institution must specify the minimum required number of hours and the method of supervision. Students must be evaluated based on the AMTA Advanced Competencies.
Author, Eric Waldon.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the AMTA Board of Directors support the design and maintenance of an online platform to support the APAC’s review of application materials for new academic programs and existing programs. Rationale: The current procedure for routing application materials among committee members is inefficient and complicates academic program approval/reapproval (e.g., recruitment). 
Author, Eric Waldon. The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that in collaboration with the AMTA Treasurer, to establish a fee schedule for non-members to access consultation services from National Office staff.
Author, Judy Simpson.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to purchase the Legislative Tracking and Communication Platform from Fiscal Note for a 3-year contract at $12,000 per calendar year.
Author, Judy Simpson.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the Ethics Board be granted a retreat, spending no more than $5,000 by the end of January 2019, to work on the Aspirational Code of Ethics and its Implementation Plan.
Author, Amber Weldon-Stephens.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the Board approve the appointment of Dr. Chih-Chen Sophia Lee to APAC as an at-large member. 
Author, Eric Waldon.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that the Board approve the appointment of Dr. Maureen Hearns as an at-large member of APAC.
Author, Eric Waldon.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to charge the Co-chairs of the Membership & Continuing Education Committees to explore the possibility of AMTA offering up to 20 CMTE credits included in membership at no cost.
Author, Alicia Clair.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint at-large members Bill Matney and Adenike Webb to ETAB for a four-year term ending in 2022.
Author, Deb Williams.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that future nominations to be considered by the AMTA Board be accompanied by a biographies and/or rationales.
Author, Kristen O’Grady.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to recommend that the Speaker of the Assembly charge the Anti-Harassment Assembly Task Force to further develop the Interim Conference Code of Conduct.
Author, Kristen O’Grady.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to move into Executive Session.
Author, Amber Weldon-Stephens.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, that on behalf of Dr. Andi Farbman, AMTA President Amber Weldon-Stephens be commended for a fantastic week of Board meetings.
Author, Jennifer Geiger.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to commend Jennifer Geiger for her leadership, and tremendous service and commitment to secure a new Executive Director.
Author, Andi Farbman.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to adjourn the Board of Directors’ meeting at 11:49AM.
Author, Amber Weldon-Stephens.  The motion carried.