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AMTA Election: Candidates for 2020-2021 Term - Question 1


2019 Election of AMTA Officers - Question 1 Responses

In November, there will be an election for the following officers: President Elect and Vice President Elect (see AMTA Bylaws Article IV for descriptions of duties).

American Music Therapy Association Election Candidates for 2020-2021 Term

President Elect Candidates

  • Lori Gooding, PhD, MT-BC, Recommended by the Nominating Committee
  • Trish Winter, PhD, MT-BC, A Candidate from the Floor

Vice President Elect Candidates

  • Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC, Recommended by the Nominating Committee
  • Heather Wagner, PhD, MT-BC, Recommended by the Nominating Committee

Question 1 Responses

We asked each of the candidates to respond to a series of questions. Their answers will be posted every few weeks up until the election. Read on to see their responses to “Why do you want to be AMTA President/Vice President?”

As a reminder,

  • All dues for Professional membership, including those paying in installments, must be paid in full no later than September 30th of this membership year (2019). Those who are not Professional members in good standing (dues paid in full) will not be eligible to vote in AMTA end-of-year elections.
  • The electronic ballot will be sent to the primary e-mail address indicated in your profile. Please ensure this e-mail is correct no later than October 1st.

Direct your questions about the election or for the candidates to Nominating Committee Chair, Jennifer Geiger at

Why do you want to be AMTA President?

Lori Gooding, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

Over the last 20 years our field has undergone numerous changes, and these changes have resulted in both challenges and opportunities. Now, perhaps more than ever, we have a tremendous opportunity to advance the profession and I am truly excited about what the future holds for us.

As I have served AMTA over the past 15 years, I have seen the difference that engagement makes and I have experienced what we can accomplish together. I am committed to engaging in our field, supporting our workforce, and investing in the students we teach and the clients that we serve. I want to be President of AMTA because I truly believe that it is through service that we grow and develop the profession. If elected, I will strive to lead proactively, listen to understand, and advocate tirelessly on behalf of music therapy and those we serve. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity, and I look forward to the possibility of growing our profession in the role of President-Elect.

Trish Winter, a candidate from the Floor:

AMTA is on the precipice of great change as a direct result of the efforts of the membership. The true power of AMTA lies within the member-base which has been and continues to be a long-standing and vital force propelling music therapy into the 21st century and beyond.

The quality I admire most in an effective leader is the ability to listen to the ideas and concerns of others. As AMTA President I want to embody that quality. What is it that you want from this organization, what compels you to membership and for those who are not members why not?  Where do you feel disenfranchised or unheard, how are your experiences and needs supported and validated?  What is working right now and what needs to change?

I deeply value authenticity and open dialogue. Over the years I have heard frustrations in a variety of forums from members and non-members alike. As AMTA President I want to collaborate with music therapists to address frustrations in order to achieve a collective vision in a way that honors all voices.

In this role I would like to create a forum for communication that leads to the implementation of real and effective change for members and non-members alike. This can and will only happen through shared trust, transparency, honesty, empathy, open and fruitful discourse, and listening to, and truly hearing the voices of concern and celebration.

Direct your questions or comments to AMTA or email me at I value your feedback.

Why do you want to be AMTA Vice President?

Andrea Dalton, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

I want to be AMTA Vice President because I have a deep desire to serve my fellow music therapists and the profession. As Vice President, I will take opportunities to listen to the concerns and needs of music therapists and do my best to represent them to the board. I am committed to fostering an organizational culture that values open dialogue, progressive ideas, thoughtful change, and humility. I am a collaborative leader, capable of building connections with those who have the strengths to facilitate the work of the organization. I have an appreciation for and like to gather all available evidence to bring to discussions—I’m from Missouri: you’ve got to Show Me! I also am uncomfortable with simply accepting the status quo, and pledge to work toward important and timely changes in the organization. In my role as Regional Presidents Representative, I have enjoyed learning more about the unique perspectives of music therapists across the country and the different flavors of each region. I want to learn more about innovation and best practices for educational events, like conferences, and find ways to integrate the creativity our members bring into those events. Additionally, I want to bring my expertise in trauma informed care implementation to support transformational leadership initiatives with a sensitivity to the cultural implications of such changes, always through the lens of building safety and trustworthiness, providing choices and opportunities for collaboration, and empowering not just one another, but also the people we serve.

Heather Wagner, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

Service to the music therapy profession has been an important part of my identity for many years. I became engaged on the NER board early in my career, and over the past 20 years have been consistently involved in leadership and service, locally, regionally and nationally. For me, the position of AMTA Vice President is the next step in this process.

Of my many roles in service, one of my favorites was as Vice President of the NER. I truly enjoyed coordinating our regional conferences. I enjoyed planning the educational, musical, self-care, and social aspects of these conferences. I enjoyed both the overarching “big picture” aspect of conferences, and the attention to detail required for such a large undertaking. It was highly rewarding to lead the team in developing these experiences for fellow music therapists.

Additionally, I am invested in the growth of the field of music therapy, and look forward to serve on the AMTA Board of Directors. Through my service as NER Delegate to the Assembly, I have learned about the governance of the AMTA and how this impacts music therapy practice. I am eager to explore fresh ideas for the national association, and to move the profession forward in new ways. I hope to represent the field in a manner that is strategic and innovative.




All current Professional, Retired and Honorary Life members are eligible to vote. Refer to the AMTA Bylaws, Article III.  Membership, Sections 2-9 at this link: bylaws/

If you are paying Professional membership in installments, the entire amount (all 4 or 6 payments) must be completed and paid in full no later than September 30th of the same membership year Those who do not complete the agreed-upon payments by September 30th will not be eligible to vote in AMTA end-of-year elections.


All current 2019 Professional, Retired & Honorary Life AMTA members should be prepared to vote electronically using a ballot invitation sent to their “Primary” email address listed in the member profile located at . Ballots for this election will be provided only via primary e-mail address.  The online ballot sent for this election will be managed by Your ballot will arrive in a personalized, individual e-mail which will provide you the opportunity to cast a confidential ballotCheck your spam folders; the email will come from   You must vote online during the stated timeframe.  No exceptions will be made.

If you do not have an email address, please be aware that there are many free, convenient options for obtaining an email address (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL mail are just a few free email services; and local libraries offer free computer access for those who do not own a computer).  You must have contacted the AMTA national office to have your email address added to your record by October 1, in order to be eligible to vote in this election.

Watch for additional postings with biographical summaries and candidate responses to questions on