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AMTA Election: Candidates for 2020-2021 Term - Question 2


2019 Election of AMTA Officers - Question 2 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 2 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 “What do you perceive as the crucial needs to be addressed by our profession: a) within your term of office, and b) in the next 10-15 years? How might you envision meeting those needs?”

As a reminder,

  • The electronic ballot will be sent to the primary e-mail address indicated in your member profile. Please ensure your primary e-mail is correct no later than October 1st.
  • Only professional, retired, and honorary life members in good standing (paid through September 30th) will be eligible to vote in the election.

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

What do you perceive as the crucial needs to be addressed by our profession: a) within your term of office, and b) in the next 10-15 years? How might you envision meeting those needs?

Trish Winter, Candidate for President Elect, taken from the Floor:

Crucial needs for now and moving forward include:

  • Increasing the diversity of our work force:
    • Providing pathways to education for people who want to be music therapists but cannot gain access due to our current educational system.
    • Finding ways to provide or increase services to communities that do not have access due to funding, number of professionals in a given area, and increased advocacy within healthcare communities.
  • Listening to members and non-members about their struggles to pay professional dues. A number of creative solutions have been offered by members and non-members and now is the time to consider those that are fiscally viable and fiduciarily sound. 
  • Understanding wage gaps in our profession and how we can move the needle on professional rates.
  •  Continuing efforts toward state recognition in a way that honors the music therapy communities in those states.
  • Creating a vision for the future through educational reform, using the evidence-base available to us, and an eye towards the longevity of the profession. My time as a member of the Faculty Forum Steering Committee has allowed me to hear from music therapy educators about their challenges in the classroom. These entities have identified that our educational system needs an overhaul that must include input from educators, clinical supervisors, clinicians, clients, and the best-practices in education that are being implemented by our colleagues in healthcare such as mandatory interprofessional training opportunities.
  • Celebrating our professionals and recognizing how creative, resourceful, dedicated, passionate, and tireless we are every single day.

Lori Gooding, Candidate for President Elect, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

Our profession is at an important crossroads, and there are several needs that must be addressed as we move forward to ensure that clients maintain access to quality services. One of the most crucial needs we face is recognition, both from a legislative and professional perspective. Over the next decade we must be proactive in promoting recognition of the field. We need to expand our legislative advocacy, build strategic partnerships, and clearly articulate the role and scope of music therapy. If elected, I would like to focus on improving both internal and external communication, building relationships with a variety of stakeholders, increasing interprofessional recognition, and advancing marketing of the profession.

In the immediate term, I think it is crucial to identify strategies that support the workforce and promote professional advancement. This could be done by modernizing our organization, promoting sustainable volunteerism, enhancing technology, and improving the quality of and access to music therapy education across the career span. These strategies will allow us to attract and retain highly qualified, diverse individuals who stay engaged in the field while also better engaging the community.

Finally, I think it is important to diversify our revenue streams so that we can promote a healthy, viable organization. I think this needs to be addressed in both the short and long terms, and I also think that it is important to develop revenue strategies that not only improve the financial stability of the organization but also improve the experience of those who interact with AMTA.

Heather Wagner, Candidate for Vice President Elect, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

The field of music therapy is poised for tremendous growth and development in the next decade and beyond. Society’s interest in our work is expanding, and with that comes both opportunity and challenge. In my opinion, music therapists need to capitalize on this interest in ways that benefit both our clients and the growth of the profession.

One immediate need of our profession is continuing the process of state recognition through licensure, and harnessing greater recognition of the profession by expanding clinical services and ensuring fair compensation for credentialed music therapists. I believe that the AMTA can continue to advocate for music therapy in both active and supportive roles. I would like to see the AMTA have a greater role in job creation to support music therapists who are working to create clinical opportunities.

I believe in the importance of the mission of the AMTA’s recently formed Commission of the Education and Clinical Training of 21st Century Music Therapists. The field of music therapy is growing, and there is an increasing number of academic programs and clinical training sites. Thus it is important to examine how music therapists are educated and trained, to ensure responsible and high quality service to clients. I do believe it will be important to have the courage to explore innovative options that will most effectively move our profession into the future in a way that benefits music therapy professionals, those whom we serve, and other stakeholders.

Andrea Dalton, Candidate for Vice President Elect, recommended by the Nominating Committee:

I believe the crucial needs to be addressed by our profession in the next few years include increasing recognition, understanding and professional acceptance of the field of music therapy, supporting livable wages for practicing clinicians, and increasing the diversity of music therapists in order to best serve our clients. Music therapy is poised to be a high-demand, cutting-edge profession, and we will need to be united in our efforts to improve the perception of the profession. In the next 10-15 years, we will need to increase the publication of high quality research showing the clinical applicability and benefits of music therapy, and continue to innovate. Some of this work is already being done, and admirably so, by many music therapists across the country and the staff of national office. I believe we can further increase recognition and acceptance through strategic partnerships with well-known people, organizations, and research institutions, and through supporting our members with tools and resources to continue to become leaders in their respective specialty areas. I envision that we will need to have some hard conversations about the diversity of our field and will have to think outside the box to facilitate innovative approaches to not only engage a more diverse potential workforce, but also in how we train people to become music therapists.




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/

Professional membership must be paid in full by 9/30/19. Those who are not members in good standing (dues paid in full) 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