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AMTA Election: Candidates for 2020-2021 Term - Question 4


2019 Election of AMTA Officers - Question 4 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 4 Responses

We asked each of the candidates to respond to a series of questions. This is their final question. Read on to see their responses to “How would you describe your leadership style and how do you envision this style enhancing the work of the Board of Directors and the mission of AMTA?”

As a reminder,

  • The electronic ballot will be sent to the primary e-mail address in your member profile as of 10/31 on  Please look for an e-mail from Balloteer during the week of November 25th (check your spam and junk folders, just in case).
  • 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 to Nominating Committee Chair, Jennifer Geiger at

How would you describe your leadership style and how do you envision this style enhancing the work of the Board of Directors and the mission of AMTA?

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

I have been fortunate to have many leadership opportunities throughout my life, both in personal and professional realms. This variety of leadership opportunities has helped me to develop (and continue to develop) a leadership style in which I strive to be collaborative, reflective, forward-thinking, and compassionate.

I am aware that I have much to learn, and there are many individuals who have knowledge and experience different from mine. I work to be open to differing perspectives. I endeavor to be collaborative and inclusive of diverse viewpoints in all facets of leadership. This collaboration helps me to understand the needs of the many, beyond my personal perspective. This requires a great deal of reflectiveness, both before and after making decisions, and in strategic planning for growth. I strive to be honest both with myself and others, and to be transparent in decision-making.

To me, planning for the future and for growth is vital for an organization. Music therapy is in an important developmental phase. My experience in strategic planning with my region has honed skills in thinking long-term for how this growth may best be supported. Finally, I believe it is important for leaders to be compassionate, and responsive to those impacted by decisions and plans. Leaders must make decisions that are not always popular, but when done thoughtfully, collaboratively, with care, and by thinking of long-range outcome, AMTA leaders can make the best possible decisions encompassing a variety of perspectives and responsiveness to the needs of music therapists and clients.

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

I value humility, curiosity, collaboration, transparency, and innovation. I am a connector, recognizing that I do not know how to do everything and there are people who CAN do it (or do it better!), so I engage and delegate to maximize the impact of programs and projects. This way of leading helps to distribute the work load so that people are more likely to be able to sustain their energy, which I believe is important in a volunteer organization like AMTA. I believe strongly in hearing the voices of the people who receive our services and their loved ones, and will encourage the association to seek those out as we make decisions. I thrive on working from a strengths-based perspective, whether with clients or with teams, and strongly believe that we generally have more in common than we have differences. Working from those commonalities, while also challenging the status quo, will be incredibly important as we are at this juncture of the field of music therapy. Since I spend much of my time steeped in the principles of trauma informed care (safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment), I am continually looking through that lens as I engage in dialogue and make decisions with others. I believe that this perspective will be really important in the coming years for AMTA and the Board of Directors, particularly as we review the work of the 21st Century Commission and move forward to improve our education and clinical training.

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

I believe good leaders empower and inspire others, value diverse opinions, and cultivate trust. Good leaders serve first, and good leadership is transformational, focused on clear communication, setting goals, and commitment to an organization’s mission. If elected, I will serve collaboratively with the board, staff, and members to reach the goals we set for our organization. I will strive to listen to diverse perspectives and seek to be transparent in my communication. I will also work diligently to make sure that we as an organization make informed decisions, always keeping the welfare of our clients and our membership at the core of the choices we make.

Trish Winter, Candidate for President Elect from the Floor:

I was raised in a rural Appalachian farming community that functioned because of the contributions of each member toward the success of all members. I left Appalachia to work in inner-city Philadelphia and again found myself immersed in communities that thrived because of the unique contributions of every member. I have been a life-long musician who knows the value of the collaborative efforts of each musician toward the success of the performance. I am also a music therapist who knows that healthcare does not happen in a vacuum and that there are many stakeholders who contribute to the success of therapy. Therefore, my style of leadership includes a focus on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member in order to optimize collaboration. A successful organization understands that every member brings unique strengths and it is by honoring and harnessing these strengths that the entire organization has the ability to move forward with shared values and a growth mindset.

Current US politics have shown us that the unexpected has become the expected and that political leaders come from unlikely places. Diversity of leadership and organizational diversity happen when there are multiple pathways for service and when those pathways are neither dictated nor prescribed. In order to grow there must be a deconstruction of institutional beliefs that no longer serve the community, and a deconstruction of antiquated systems that inhibit the organizational ability to invite all voices to the conversation.




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