AMTA Print this Page

AMTA Launches Executive Director Search

June 12, 2018 02:06 PM

Position Profile

Executive Director

American Music Therapy Association

Silver Spring, MD


The American Music Therapy Association seeks an engaging and transformational Executive Director to lead this nearly 4,000 member association that is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards and advocacy, and research in support of the music therapy profession.

The Organization

American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) traces its roots to two organizations, founded in 1950 and 1971 respectively, that came together to establish AMTA in 1998. Representing over 7,700 board certified music therapists and music therapy students, along with corporate members and related associations worldwide, AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, and research in support of the music therapy profession.

AMTA conducts a wide variety of projects and programs to fulfill its mission to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world. Projects and programs include:

Public Education: AMTA provides therapists, professionals, and consumers with materials, research reports, and technical assistance in support of quality music therapy services. AMTA Artist Spokespersons, such as Renée Fleming and Robin Spielberg, contribute to outreach that helps advance the music therapy profession.

Research: AMTA seeks to advance research, theory, and practice in music therapy through the dissemination of scholarly work. AMTA provides a number of research publications, including two peer-reviewed journals, the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives. AMTA monitors the status of music therapy research, including recommendations for future research, through its strategic priority on research called “Music Therapy Research 2025” (MTR2025).

Advocacy: AMTA strives to ensure those who may benefit from music therapy services are able to receive them through its federal, state, and local advocacy and government relations efforts.

Partnerships: By partnering with government agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Arts, numerous disability and education organizations, and like-minded allied health associations, AMTA successfully promotes the importance of music therapy in many arenas.

Conferences: AMTA presents a national educational conference each fall, attracting some 1,500 attendees. The conference features over 250 events, including: 150 workshops and lectures on state-of-the-art music therapy practice; over 30 continuing education opportunities; in-depth research sessions; 70 meetings to conduct association business and encourage professional networking; an ever-expanding exhibit hall with over 80 booths; and signature events featuring drum circles, chant circles, and performances by guest artists.   Regional conferences are held in the spring of each year.

Education and Training: AMTA establishes criteria for the education and clinical training of music therapists. Members of AMTA adhere to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in their delivery of music therapy services. Over 80 academic training programs in music therapy are approved by AMTA at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Doctoral studies are also available.

Technical Assistance and Professional Development: AMTA assists members in accessing and providing quality music therapy services to children and adults in a wide variety of settings through a variety of mechanisms including, but not limited to, a catalog of online continuing education offerings, expert consultations to professionals and stakeholders, and an array of active and productive association committees and special topic workgroups.

Governed by a 16-member Board of Directors, which consists of elected and appointed officers, AMTA organizes its membership by seven regions across the United States plus international members.  Policies are set by an Assembly of Delegates consisting of representatives from each region.  With national headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, AMTA has a staff of 10 complemented by a host of consultants, and an annual operating budget of $1.8M funded through annual membership dues, conference fees, sales of publications, charitable contributions, and other revenue producing activities.  Dr. Andrea Farbman, the current executive, is retiring at the end of 2018 after thirty years of dedicated service to the organization and the profession of music therapy.  See more about the organization at

The Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides direction and leadership for the association’s mission and vision, represents and speaks for the organization, and works with the staff to advance and implement a broad range of activities that support the music therapy profession.  The ideal candidate will be passionate about the intrinsic value of music therapy, will bring innovation and creativity to the work, and will possess sound business acumen.

The Board of Directors anticipates a start date for this position to be late Fall, 2018 which aligns with the timeframe for Dr. Farbman’s retirement.

Leadership Outlook and Near-Term Priorities

The Executive Director provides leadership both inside and outside the organization, continually increasing AMTA’s impact.  Near-term priorities for the Executive Director will include:

  • Listening, observing and discerning where AMTA is as an asset to the music therapy profession, and developing a firm understanding of its values, operating principles, partnerships, and business model to better understand opportunities for its future.
  • Increasing AMTA’s visibility and growing public awareness of music therapy through partnerships, social media, and other opportunities.
  • Advancing and sustaining the value of the music therapy profession in the health and education sectors.
  • Leading AMTA’s advocacy efforts around licensure and recognition of Board Certified Music Therapists (MT-BC).
  • Growing and diversifying membership and participation in AMTA, conferences, and education activities.
  • Building strong relationships with the staff, ensuring that AMTA is an organization that exemplifies high staff morale, a vibrant and inspiring culture, and has the ability to attract, optimize, and retain top talent. 
  • Ensuring that annual goals across business lines are met and providing sound fiscal management of the organization.
Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director will provide strategic leadership and manage its day-to-day affairs.  Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Guiding and facilitating the development and execution of AMTA’s strategic and annual planning processes, as well as ensuring the continued efficiency and effectiveness of the association’s business operations and programs.
  • Building strong relationships and partnerships with complementary organizations and professions to increase the public awareness of music therapy and its impact, raise recognition of the MT-BC, and clarify and sustain the identity and value of music therapy in the health and education sectors.
  • Growing and diversifying AMTA membership; leading the advancement of advocacy, education, support, and impact for music therapists.
  • Managing the day-to-day operations, including effective fiscal management and revenue diversification. 
  • Providing direction, guidance, and support to staff and fostering strong staff morale; attracting, empowering, and retaining a high performing team with an eye toward professional development and growth.
  • Partnering with AMTA’s Board of Directors to enhance the association’s ability to carry out its mission.
Experience and Attributes

Ideal candidates for this position will share our commitment to and passion for the music therapy profession and AMTA’s mission to advance and sustain the profession.  Candidates will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to AMTA, including:

  • Passion for AMTA’s work and belief in the intrinsic therapeutic value of music.
  • Transformational leadership with the ability to bring innovative, creative, and outside-the-box thinking in leading AMTA forward.
  • Exceptional relationship building skills across diverse audiences including government relations, media/public relations, nonprofit and private partnerships, etc.
  • Ability to successfully navigate unexpected opportunities and challenges in support of mission.
  • Nonprofit management, member association preferred.
  • Strong business acumen with demonstrated experience managing multiple lines of business and revenue sources.
  • Proven track record of leading or managing an organization or department or business with at least a $1M operating budget.
  • Strong and articulate verbal and written communicator.
  • Effective decision-maker who uses mission impact and safe-guarding the profession as fundamental guides.
  • Collaborative, empowering team leader.
  • Entrepreneurial, open-minded.
  • Past success supporting and working with a Board of Directors a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Process

To apply, e-mail resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: (e-mail applications are required).  For other inquiries contact Ginna Goodenow at or Adrienne O’Rourke at

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity: fairness, justice, and respect for all persons. AMTA works to ensure that the association, AMTA-approved academic programs and internships, and settings in which music therapists work are safe and welcoming regardless of actual or perceived characteristics, including race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, marital status, language, ability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, developmental level, health status, or any other personal identity, distinguishing characteristic, or disabilities.

Resume reviews begin immediately.  The Transition Committee hopes to advance interviews and other selection activities in early September.

About Raffa PC

Founded in 1984, Raffa is a woman-owned consulting and professional services firm whose mission is to be a catalyst for positive, systemic change. Dedicated to strengthening and supporting the nonprofit sector, the Firm and its affiliates now employ nearly 300 full-time employees who deliver an array of business consulting, search and accounting services to clients. Seventeen partners direct the Firm. Raffa’s client-centric, customized approach helps each client meet its potential and ensures each client’s success is sustained and maintained.

Learn more about Raffa at



Copyright © 1998-2020. American Music Therapy Association® and its logo are registered trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Information, files, graphics, and other content on this site are the property of the American Music Therapy Association® and may not be reproduced beyond personal use in print or any other media without express written permission of the American Music Therapy Association. The American Music Therapy Association® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and accepts contributions which support its mission. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring MD 20910 | Phone: 301.589.3300 | Fax: 301.589.5175