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AMTA Leadership Update - May 2022

May 4, 2022 08:58 AM

AMTA Leadership Update - May 2022

The AMTA Board of Directors is beginning periodic updates to the membership and music therapy community to increase transparency, provide information, and enhance communication. This video update for May 2022 comes from Lori Gooding, AMTA President; Angie Snell, AMTA President-Elect, and Adonia Calhoun Coates, AMTA CEO.  A transcript of the video appears below if you prefer to read along.

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AMTA Leadership Update Video, May 2022

Lori Gooding, AMTA President

Hello everyone, I’m Lori Gooding and I’m the President of AMTA and today I’m here with Angie Snell, our President-Elect, and Adonia Calhoun Coates, our CEO.

Thank you to our American Music Therapy Association members and the music therapy community for engaging with us over the past few months to offer your feedback and suggestions.  Your input is essential to help us move forward as an association.

One theme that we continue to hear is the need for improved communication about what's going on at AMTA. To that end, the Board has been discussing ways to enhance our communication to the music therapy community.  Today, Angie, Adonia, and I are coming to you with some updates on association activities. We hope to periodically release video updates as one step toward increased transparency.

So let me tell you a little bit about what's been going on at the Board of Directors level.

We have had three board meetings, starting in late February, in which we

participated in Board orientation, passed motions for academic program approvals, heard from organizational change and fundraising consultants, and met with DEI Committee members about desired changes in DEI leadership and other concerns that are impacting participation and trust. The Board will continue to meet regularly and work to center our discussions around diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Another important step towards building effective leadership has been the creation of new onboarding resources with full board input. We are working collectively to hear all Board voices and consider all perspectives.

We've developed statements related to anti-LGBTQIA bills in Texas and Florida, and sent out a survey to gather input from all our committees and governance groups, in preparation for strategic planning.

A new student membership installment plan was initiated in 2022.  Another important step we've taken to further engage students has been an invitation to our Student Affairs Advisory Board members to attend and rotate through our upcoming Board meetings to gain insight into what the Board does and begin to develop our leadership pipeline.

The Board has discussed, and will be rolling out, critical work groups over the next few months to address some, but not all, of the association goals such as: bylaws revisions, strategic planning, membership structure, website improvements, education initiatives, and more.

And finally, I was fortunate to participate on a recent webinar with CBMT Chair Ellary Draper, to discuss the differences between CBMT and AMTA. If you have not watched this free program, I encourage you to visit the CBMT website ( to do so.

And now, I'd like to turn it over to Angie to further expand on some association highlights.

Angie Snell, AMTA President Elect

Thank you, Lori.

One big achievement we are incredibly pleased to announce is the agreement on legislative language with the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) that clarifies the difference in scope of practice for speech language pathologists and board-certified music therapists. After more than 10 years of negotiation with ASHA, new language now clearly states that it is within the scope of a music therapist’s practice to work with individuals with communication disorders and address communication goals. AMTA is grateful to ASHA for working to reach consensus and we are moving forward to submit amendment language for inclusion in current and future state licensure bills.

Effective regional and national organization collaboration has always been critical to AMTA success. We are working to expand our engagement with regional leaders to collaboratively address our transformation goals. AMTA strategic planning is beginning to take shape. One important step happening now is engagement with our committee and governance volunteers in self-assessment work. Hearing from our volunteers to gain perspective on what works, or may no longer serve us, is important as we lead into strategic planning conversations that are expected this fall.

With that said, AMTA can only serve the music therapy community effectively with your engagement. Regardless if you are a current member or non-member, we want to hear from you through our surveys and communications that will be going out over the next few months. We invite you to sign up for our Volunteer Call for Interest in Serving AMTA ( under “Latest News”). To date, every individual who signed up for the call has been invited to at least one micro, short-term, or long-term volunteer opportunity. Our appointed board members for the 2022-2023 term were selected directly from that call in an effort to reduce selection bias, expand input and access, and remove barriers to leadership. We invite you to join, or reconsider re-joining, the association and be part of the work to build our capacity to further our goals, contribute to important governance efforts, and work towards transformation.

Now, I would like to pass it over to Adonia to share some national office updates.

Adonia Calhoun Coates, AMTA Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Angie.

We recognize the importance of, and need to center, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all conversations and activities. An organizational change and communications consultant with a DEI lens has been hired to help create understanding and a path towards dialogue, where all perspectives can be heard and all those engaging feel safe and welcome to determine and decide what level of engagement is best for them.

Our dedicated national office team continues to work to deliver important AMTA programs and initiatives.

In addition to our ASHA efforts, our government relations team partners with CBMT, the regions, and state task forces to expand recognition for music therapy. 14 states have some form of music therapy recognition, 15 states have current legislation underway and more states have legislative movement.

The national office team also has a number of efforts in action to address reimbursement concerns for music therapists.

Our research program continues to be successful with the recent selection of the Clinician-Based Research Grant Award winner. For the Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Grant Award Program, proposals are being accepted now through June 3rd. Visit the AMTA website to learn more if you are interested. ( under “Research”)

Our journal program continues to review its processes and expand diversity, equity, inclusion, and access efforts, In tandem with our publisher, Oxford University Press. A search for a new Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Music Therapy will be released in the coming days. We invite you to view the announcement online and consider applying.

AMTA-approved music therapy programs are renewing their annual commitment to adhere to AMTA Standards and we thank each program.

The AMTA publications program has been active, with one new book released in 2021, and another book slated for release in 2022.

There are currently 89 AMTA-approved academic programs offering bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees, with a couple of new programs anticipated in 2022. AMTA currently has 203 National Roster Internship Programs.

AMTA continues to build stakeholder engagement through our Sound Health Efforts, where this year's focus is music therapy. We also continue to work with MS in Harmony, and expand our connections to artist spokespersons and others interested in music therapy.

And last, AMTA would not be complete without our annual conference. For member safety, AMTA held two annual conferences virtually in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. The 2022 annual conference theme is “collaboration” and will take place in-person! We are excited to bring forth top-notch educational content and experiences to allow you to reconnect, network with your peers, and build community. Along with our event guidelines, we've added a section on accessibility to our conference website to communicate more effectively, how we are working to address ableism concerns. With our registration discounts, scholarship options, opening week flash sales, we hope these offers will enable many more of our community members to attend. Please join me at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, FL on October 17th through the 23rd, with our Opening Session beginning on Thursday, October 20th.  I look forward to the opportunity to meet many of you in person for the very first time.

With that, Lori, Angie, and I would like to thank the entire music therapy community for your time. We hope this update is useful as we continue to work to increase transparency, build trust, and fulfill our mission “to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.”

Thank you again and goodbye!

Lori: Thank you everyone!




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