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October 2021
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Thursday, October 14, 2021 - Sunday, October 17, 2021

AMTA 2021 Conference

All Day Event

The 2021 Annual Conference of the American Music Therapy Association

AMTA 2021 Conference Going Fully Virtual!

After careful discussion and deliberation and due to continued concerns for the health and safety of all members, industry partners, volunteer leaders, staff, and other stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMTA Board of Directors has decided the AMTA Annual Conference will be fully virtual in 2021. Our event dates will remain October 14-17, 2021 in a fully virtual format.

Throughout the pandemic, AMTA has relied on public health guidance, federal and state-by-state event restrictions along with member input to gauge the decision to move the conference virtual. Given the current pace of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, attendee comfort in participating based on whether they are vaccinated, the association’s ability to provide optimal safety measures, along with attendee financial and travel restrictions and limitations impacting domestic and international participants, AMTA concluded it is not possible to guarantee the success of an in-person, multi-day annual conference and exhibition in October for the AMTA community.

We recognize this is disappointing news for our members, our host city Jacksonville, and many others. We are shifting our efforts to deliver top-notch educational content and experiences for as many stakeholders as possible. We appreciate your understanding and being a part of the AMTA community. We look forward to your participation at our 2021 AMTA Annual Conference and in the future when it is fully safe for us all to reconvene in person.


Proposal Submission Deadline Extended to April 30, 2021


Are you interested in planning special events for the AMTA 2021 national conference?

We would love your ideas for music making and interactive experiences. Join the virtual conference committee and help conceptualize and host opportunities to connect and inspire attendees! We welcome AMTA professional member and student member applicants. If you’d like to be considered for the virtual conference committee, please complete the following form by May 30th.

Complete this form to let us know of your interest.

Questions? Email


MTex Sessions for the 2021 AMTA Conference

Your MTex proposal is waiting to be submitted!  MTex Sessions offer an in-depth 12-18 minute lecture on a compelling topic of your choice.  Like the well known TEDx series, MTex sessions provide you the opportunity to share your specific expertise. Use the link above to submit.


Call for Research Poster Session Submissions

2021 AMTA National Conference | Virtual Format | October 2021

Individuals are encouraged to submit works in progress yet intended to be completed by the conference presentation and/or already completed works for a Research Poster Session. Diverse methodologies are encouraged.

Submission deadline is June 10, 2021 by 5 pm CST.
(if link does not work when you click, cut and paste into your browser)

Online Submissions -

Format Options

Authors must submit information as “oral presentation" only, “research poster presentation" only, or “oral or poster presentation,” by indicating preference during the submission process. Researchers are encouraged to submit using the “oral or poster presentation” option as only four oral presentations are accepted. Information submitted using the “oral or poster presentation” option will be considered and selected for either option by the Research Committee.

Oral Presentations

From those asking for consideration for an oral presentation, four will be selected by the review committee. These four oral presentations provide researchers the opportunity to present original work related to music therapy. Presenters will have 15-minutes to present and 5 minutes to answer questions from attendees (format for questions to be determined). Oral Presentations will be scheduled during a Concurrent Session time to be determined as part of the 2021 Virtual Conference.

Research Poster Presentations

The Research Poster Session provides an interactive forum for researchers to discuss their work with conference attendees. The Research Poster Session will be held in a virtual format with specific details to be sent to presenters pending AMTA's finalization of the selected virtual platform. Presenters posters will be organized by topic as related to MTR2025 goals.

Student Awards

Music therapy students are eligible for best poster awards. Abstracts will be published in Music Therapy Perspectives (MTP). Students must indicate that they wish to be considered for one of these awards.

One undergraduate and one graduate submission may be chosen. In order to be considered for this award, indicate in the submission online process if the first author is a music therapy student and what level (undergraduate, masters/masters equivalency, doctoral) and if you wish to be considered (or NOT considered) for this award. Please note the faculty mentor name and contact information.

If your submission is chosen for the Student Research Award, you will receive recognition at the national conference, acknowledgement in MTP and the journal's social media channels. As part of the acknowledgement in MTP you will be asked to write a short paragraph describing your research project for readers.

Submission Process

The following bullets will correspond to questions on the online submission process and we ask that you plan accordingly for submission and review by the AMTA Research Committee.

Please be aware that text boxes for study components each have a 1500-character limit for consistency across submissions and for effective review by the research reviewers.

  • Introduction, objective, phenomenon under investigation, hypotheses or research questions
  • Description of rigorous and relevant research methods (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, systematic reviews, theoretical frameworks, philosophical papers)
  • Description of research participants if applicable and data gathering methods
  • If the study is completed:
    • Description of the data analysis and results
    • Summary of findings supported by presented data
  • If the study is in progress:
    • Description of intended data analysis
  • Statement of how the research advances music therapy clinical practice.

If research involves Human Subjects, documentation for approval or exemption is to be uploaded during the submission process.

Each submission must include complete information for judging research quality.

If, after 14 days after submission, you have not received a confirmation of your submission being received, contact Cindy Colwell by email at

After a blind review by the committee, each corresponding author will be notified via email by July 31 of acceptance or rejection of the submission.


Virtual Conference FAQs

Conference is going virtual? What does this mean?

Participants will be able to log in during scheduled conference times to watch live and pre-recorded sessions.

When will you have specific information about the 2021 virtual conference?

We will be rolling out conference information as it is available.

Will the virtual conference be the same dates in October?

Yes, the conference dates will remain the same, October 14-17, 2021. 

How much will the conference cost?

Rates will be published in May 2021. Visit the AMTA website for updates as available.

Will virtual sessions be live or recorded?

Both! Some sessions will be presented live and some will be pre-recorded which will give presenters the opportunity to engage in a live online chat about the material during the presentation.

I have never presented in a virtual/online format. Will presenters have support?

It is all right if you have never presented in this format, we will support you! If your conference session proposal is selected, we will provide technical and presentation support to help you be successful.

My favorite part of conference is networking. Are there opportunities to connect with other professionals in a virtual conference?

Absolutely! Find other students and professionals with your interests in the online networking chatrooms during conference. You can connect, ask questions, and share contact information with other attendees. Networking opportunities will be outlined and promoted leading up to the conference so attendees are aware of all options.

What about the research poster session?

This will happen! You will still be able to see current research and interact with researchers online.  Dates will be posted soon.

Will there be Exhibitors/Sponsorship?

Yes, more information on how you can be an exhibitor/sponsor will be provided. Contact Jane Creagan ( or Cindy Smith ( at the AMTA office with specific questions.

How will I participate in the online conference?

Links and information will be sent to you in the fall with instructions for accessing the online platform!

Will the platform be accessible?

Yes, we are working to make the meeting as accessible as possible to our entire community. We acknowledge important feedback received from our 2020 Conference and are taking a critical look at our strategies to be as inclusive as possible.

Will we still have meetings during the virtual conference or around the conference dates?

Yes, look for more information regarding AMTA business meetings, assembly meetings and committee meetings this summer. Our goal is to hold as much non-education programming and meetings ahead of the conference dates to avoid overlap and give attendees the opportunity to fully enjoy the live event.

Will sessions be available post the live conference dates?

Yes, AMTA is determining how long and in what format post-conference sessions will be available. More information will be communicated as our conference plan evolves.

Have additional questions?

Our plans are still evolving, but feel free to reach out to our national office team at should you have additional questions about the 2021 AMTA Annual Conference.


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