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AMTA Member Recognition Program Guidelines and Instructions

Nominate a Deserving Music Therapy Colleague and Recognize the Important Work They Do!

The purpose of the membership recognition program is to acknowledge individuals who have made significant contributions to the American Music Therapy Association, Inc. (as well as the former AAMT and NAMT associations), through education, service, clinical practice, and/or research. These awards honor music therapists and their long term efforts towards the development and growth of the profession of music therapy.

How to Nominate a Music Therapy Colleague for an Award

Usually due in September, this year’s deadline has been adjusted to
Friday, August 5, 2022
to accommodate earlier October annual conference dates.  

Instructions:  Applications are accepted using this Award Nomination form.  All nominations must be typed and submitted electronically using this word document.  Please provide information for all fields. Applications will be accepted electronically only. Submissions are accepted in MSWord format only.  Please download/save this form to your computer, then save it as a new file, using the last name of the nominating individual and the word "Award.".  Example:  If principal nominator is John Smith, the filename should be Smithaward.doc. Follow the application instruction exactly.  Include all required forms and information in the order listed.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All AMTA awards are for members in good standing, with the exception of the Music Therapy Advocate Award, which is available to members or non-members/non-music therapists.

Electronically submit applications to by the deadline noted.  You will receive confirmation of your nomination.  If you do not receive confirmation within a week of submission, please contact the national office to check on your submission.

The Following Awards are Given

Research/Publications Award

The purpose of this award is to honor a member of the American Music Therapy Association who has contributed to the development of the profession through research, scholarly activity or creative products resulting in advanced knowledge and development in the profession of music therapy.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Nominee is making or has made significant contribution to the body of knowledge of the profession of music therapy. This will be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
    1. Involvement in or completion of an outstanding research project(s).
    2. Involvement in scholarly work resulting in a textbook(s) or monograph(s) related to refinement of professional theory and/or practice.
    3. Involvement in creative activity resulting in the marketing of an activity kit(s), recording(s), and/or compositions(s) related to the development of the practice of music therapy.
  2. Nominee shall have shared this knowledge and inspired others through both written communications (publications) and oral presentations (workshops, lectures, seminars, conference presentations).
Advocate of Music Therapy Award

The purpose of this award is to honor a person who is not a music therapist but who has contributed significantly to the field. This contribution could take the form of major and/or repeated public acknowledgement of the field of music therapy, major support through scholarships or other types of funding, or major volunteer time spent bettering the interests of the music therapy profession, or music therapy groups such as a specific region. These are examples of the kinds of contributions that could be cited in this award, but do not exclude other ways that an individual might have contributed.

Service Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize individual members of the American Music Therapy Association who have provided service to the Association and profession either through long term commitments or task limited activities, such as serving in national offices, as chairs of commissions, chairs of standing and ad hoc committees, and as members of the Board of Directors and/or the Assembly of Delegates.

Award of Merit

The purpose of this award is to honor a member of the American Music Therapy Association who has contributed to the development of the profession in a unique and remarkable way. Selection Criteria:

  1. Nominee shall have made an outstanding contribution to the profession of music therapy in more than one of the following areas: Therapeutic practice, education, research, and service.
  2. Nominee's contribution shall have markedly benefited the profession and Association.
  3. Nominee must qualify in each of the following categories:
    1. Communication activities that promote his/her philosophy and contributions. This can be either written (publications) or oral (presentations, seminars, or workshops).
    2. Association activities at the regional and national level, as evidenced by participation on committees, commissions, task forces, boards and/or elected positions.
Professional Practice Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize members of the American Music Therapy Association who have made a significant contribution to the practice of music therapy. The nominee shall be recognized by his/her peers as having made a significant contribution to the profession by utilizing special skills and/or knowledge in therapeutic practice, clinical supervision, education and/or administration. Both scholarly contribution and organizational leadership will be considered. The following criteria will be employed in determining this award:

  1. Development of practice models or methods of treatment/teaching of national significance.
  2. Development of clinical or academic education models, programs, or methods of national significance.
  3. Completion and publication of research concerning music therapy practice, or education that benefits the profession.
  4. Administrative leadership which enhances clinical and/or academic education, supports innovation in or improves the quality of practice or supports research.

Nomination Procedures

Selection shall be made by an Awards Committee comprised of three people appointed by the President. The committee shall review nominations and recommend awards recipients to the AMTA Board of Directors. No member of the Membership Recognition Award Committee or employee of AMTA shall be eligible for the awards. The committee will solicit nominations through the regional presidents, regional conferences, and regional and national newsletters. This process should be completed and nominations sent to the national office postmarked no later than the deadline noted.

Nominees shall be considered each year and can be identified through self-nomination. A person may be nominated in more than one area, but may not receive more than one award in a given year. Additionally, each award category may have from one to three recipients in any given year.

An award certificate and plaque with citation highlighting the accomplishments of the recipient of the award shall be presented at the Annual Conference of AMTA by the President of the Association. Although, it can be exciting to have the nominee receive the award as a surprise, it is probably more practical for him or her to have prior knowledge of the honor since the awards are given at national conferences, and attendance would be highly desirable. The name of the person receiving the award, a photograph, and appropriate citation shall be published in an AMTA publication.

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