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Music Therapy and Military Populations

March 2, 2016 11:13 AM


AMTA Briefs Air Force Officials at the Pentagon and Advocates for Expanded Music Therapy Programs and Qualified Music Therapists at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

AMTA representatives, Executive Director, Dr. Andi Farbman and Senior Advisor, Barbara Else, MPA, LCAT, MT-BC, briefed Air Force officials at the Pentagon on February 22, 2016. Representatives from the Air Force included officers from the Air Force Bands, Air Force Public Affairs, USAF Band in Washington D.C., and a representative from the Air Force Surgeon General's Office. AMTA provided extensive information about the breadth, depth, and scope of music therapy practice and relevant recent research. AMTA and the Air Force shared goals, values, and respective missions with an exploration of where intersections may occur.

In addition, AMTA participated in a meeting on February 17th convened by Captain Moira McGuire, Assistant Chief, Internal Medicine and Lead, Integrative Health & Wellness at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). The purpose of the meeting was to explore how best to acknowledge the skill and clinical contributions of Creative Arts Therapists working at WRNMMC.  Along with music therapy, art therapy, dance/movement therapy, and drama therapy were represented. The focus was on identifying minimum educational and credentialing requirements. A chart comparing the four creative arts therapies, revealed that though music therapy is the only bachelor's level entry profession; it is also the only profession that requires a credential such as board certification to practice. The other creative arts therapies professions do not require board certification to practice but do offer board certification. WRNMMC's focus on establishing minimum credential expectations relates to their priority of ensuring the safety required of a High Reliability Organization (HRO), which is a priority of the U.S. Army.

Finally, on February 23rd, AMTA joined a meeting of WRNMMC's creative arts therapists from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), the music therapist from the Ft. Belvoir NICoE, the Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and Air Force Public Affairs and Band officials, to discuss possible partnerships and collaborations and the expansion of the NEA's Military Healing Arts Partnership around the nation based on a Congressional appropriation of $2.4 million. If you are interested in inquiring about a new position in the NEA's military partnership, please keep an eye on the AMTA Job Hotline for position descriptions.



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