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Music Therapy Matters – January 2021

January 15, 2021 10:50 AM

Matters Masthead

January 2021
Building the Future of Music Therapy

Click the links below to read more or – if the settings on your personal device browser don't allow it - go to the AMTA website first, log in with your current member email address and password, and then click the link for this month's issue of Music Therapy Matters Monthly under "Latest News" on the home page or use this link: and select the issue you desire.

In this Edition:

A Message from the AMTA CEO

Adonia Calhoun CoastesAs we present our first Music Therapy Matters edition for 2021, AMTA wholeheartedly agrees that the time is overdue for change to address barriers and blatant inequities that have plagued our communities far too long. We recognize our community and those we serve want and deserve change now. The longstanding list of social, racial, religious, economic and other injustices cannot effectively be tackled alone. The climate of anger, blame, frustration, and divisiveness impresses upon us the need to unite…now more than ever. Music therapists are uniquely positioned as music is and forever will be a powerful tool for healing and unity.

AMTA cannot and will not attempt to respond to every incident that rocks our nation or the communities we serve. Words that effectively resonate and express all that our audience may be experiencing and feeling are unachievable. We are clear that AMTA does not support any principles or practices that divide, discriminate, or harm our community in any way, anywhere. Moreover, we vehemently denounce the horrific insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.

We’ve initiated work at AMTA to begin to address all that hinders our members and the larger music therapy community from engaging in the important work we do. With that, we recognize that what we do can never be fast enough for those who continue to feel left out, underappreciated, marginalized, or dismissed, but we hope you will hold on with us and engage to help us correct our challenges and meet your needs. AMTA’s goal, first and foremost, is to further the profession of music therapy. We will continue to do all we can by representing you on Capitol Hill; pushing for licensure and recognition; offering research, education and professional development; and providing support to music therapists and the clients you serve as we do the heavy lifting ahead of us.

We are a strong community of professionals who seek to heal our clients and ourselves using music and expression. We invite our music therapy community to share your resources and wisdom with us to help support each other during this time of pain, uncertainty and fear. We welcome suggestions and resources at

You Can Still Purchase 2020 Conference Sessions Even if You Didn’t Attend in November!

AMTA is pleased to announce that registration for our 2020 Annual Conference Platform will be re-opening soon for individuals who did not have a chance to participate during the conference weekend of November 19-22, 2020.

Individuals who did not register for the conference in November may purchase the recorded sessions from the conference from January 25 - May 1, 2021 in the AMTA online store. As a reminder, the conference platform will be available to all registrants (both those who participated in the live conference and those who purchase the recorded conference later) through May 15, 2021.

Watch AMTA social media channels for reminders when 2020 Conference registration re-opens to take advantage of this opportunity.

Paycheck Protection Loan Program Reopens

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, contained additional funding for both the Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs, administered through the Small Business Administration.

The PPP application opened for community financial institution-initiated First Draw PPP applicants, on Monday, January 11th.  The PPP application for second time or “Second Draw” applicants from community financial institutions, is active as of Wednesday, January 13th.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.  Updates will be posted as they become available.

Please visit the Federal Advocacy section of the website under “Small Business Disaster Loan” for additional information.

Latest Clinical Training and Education Updates

During the pandemic, the AMTA Academic Program Approval Committee (APAC) and the Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC) have been a resource for faculty, internship directors and students they have provided guidance and solutions to specific situations, empowered faculty and internship directors to be creative and flexible during COVID, provi additional information related to the education documents.

APAC has revised the Standards for Education and Clinical Training and developed new University Affiliated Internship Guidelines; one new requirement includes intern supervision training for internship supervisors in University Affiliated Internship programs. APAC is working on developing a webinar/CMTE related to the UA updates and there will be live Q/A, though a recording can also be made available. More details to

In addition, AIAC has updated and revised the online Intern Supervision course which will soon be available, and the Committee has collaborated with APAC on a number of education and clinical training issues. Both the AIAC and APAC have on-going communication with the 21st Century Commission.

As we continue to work our way through the pandemic, APAC and AIAC will continue to update the music therapy community on any changes along the way, and be sure to follow the weekly education and clinical training updates every Friday on the AMTA Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages (@AMTAInc).

Sound Health Network Launch

SHNLaunchThe National Endowment for the Arts and the University of California, San Francisco, launches the Sound Health Network (SHN), a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Renée Fleming, the center’s artistic advisor. The SHN will promote research and public awareness about the impact of music on health and wellness. This online event will take place on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. Click here to read more.

AMTA Grand Rounds 7: Recording Now Available

AMTA COVID-19 Task Force Grand Rounds Series: International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study: Latest Results. Join us as Dr. James Weaver shares the latest results from the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol study. We also explore how the data relate to music therapy practice. Click here for the YouTube video.

AMTA National Office Closings

Please note that the AMTA office will be closed on Monday, January 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and on Wednesday, January 20 for Inauguration Day.

AMTA Scholarship Opportunities

The 2021 Scholarship season has begun! Please check out the website for scholarship offerings, requirements and dates. Read more from a few of our 2020 recipients:

JulianaJoyceEdwina Eustis Dick Scholarship for Music Therapy Interns - Juliana Joyce

Receiving the Edwina Eustis Dick Scholarship is a huge honor for me, as it helped provide financial assistance to countless other music therapy interns. This scholarship will help pay for my certification exam to become an MT-BC, which I would have struggled to afford otherwise. My aspirations for music therapy are to help diversify the profession, to make our collegiate curriculum culturally intentional, and to make it more accessible to the most underserved populations. Attending an institution that was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, who emphasized, “the love of the dear neighbor,” I have become determined to expand our field to those who cannot afford music therapy services, such as those experiencing homelessness and individuals who are impoverished. I hope to receive a master’s degree in music therapy to conduct research on cultural sensitivity within the profession and to eventually become a professor. I want to shift the focus of our collegiate curriculum to dive deeper into world music techniques and individual, self-reflection on implicit biases. We have grown greatly as a profession, but we have a long way to go towards becoming even more inclusive; I am excited to help initiate meaningful changes in the field of music therapy during my career.

LeahReinhartEdwina Eustis Dick Scholarship for Music Therapy Interns - Leah Reinhart

I want to thank the AMTA scholarship board for selecting me as recipient of the Edwina Eustis Dick Scholarship for interns. This award has been significant to my growth as a professional after having many roadblocks in finishing my internship. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to make some tough decisions in the process that had me wondering when I would be able to finish my internship hours and be eligible for the exam. When I was back on track, the pandemic presented us all with even more challenges, and this award helped me to persevere when my internship had to be extended again. I was so relieved to finally hear some good news after so much worry and was fortunate to have been given the tools and supports to evolve with the circumstances. Since then, I have finished my internship, moved to a new state, taken the board exam, and started my first job as a board-certified music therapist working with Indiana Medicaid recipients. This award helped me navigate through these monumental life changes and to continue working toward my professional goals. In the future, I hope to be involved in leadership roles in the field or in my community, possibly in supervision or teaching in some capacity. I am eager to gain more experience as my caseload grows, and to always be learning something new in this time of humility, expansion, and growth.

MelissaKilgardBrian & Cathy Smith Memorial Fund - Melissa Kilgard

I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the Brian & Cathy Smith Memorial Fund. This scholarship award acts as a significant financial support while I am interning with the expressive therapies department at Valeo Behavioral Health Care in Topeka, Kansas. Upon my internship completion in December 2020, I hope to continue my education and experience in using various types of therapies to help those with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. I have developed a passion for how music interacts with other expressive mediums, such as art and movement, to address clients’ strengths and needs, and I hope to explore and push for deeper interdisciplinary work within these possibilities. In the future, I am eager to become licensed clinical professional counselor as well as gain a higher education in expressive and creative arts therapies to broaden my scope. I hope to offer my future clients comprehensive and creative spaces so they can express themselves fully and be active in their treatment. With this internship and the support of AMTA, I am excited in developing my identity within music therapy, and I hope to continue an active involvement in improving myself and the professional field.

HannahStevensStudent Conference Scholar - Hannah Stevens

I am so honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients of this Student Conference Scholar award. Now more so than before because of this pandemic, this award covers the expenses I would have struggled to afford. Not only does it pay for the conference cost itself but also the add-on courses I longed to attend. I am so grateful for this opportunity because this conference will inform my future practice and application of music therapy. There is always so much to take away at these conferences but it’s that “Ah ha” moment later down the road that applies to whatever you are researching, learning, or practicing and I cannot wait for that feeling.

HilaryYipStudent Conference Scholar - Hilary Yip

Thank you for making the AMTA Student Conference Scholar Award possible. I am grateful and honored to be awarded the scholarship and am appreciative of the support to attend AMTA’s Virtual National Conference. As a graduate student, this scholarship offered me the opportunity to attend multiple CMTE courses to cultivate knowledge for both professional and personal development. Courses about self-compassion around privilege and bias as well as self-care strategies enhanced my knowledge to apply to my daily practice, research interests, and to better take care of myself, especially during a pandemic. Courses about persevering in tough times and using online tools for virtual drum circles provided me skills, inspiration, and concrete experiences to implement in my clinical work and daily life when working with clients and other music therapists. Thank you again AMTA for your support!

KalinHagedornPast President’s Conference Scholar - Kalin Hagedorn

When I received the call to inform me that I was a recipient of the AMTA Past President’s Conference Scholarship Award I about jumped out of my chair in the office. I was beaming the rest of the week! I applied for the scholarship with the fiery hope of attending conference this year, knowing without a scholarship I would most likely not be able to. As a recently Board-Certified music therapist, attending conference means so much to me in order to grow as a young professional. Not only will it expand and enrich my knowledge of the profession and my own practice, but it will also help my patients and clients immensely. I currently work in the pediatric medical setting and with the waiver program serving individuals with various disabilities. I love the work I get to do! I plan to pursue a masters in Music Therapy and Counseling in the next few years. I am very passionate about addressing and advocating for children/adolescents’ mental health. I aspire to incorporate music therapy and counseling into the pediatric medical setting for a more wholistic healing process. It is an absolute honor to be a Past President’s Conference Scholarship winner!

NorikoNakamuraPast President’s Conference Scholar - Noriko Nakamura

I have been running a private practice while working towards a PhD degree in music therapy; however, the pandemic has greatly impacted my private practice. During this difficult time, I am tremendously grateful for receiving the AMTA Past Presidents’ Conference Scholarship award because this award assisted me in attending the 2020 AMTA online National Conference. I presented a concurrent session and research poster, which allowed me to share information about memory, related brain regions, and music interventions for memory impairments in adults with acquired brain injury. In addition, this conference gave me the opportunities to attend add-on courses including presentations related to music and neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience is connected to my research focus; therefore, these add-on courses significantly benefitted me. I also watched the recordings of concurrent sessions, such as culture-related presentations, and they were extremely educational. Attending this conference even during this challenging time was important for me since gaining new knowledge would help me further improve myself as a clinician, researcher, and future music therapy educator. The AMTA Past Presidents’ Conference Scholarship award provided me with these amazing professional development opportunities, which will positively impact my future work in both clinical and educational settings. Thank you so much.

LoriSunshinePast President’s Conference Scholar - Lori Sunshine

I was delighted to hear that I was a recipient of the Past Presidents Conference Scholar award for the generous support it provided for me during this difficult time… the 1st National Virtual AMTA Conference 2020 will serve as an ongoing education and inspiration for many months to come as I pick and choose at my leisure the wide variety of sessions as it pertains to my upcoming/ongoing work… This education continues to help me with my work as a Music Therapist with ideas and knowledge and to face new challenges on a daily basis. In the darkest of times that I have known, when my work disappeared before me suddenly with the onset of this Pandemic, when my fears gripped me from behind regarding ongoing bills to pay for rent, food and transportation and no income, … my phone rang…the voice on the other end was kind and excited to let me know that I had been chosen for the Past Presidents Conference Scholar Award and what it entailed…I felt included, seen, cared about and an instant feeling of renewal…Thank you for making a difference in my life to light my way with a financial gift that helped me practically and to everyone who made the virtual conference so enriching with brilliant people from all walks of life.

Checking in on AMTA Members

In 2020 the AMTA Membership Committee continues to "check in" with AMTA members across the country and around the globe. This month we checked in with:

Chelsea Mabes, MA, MT-BC

Chelsea has been a member of AMTA since 2010 and cites the research database as her favorite member benefit. Chelsea is a member of the Great Lakes Region of AMTA and is employed as a music therapist at Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana. She supports children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, mental health disorders, and trauma. Before telehealth, Chelsea's sessions were 1:1 in an office setting and at an adult day program as well as with 10 groups in the local school systems. She is an advocate for trauma-informed care in the music therapy profession, which was her master's thesis topic. Chelsea has presented this research on several platforms. Chelsea also enjoys baking and golfing. For self care, she recites positive affirmations and practices positive self-talk. Chelsea shares the following words of wisdom from her internship supervisor, Greg Lazzaro: "Kindness and communication are what people remember the most, and we should always strive for them personally and professionally."

HenryLeslieLeslie Orozco Henry, MM, MT-BC.

Leslie has been a member of AMTA since 1990 and shares that connecting with other music therapists at conferences is her favorite member benefit. Leslie is a member of the Great Lakes Region of AMTA and Director of Music Therapy at Alverno College . Leslie oversees the delivery of undergraduate academic training and teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate music therapy programs. As Co-Chair of the AMTA Professional Advocacy Committee, Leslie believes strongly in the power of persuasion, alliances, and perspective when advocating for our field.  Leslie also has taken up canning and has become skilled at tomato sauce, jams, applesauce, pears, and pumpkin. For self care, she enjoys taking a good walk or practicing yoga. Leslie shares with us the following words of wisdom: "The best decisions and actions are made with a balance of the head and the heart. And, ask for what you need with confidence, you may be surprised when you get it."

SnellAngieAngela M. Snell, MSEd, MT-BC

Angie has been a member of NAMT and then AMTA since around 1980. Her favorite member benefits are networking, advocacy, research, continuing education, the opportunity to pay it forward, and the potential to contribute to the future of music therapy.  Angie is a member of the Great Lakes Region of AMTA and recently retired from her position as a music therapist with the Monroe County Intermediate School District after 33 years, although she is not retired from music therapy. She continues to work as an educational consultant, presenter, author, and recently filled in as Clinical Supervisor for Eastern Michigan University., presenter, and author. Angie's specialties are assessment, inclusion, community outreach, and IDEA compliance. She also serves as Speaker of the Assembly and on the Michigan Music Education Association Board. Angie's favorite hobby is music, especially playing the piano, learning new skills on other instruments, and dancing. Angie shares with us the following words of wisdom: "Seek to find new hope and new ways while being kind to yourself and others. And, as Bob Unkefer advised, 'Get to the music,' as the answer is always there!"

If you would like to nominate any AMTA or AMTAS members with diverse perspectives you feel should be celebrated on this weekly feature, please contact Jennifer Hicks, MT-BC, at