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Music Therapy Urgently Needs Your Help!

May 13, 2022 04:43 PM

Music Therapy Urgently Needs Your Help!

Adonia Calhoun CoastesDear Member of the Music Therapy Community,

I am writing to you as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Music Therapy Association. AMTA urgently needs your immediate financial support. Like many organizations, AMTA is in the process of a post-pandemic transformation. Over the past 24 years, AMTA has been instrumental in advocating for music therapy, enhancing the profession, supporting music therapists, and, most importantly, working to protect music therapy clients and consumers.

I have learned a great deal about music therapy during my time here, and I never cease to be impressed and moved by this profession. Here is a small list of AMTA’s accomplishments over the past two decades:

  • AMTA connects thousands who need music therapy with qualified music therapists that receive a high-quality music therapy education from university programs and internship sites that meet AMTA’s rigorous approval standards.
  • AMTA sets standards for education and clinical practice in the U. S. which have helped the profession thrive for over 70 years. Today, there are 90 colleges and universities in the U.S. with AMTA-approved bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs. Music therapy is the fastest growing degree in the field of music (Iwamasa, 2019). The organization plays a vital role in the approval of academic programs and national roster internship sites.
  • AMTA’s Government Relations Department, in collaboration with CBMT, has succeeded in establishing licensure, state certification/registry, or title protection in 14 states, with 2 states awaiting Governor signatures, and an additional 23 states have introduced legislation. Just this year, AMTA reached new agreements with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to resolve long-standing differences in the way music therapy is recognized legislatively, which will help remove barriers to future state recognition of qualified music therapists.
  • AMTA supported the music therapy community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic through resources freely available to all music therapists and students. 
  • AMTA has responded to countless disasters and emergencies to help support music therapists to provide needed care or support.
  • AMTA has established an ongoing commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in both the profession and for those receiving services, with a focus on underserved or marginalized communities. We have implemented new appointed leadership processes, actively engage the DEI Committee, are preparing for strategic planning, bylaws revisions, organizational change training, and more.
  • AMTA National Conferences bring music therapists, students, and advocates of music therapy from around the world to network, collaborate, and gain valuable continuing education.
  • AMTA produces two thriving journals in Music Therapy Perspectives and the Journal of Music Therapy that publish the latest research for the profession. They also publish high quality resources used by students and music therapists nationally and internationally.
  • AMTA engages a dedicated team of staff and hundreds of volunteers who communicate, advocate, and promote music therapy to the public. 

Unfortunately, time is not working in our favor. Our financial situation is imminent. COVID-19 has had an impact on all of us; it has especially challenged AMTA with significant and unexpected financial costs related to conference changes and other association business. In addition, membership has waned and donations are not making up the difference. We are strained in our ability to continue and are facing the elimination of vital programs, staff, and services in the coming weeks. We need your help now. The plea is to renew your membership, spread the word, and ask others to join.

We recognize that you may be disappointed and frustrated. We acknowledge that there may be community members who have experienced harm through gaps in our systems and policies. This may not be the professional home you have hoped it would be, but we are working to transform the association for all music therapists, students, and advocates. Partner with us. Help us transform. Help us build the organization you desire. We can only do this with the music therapy community’s support.

AMTA plays a critical role for the profession. We’ve been on a steady track to address our challenges and find ways to communicate more deliberately, effectively, and transparently to communicate our true desire to transform the association. We’re actively exploring opportunities to diversify our funding sources and offerings while building our capacity for improved engagement strategies. We acknowledge that past efforts have fallen short, harmed, and broken trust for many, and are working to transform. We want to continue the movement we have been making and the potential to bring us to a place of healing.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request. We will stay in touch with future communications to keep you informed.

Sincerely,

 

Adonia Calhoun Coates,
AMTA CEO and Music Therapy Advocate

 

Ways to help right now:

 

American Music Therapy Association
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | (301) 589-3300
Contact us online at https://www.musictherapy.org/contact/
AMTA Mission: To advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.
 

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