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News Details

Highlights from 2016 Annual Board of Directors' Meeting

December 19, 2016 09:38 AM

AMTA Board of Directors Highlights
Sandusky, Ohio
November 8-13, 2016

The AMTA Board of Directors met for approximately 16 hours during the 2016 annual conference. Special guests included the American Music Therapy Association for Students Executive Board, the Regional Presidents, and Board members from the newly formed National Organization for Arts in Healthcare (NOAH), who also treated the AMTA Board to a delightful pre-meeting breakfast. Below are some highlights of those hours as well as a pdf of the 2016 annual Board/Assembly Book, which provides additional detailed information.

New Board Charges:

The 2016-2017 Board is moving forward with the following charges:

  • Supporting the recommendation of no dues increase across all categories for the 2018 membership year.
  • Implementing an application fee of $3,500 for new academic programs starting immediately.
  • Charging the Executive Director to allocate staff time to develop a social media advisory statement and coordinate with the co-chairs of the Ethics Board and the Technology Committee.
  • Appointing a task force to analyze the structure of the AMTA Board of Directors and consider possibilities to add or subtract positions to best represent and serve the AMTA membership.
New Appointments:
  • Amber Weldon-Stephens, Chair of the Board Restructuring Task Force and joined by Debbie Benkovitz Williams, Debbie Bates, Angie Snell, Ed Kahler, Jean Nemeth, and Michael Silverman.
  • Kristin O’Grady as co-chair of the Professional Membership Growth Initiative Work Group along with the current co-chair, Amy Furman.

The Board of Directors continues to address thoughts and concerns of members about race and music therapy.  The Board asked Annette Whitehead-Pleaux to explore possible next steps to continue the dialogue about music therapy and race.  She is in the process of speaking with about 24 music therapists of color to gather suggestions for AMTA.  The Board will discuss next steps at its December conference call meeting.

Nominees for Election of National Officers (2018-2019) Approved

The following slate of nominees was presented to the membership; there were no nominations from the floor.

  • President Elect: Jean Nemeth & Debbie Benkovitz Williams
  • Vice President Elect: Ed Kahler & Wendy Woolsey
Financial Status

The Board of Directors continues to review and address the Financial Action Plan under the direction of the AMTA treasurer, Dr. Alicia Clair.  Thanks to the hard work of the Membership Committee with co-chairs Patina Jackson and Angie Elkins and the “Professional Member Growth Work Group” under the direction of Past President Amy Furman, and Amber Weldon-Stephens, membership has increased by 3% this year.  Treasurer Alicia Clair recommended no dues increase for all membership categories for the calendar year 2018 and the Board of Directors and Assembly of Delegates approved the recommendation.  Please review the extensive financial report in the Annual Board Book.

Highlights from the Assembly of Delegates Meetings

The Assembly of Delegates reviewed orientation information and considered action-tasks from President Geiger, the Ethics Board, and the Academic Program Approval Committee. From President Geiger, the Assembly approved the following appointees to the Judicial Review Board: Cheryl Benze and Hakeem Leonard. Three Ethics Board appointment recommendations were also approved for Debbie Dacus, Kevin Hahn, and Jennifer Sokira.

The Academic Program Approval Committee presented proposed language changes to the Standards of Education and Clinical Practice in Section 6 Standards for Qualifications and Staffing (Academic Faculty) and Section 3 Standards for Bachelor’s Degrees (Clinical Training Component). The Assembly approved language to clarify faculty graduate credit requirements in music therapy (6.1) and language to clarify confidentiality responsibilities when applying to online supervision (3.2.2). Additionally, the Assembly charged APAC to re-evaluate Section 6.1. The Assembly also passed a motion requesting the Board of Directors to appoint a task force to investigate faculty education requirements listed in the Standards of Education and Clinical Training. 

During reports from committees, Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and New Business, delegates had opportunities to ask questions and consider possible Assembly actions. The Assembly accepted the Board of Directors’ recommendation not to increase membership dues for 2018. The Assembly passed a motion charging the Speaker of the Assembly to appoint a task force composed of delegates representing each region to review Article VII Assembly of Delegates of the AMTA Bylaws. Upon review of Article VII, the task force is to make recommendations regarding the relationship between the Board of Directors and Assembly, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the Assembly.

Council on Education and Clinical Training

The Academic Program Approval Committee continues to review and approve academic programs throughout the year.  During the past year, they have approved 4 new undergraduate programs and 1 new graduate program.  Currently under review are one new undergraduate and one new graduate program.  There continue to be many inquiries about starting new programs and there are approximately 5 programs currently being developed. 

In similar activity, the Association Internship Approval Committee remains very busy.  The committee has reviewed and made decisions on 20 applications or other business related to internship sites.  The committee is also actively discussing the potential shortage of internship sites and possible solutions.  The Internship Fair held annually at the conference continues to facilitate information sharing about National Roster Internship sites. 

The Continuing Education Committee continues to facilitate numerous CMTE opportunities at the annual conference. (Additionally, each regional representative facilitates CMTEs at regional conferences, fulfilling their regional role.) The committee archives records of conference continuing education courses, including sign-in sheets, completed measures of learning, evaluations, and each presenter’s course objectives and resumes.  They are also completing the process of updating AMTA’s pre-approval status with CBMT. 

Council on Association Services

The Affiliate Relations Committee has started the process of revising the AMTA fact sheets.

The Clinical Practice Networking Committee hosted the annual Networking Luncheon at the AMTA conference with over 120 attendees.  The committee members will be hosting networking sessions at the regional conferences.

The Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee hosted a well-attended concurrent session where the committee was introduced and the work they are engaging in was shared. The committee is actively working on the tasks set by the Board of Directors.  The chairs will be meeting with the chairs of the Membership, Workforce Development and Retention, and Research Committees to discuss shared issues.

The International Relations Committee hosted the Global Perspectives session at the conference.  This session had ten presentations and over fifty attendees. If you present at a conference outside of the United States, please be sure to let your International Relations Committee representative know.

The Membership Committee is generating and exploring new ideas for increasing membership to AMTA.  They are looking for volunteers to help with the membership drives.  Please contact Angie Elkins if you want to help. This year, the chairs will be meeting with the Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee to explore ways to increase the diversity of our membership.

The Professional Advocacy Committee, on top of their regular and ongoing duties of protecting our profession, is working on updating the sample advocacy letters for members to use as well as creating a flowchart that depicts the paths for advocacy.

The Workforce Development and Retention Committee is working on connecting with high schools, music educators, and junior/community colleges to further develop our work force. This year, the chairs will be meeting with the Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee to explore ways to attract a more diverse workforce.  In addition, they are starting to explore why people leave the profession.

Council on Professional Practice

The Standards of Clinical Practice Committee was charged by the Board of Directors to review the CBMT Board of Domains document to determine what similarities and differences exist in regards to the AMTA/CBMT State Recognition Plan. They are also continuing their ongoing review of the Standards of Clinical Practice document, focusing on the Assessment and Documentation sections.

The Research Committee was charged by the Board of Directors to appoint an at-large Clinician Researcher Member to be in alignment with MTR2025. They are also coordinating the Clinician Research Grant, with an application deadline of December 15, 2016. The Research Poster Session continues its tradition of providing the opportunity to view a large amount of research studies from a variety of researchers.

The Technology Committee was charged by the Board of Directors to collaborate with the Ethics Board, with leadership from AMTA Staff consultant Barb Else, in developing a Social Media Advisory Statement and is working on ways to share technology resources at the regional level.

The Reimbursement and Government Relations Committees continues to work on music therapy advocacy at the national and regional levels. Areas these committees are exploring include Arts Advocacy Day, March 20-21, 2017, long-term planning for a National Music Therapy Hill Day, and a new Reimbursement Survey to gather current information regarding third party reimbursement.

MLE Update

The Master’s’ Level Entry Subcommittee had three scheduled meetings at national conference with a total of 8 hours of work together as a committee.  Presentations to the Assembly as well as the membership were presented to update the on-going data analysis of the surveys sent to the program and internship directors. Also presented was the work of the subgroup working with Pro Bono Analytics, a non-profit organization giving valuable guidance with decision analysis. A timeline was presented to the Board with a target date of a final report to the Board from the MLE by November of 2017.

Disaster Response

In June, 2015, the AMTA BOD voted to have the Regional President Representative (RPR) assume responsibility for disaster response for AMTA members and music therapists who are not members. The RPR communicates regularly with the regional presidents.  Unfortunately, this year has presented several opportunities for reaching out to provide assistance and support.  Many events, such as the Orlando night club tragedy and other shootings, plus weather-related disasters have kept the RPR and Barb Else engaged in communicating, checking on members and non-members, connecting people with support systems, and providing safety and prevention information.  Barb Else, who has a wealth of information regarding the topic of disaster response and crisis intervention, continues sharing information and mentoring the RPR regarding this work. 

Regional President Representative

This highly engaged group of Regional Presidents continues to creatively lead their regions.   They have successfully worked with their Membership Committees and boards to increase membership in the AMTA, and continue to develop ideas to provide value and opportunities.  The Regional President Representative is grateful for the tremendous work that has been accomplished as well as the continued support and efforts of the incoming Presidents-Elect.

AMTA Pro and E-Courses

Thirteen new podcasts have been added for members in 2016, and nine E-Courses are available in the AMTA store, providing opportunities for distance learning for membership.  Special thanks to Cathy Knoll and Dwight Knoll for their tireless efforts in organizing and recording podcasts and much gratitude to the E-Course providers who donated their time and knowledge.


Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Geiger, Amber Weldon-Stephens, Angie Snell, Ed Kahler, Nicole Hahna, Annette Whitehead-Pleaux, and Debbie Benkovitz.