The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) works from a strategic plan that serves as a blueprint for meeting the mission of AMTA. The plan includes multiple priority topics including growth, development, and communication of a robust portfolio of research evidence on music therapy interventions and their application/translation to music therapy practice. The association endorses a definition of evidence-based music therapy practice as follows:

Evidence-based music therapy practice integrates the best available research, the music therapists’ expertise, and the needs, values, and preferences of the  individual(s) served. (AMTA, 2010)

AMTA’s research priority involves professional education, dissemination of research, future research agenda guidance, evidence-based and evidence-informed practice, and review of workforce implications to meet the demand for services relative to a growing base of evidence for defined music therapy interventions. Important operational tools and assets of the research priority include AMTA’s Research Committee and the association’s two peer reviewed journals, the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives. In short, research is a foundational element of the profession and is about: a) the use of research to increase access to quality music therapy services, b) knowing how research affects practice policy, c) an integral professional and association-wide element, d) being good consumers of music therapy research findings, and e) collaborating and informing the public and other research stakeholders regarding research in music therapy, and music-based interventions more broadly, including referrals to music and music therapy experts as part of high quality research proposals.