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Music Therapy Certification

Music therapists must be board crtified in order to practice. According to the AMTA (American Music Therapy Association), the standard curriculum for becoming a music therapist includes courses in researach analysis, physiology, acoustics, psychology, and music. Today, about 70 undergraduate and 25 graduate association approved programs exist across the United States to teach music therapy. The AMTA as more than 4,000 members who are certified to perform music therapy.

To become a music therapist, one must hold a bachelor's or higher degree from one of the schools listed on the AMTA website and complete a 6 month internship at a clinical site approved by the AMTA. Once the internship is completed, the candidate is eligible to take the national certification examination that is offered by the AMTA's Certification Board of Music Therapists. Successful candidates obtain the credentials Music Therapist - Board Certified (MT-BC).

Other types of licensures and certifications awarded in music therapy are Registered Music Therapist (RMT), Certified Music Therapist (CMT), and Advanced Certified Music Therapist (ACMT), which are based on the level of education obtained. All music therapists are listed on the National Music Therapy Registry. 

A person who has earned a bacalaureate degree in an area other than music therapy can also become a music therapist by completing only courses required for music therapy. In such cases, the person need not earn another baccalaureate degree but can sit for the certification examination once those courses have been completed.

Every certified music therapist must be re-examined every five years or show documentation of 100 contact hours of continuing education credits or units to continue to practice. These standards and criteria are set by the AMTA, which has official publications on the subject, including journals, monographs, bibliographies, and brochures.

The AMTA has also implemented a code of ethics, standards of practic, a system of peer review, a judicial review board, and an ethics board. Every music therapist must comply with the legal and ethical standards set forth by this agency. Nurses planning to develop an independent music therapy practice must first become certified and are also required to follow the American Nurses Association and AMTA standards of practice.

Source: Holistic and Complementary Therapies 


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