American Music Therapy Association

About the American Music Therapy Association

AMTA’s purpose is the progressive development of the therapeutic use of music in rehabilitation, special education, and community settings. Predecessors, unified in 1998, included the National Association for Music Therapy founded in 1950 and the American Association for Music Therapy founded in 1971. AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentials, and research in support of the music therapy profession.

Governing Bodies

AMTA is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors which consists of both elected and appointed officers. Board meetings are held two or three times each year. Policies are set by an Assembly of Delegates consisting of representatives from each of the Association’s seven regional chapters. Fourteen standing committees represent the areas of: Academic Program Approval, Internship Approval, Continuing Education, Government Relations, Reimbursement, Research, Clinical Practice, Communication and Technology, Affiliate Relations, Workforce Development and Retention, International Relations, Membership, Professional Advocacy, and Special Target Populations.


Membership in AMTA consists of nine categories: professional, associate, student, inactive, retired, affiliate, patron, life, and honorary life. Over 3,800 individuals hold current AMTA membership.


A separate, independent organization, known as the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), certifies music therapists. CBMT administers a national music therapy certification examination which is officially recognized by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies. The examination measures the individual’s skills, knowledge, and ability to engage in professional music therapy practice. Qualified individuals who pass the national music therapy certification examination earn the credential, music therapist, board certified, or MT-BC. The National Music Therapy Registry (NMTR) serves qualified music therapy professionals with the following designations: RMT, CMT, ACMT. These individuals have met accepted educational and clinical training standards and are qualified to practice music therapy.

Quality Assurance

Music therapists participate in quality assurance reviews of clinical programs within their facilities. In addition, AMTA provides several mechanisms for monitoring the quality of music therapy programs which include: Standards of Practice, a Code of Ethics, a system for Peer Review, a Judicial Review Board, and an Ethics Board.


AMTA’s publications are excellent resources for practitioners and others. Official publications include: the Journal of Music Therapy, a quarterly research-oriented journal; Music Therapy Perspectives, a semi-annual, practice-oriented journal; Music Therapy Matters, a quarterly newsletter; and a variety of other monographs, bibliographies, and brochures.


AMTA holds an annual national meeting for the purpose of professional presentations and conducting association business. The conference is held in the fall of the year. Other symposiums and workshops are held as needed. In addition, each of AMTA’s 7 regions holds a conference in the spring of the year.


AMTA is funded by annual membership dues, sales of publications, charitable contributions, and other revenue producing activities.


AMTA holds organizational membership in various coalitions including, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations, National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, Comission on Accredidation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), Health Professions Network (HPN), and the Coalition of Rehabilitation Therapy Organizations (CRTO) as a part of Joint Commission.