For those readers who have been with us since last year, you most likely know that I served on our state task force seeking state recognition for music therapists in Georgia. Our efforts at the Capitol were rewarded when our music therapy licensure law passed both houses and was signed by Governor Deal on May 1, 2012. By January 1, 2014 ALL MUSIC THERAPISTS WORKING IN GEORGIA MUST BE LICENSED TO PRACTICE!
This is an exciting time because it means that for the first time the state of Georgia will require the Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) credential as the minimum requirement to practice music therapy in our state. That’s not to say that someone who is not a music therapist can’t play music in a hospital, school, or rehab setting. Of course they can! And should! The music therapy licensure law simply outlines that music therapists have completed specialized degrees, 1200 clinical training hours, and a board certification exam in order to effectively treat clients. And it means that YOU as the consumer have access to higher quality services and can rest assured that your therapist is knowledgeable in using music to attain non-musical therapeutic goals. Not to mention, all licensed MT-BC’s must complete a background check. Duh.
In fact, the Georgia Secretary of State has appointed a music therapy advisory group to lead the way in regards to rules and regulations for music therapists in the state. The advisory committee is made up of 3 music therapists, 1 consumer, and 1 medical professional. I am honored to serve on the advisory committee and happy to report that we just had our first meeting last week! The consumer and medical professional serving on the board have had extensive experience working with other licensing boards and seemed genuinely interested in helping us navigate the growth of our profession. After being sworn in, we outlined some very important items for music therapists in Georgia. For instance…
- In Georgia, music therapists can start applying for their licenses on August 15th 2013.
- Applications must be snail mailed (can you believe it?). They must be notarized and sent with a check or money order, background check, and proof of residency and citizenship. Also, licensees must request that the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) email proof of certification to the licensing division of the Secretary of State.
- The license must be renewed every 2 years.
So, next time you looking to hire a music therapist, why don’t you ask to see their credentials?
The George Center is proud of the fact that all of our music therapists are board certified and will be licensed by the end of the year. Call us to consult with a credentialed music therapist today!
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