The field of music therapy uses a clinical approach to treat patients by having them listen to, write or even perform music.
To ensure that Rhode Islanders can take full advantage of these treatments from reputable therapists. the House today approved legislation to require all trained and accredited music therapists to register with the Department of Health.
“Music has incredible therapeutic properties, and music therapists use these properties to design personalized, non-invasive treatments that are just what many people find helpful,” said Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), sponsor of the bill, 2014-H 7131. “However, people want to know they’re in the care of a professional, so they can get the most benefit from the treatment. This bill will help people identify professional therapists, and also would help therapists boost their own reputations.”
The bill, which now goes to the Senate for consideration, would require music therapists certified by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) to register with the Department of Health in order to practice in Rhode Island. After January 1, 2015, no one but a registered music therapist will be allowed to practice or present themselves as being able to practice music therapy.
In order to register, a person would have to have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree program in music therapy, and have clocked 1,200 hours of clinical training, including 900 hours at an internship. The person would also need to have passed a certified music therapy board exam, and would have to be in good standing based on a review of their previous work and practice. Registrations would be renewable every two years.
A companion Senate bill, 2014-S 2357, has been introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and is before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.