5 More Years: My Recertification Journey

2016 marked my 10th year as a board-certified music therapist. In keeping with the requirements of the MT-BC credential, this means I had to renew my certification this year. Every five years, music therapists must complete at least 100 hours of continuing education. I ended up having FAR beyond that during this five-year cycle. I know music therapists are often trying to get ideas for continuing education credits, so I thought I would share my continuing education activities from the past five years and how they contributed to my recertification requirement.

Graduate Courseworkcbmt-certificate
I completed my master’s degree in Special Education from January 2013-December 2015.  Consequently, I had enough credits to renew my certification with my graduate courses alone.  Ultimately, I had 614 credit hours of graduate coursework, 100 hours of which could be used towards my certification.

Music Therapy Conferences
Music therapists earn 5 CMTE – Continuing Music Therapy Education – credits for attending a national or regional conference.  I earned 30 credits for my conference attendance during these five years; 15 of which could be counted towards my recertification.

Educational Courses
There are opportunities to earn additional CMTEs at conferences through participation in workshops of 3 hours or more.  Many state organizations (e.g. Michigan Music Therapists) offer workshops throughout the year and some music therapy practices and/or agencies offer courses, as well.  It is now also possible to take CMTE courses online and/or via self-study through a number of approved course providers, including courses available for AMTA members on the AMTA website, Music Therapy Ed, and Music Works Publications.  I earned a total of 112 credits in this category; a maximum of 100 could be counted towards my recertification.

Professional Development
Preparing and presenting professional experiences for others is included under the Professional Development category.  During this five-year cycle, I presented seven different sessions for conferences and/or workshops. (Note: Some presentations were repeated, but they can only be counted for credits the first time that topic is presented.)  I earned 80 credits for my professional presentation activities, which is also the maximum number that could be counted towards recertification.

Professional Service
Finally, I earned continuing education for my professional service. This included serving on the executive board of Michigan Music Therapists, serving on the Michigan Task Force, and serving on a committee when Michigan hosted the GLR conference in 2012.  Honestly, I have no idea how many hours I have dedicated to these endeavors, but it is far beyond the maximum 20 hours which are allowed towards recertification!


For additional information about music therapy certification/recertification, visit the CBMT website.  I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the Recertification Manual early in your cycle, so you do not find yourself scrambling for credits during the last few months/weeks!

Music Therapy State Licensure Reference List

In my previous post – Parents as Advocates– I mentioned that, within a growing number of states, there is an advocacy push for state licensure of music therapy.  There have been a number of media stories released about these efforts and I thought it would be worthwhile to compile a reference list; I have also included links to the actual Bills when available.  This is a working list and will be updated as articles appear.  Please leave a comment if you come across one I have missed!

Music Therapy: A Field That’s Climbing the Scales (The Stony Brook Independent; December 14, 2011)
Music Therapy Practice Act
They’ve Got Rhythm; They Want Licensing (Aurora Sentinel; January 18,2012)

Government Relations Latest Developments (Music Therapy Association of Georgia)
Music Therapist Licensure Bill Passes Senate (The Weekly; March 5, 2012)
Music Therapist Licensure Bill Passes Senate (SenatePress.net; March 5, 2012)

State Licensure Recognition (Music Therapy Association of Minnesota, Feb 2012)

Music Therapist Licensure (Nevada Dept. of Health & Human Services)
Drumming Up Music Therapy NV Licensure Bill SB-190 (YouTube; March 12, 2011)
Senate Bill No. 190 – Senator Denis (2011)
Celebrating Music Therapy Licensures in 2011 (AMTA on YouTube; Nov 2011)

New York
Music Therapy: A Field That’s Climbing the Scales (The Stony Brook Independent; December 14, 2011)

North Carolina
Music Therapy Moving Toward Licensure in State (Winston-Salem Journal; July 18, 2011)
Spotlight Falls on Music Therapists (Raleigh News and Observer; January 18, 2012)

North Dakota
Music Therapy Helps Facilitate the Field’s First Licensure Law (UND, July 2011)
Celebrating Music Therapy Licensures in 2011 (AMTA on YouTube; Nov 2011)
Music Therapy: A Field That’s Climbing the Scales (The Stony Brook Independent; December 14, 2011)

State Licenses for Music Therapists Would Benefit People Who Have Disabilities (Tulsa World; April 11, 2011)

South Carolina
Healing Sounds: Lyman Lawmaker’s Bill Would Recognize Music Therapists (GoUpstate.com; January 17, 2011)
Bill 3093: Music Therapy Practice Act (2011-2012)