Who is Qualified to Practice Music Therapy?

A music therapist has and maintains current certification giving him/her the credentials of MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified)

Credentials are obtained by:


Graduation from an AMTA accredited college or university. The music therapy degree is a professional music degree which requires an audition for acceptance. This specialized degree is offered at over 70 colleges/universities whose degree programs are approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Clinical Internship

Completion of an approved internship. A qualified music therapist has successfully completed an approved internship including 1200 hours of clinical training in a combination of fieldwork experience embedded in music therapy courses and an internship after the completion of all coursework.


Passing of the board certification exam. Upon successful completion of the music therapy bachelor’s degree an individual is eligible to sit for the national certification exam to obtain the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) which is necessary for professional practice. The national exam is administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).

Certifications and credentials are maintained through continuing education (specifically 100 CEU’s per cycle)

A music therapist will:

Follow Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics as defined by The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and The Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT)

Maintain strict confidentiality/appropriate boundaries

Maintain membership with the national association (American Music Therapy Association, AMTA)

As of 2015, music therapists are licensed in the state of Rhode Island.