While the news has been slow in recent months, the Task Force is pleased to announce that we recently came to an agreement with the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure Board (NCRTLB). Through HB192, renamed "Rec. and Music Therapy Licensure," we continue to aim for creating a license for state music therapists.
Today, HB192 had a successful day, passing unanimously in the House Health Committee. Many thanks to Martine Bullard, Jamie Gilliam, Tony Adams, and our sponsors Representatives Warren, Blackwell, Corbin, and Williams for their representation of music therapy in the hearing. Because of the advocacy of many people, and the support from Tony Adams and our sponsoring representatives, we have been placed on the agenda for the House Finance Committee hearing, scheduled for Monday, June 26th.
The North Carolina Music Therapy State Task Force has been working toward state recognition of the MT-BC credential since 2006. During this time, we have engaged in continuous education of legislators. The “Establish Music Therapy Practice Act” has been introduced 3 times (2011, 2013, and 2017). These bills all provide for a license for music therapists in NC. In 2011, House Bill 429 was introduced with bipartisan support. This bill died in committee. The same legislation was introduced in 2013 in both the House (HB 292) and the Senate (SB 244). The house bill was turned into a study bill, the committee for which was never formed, and then to a bill related to school funding. The Senate bill died in committee
Due to an extremely conservative legislative climate, MTs decided not to pursue a bill for the 2015 legislative session; however, they maintained ongoing communication with numerous legislators and potential bill sponsors and supporters.
We currently have legislation introduced in the House. HB192 - Establish Music Therapy Practice Act would create a license for music therapists that would mirror the credentialing requirements of the Certification Board for Music Therapists.
We have the most support we have ever experienced thus far. However, Rep. Warren has expressed concerns about a few extremely conservative senators that could kill the bill in the Senate. He is currently seeking ways to provide a music therapy license without facing terminal opposition in the Senate. We have time and options at this point.
Over the past few weeks, NC music therapists have made several visits to Raleigh. We need to continue reaching out to legislators for support. We welcome advocacy efforts from administrators, colleagues, friends, and those who have experienced the positive effects of music therapy! Contact Task Force Chair Jessica Hoyle, MMT, MT-BC with any questions and for ways you can be involved!
Please check back often for updates on our progress and ways to participate.