LANSING, Mich., March 1, 2022 — State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and state Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) will introduce bicameral legislation this week to regulate the music therapy profession. Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used in a therapeutic manner to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of an individual. The legislation would also determine minimum licensing requirements for those seeking to provide music therapy to patients. 

“I was proud to partner with the Michigan Music Therapy Task Force and music therapists in my district on this legislation to embrace and expand an important aspect of health care for so many people,” Anthony said. “These bills will not only give credence to the music therapy profession but will also establish much-needed patient protections. Health care providers should be held to certain requirements and standards of care, and music therapists are no exception.”

The legislation would impose a minimum requirement of apprenticeship hours needed, standardize examinations and college degree prerequisites, and set a fee schedule needed to become licensed as a music therapist.

“Michiganders deserve to know they are receiving safe and quality music therapy services provided by a clinically trained health care provider,” said Kellee Coviak Hansen, owner and executive director of CODA Music Therapy Services LLC in Lansing. “The bills will ensure that only a properly credentialed professional can work as a music therapist in the state. The framework established in the legislation will help Michigan’s families and employers locate qualified music therapy practitioners.”

This legislation would establish a Michigan Music Therapy Board comprised of incumbent music therapy providers tasked with creating additional requirements new entrants must meet. The board would also have the ability to waive requirements for select entrants. 

“Music therapy is a valuable mental health and brain rehabilitation method that works,” Irwin said. “Music therapy can help distract a child from the pain of an accident, help an accident survivor regain motor functions, or be a therapeutic outlet for a teenager suffering from depression. Having a licensure process for music therapists ensures that people will receive the best care they can get by someone who has the proper training and certifications.”

March 1 is recognized as World Music Therapy Day in celebration of the clinical field of music therapy and the benefits it provides to patients throughout the world.