LANSING — State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 4829 this week to regulate the music therapy profession throughout Michigan. The legislation would also determine minimum licensing requirements for those seeking to provide music therapy to patients. Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used in a therapeutic manner to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of an individual.

“Music can be an extremely valuable addition in a therapeutic relationship, especially for patients who struggle to express themselves verbally,” said Anthony. “Just as we expect our doctors to be fully licensed and meet requirements to practice, we must expect the same for music therapists. Michiganders should not have to worry about the quality of their treatment and should be able to trust that their health care provider is held to a high standard.”

This 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.

"The purpose of this bill is to protect Michigan's consumers by ensuring they receive safe and quality music therapy services provided by a clinically trained healthcare provider,” said Kellee Coviak Hansen, owner and executive director of CODA Music Therapy Services, LLC in Lansing. “It specifies that only a properly credentialed professional can work as a music therapist in the state and will help Michigan's families and employers locate music therapy practitioners."

This legislation would also 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.