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Assemblymember Holden's Bill to Protect Music Therapy Clients Signed by Governor

Governor Newsom signed Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Assembly Bill 1540, that defines the education, training requirements, and qualifications needed to become a board certified music therapist.

“Inconsistencies in state regulation have created confusion in the practice of music therapy,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “This bill would create a uniform definition for music therapy services that would protect consumers from potential harm or misrepresentation from individuals that are not board certified music therapists and are not practicing under the industry’s code of professionalism.”

Training to become a board certified music therapist includes a bachelor’s degree, an exam, supervised training and continuing education. This clinical and evidence-based practice has helped a wide range of individuals, from children with autism developing their verbal and social skills to helping veterans manage their Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD). Assembly Bill 1540 ensures that clients seeking music therapy know they are receiving care from a practitioner with strong training and education.

“The music therapy community of more than 8,000 music therapists in the United States and abroad are grateful to have California join the rest of the nation in recognizing this valuable field and the importance of the standards maintained by board certified music therapists, credentialed as MT-BC,” said Jennifer Geiger, MA, MT-BC, Immediate Past President of the American Music Therapy Association. “Through the persistent advocacy of Assembly Member Holden and the approval of Governor Newsom, Assembly Bill 1540 provides a statutory definition of music therapy that will enable consumers, state and local agencies to more easily identify qualified music therapists.