In 2005, CBMT and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) launched the State Recognition Operational Plan. This plan was designed as a proactive effort to address the changing climate of the profession and role of state regulation on the field. Nationwide issues of healthcare and education reform impact and affect the practice of music therapy and client’s access to services.

CBMT works in cooperation with the AMTA and state task forces on the State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary goal of the Plan is to help states achieve recognition for the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice. There are various forms of recognition (e.g. creation of licensure, creation of a registry, or inclusion of music therapy specific language by department or division) and each state task force works in cooperation with their own state government agencies, the CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff and the AMTA Government Relations staff.

We invite you to explore the CBMT Advocacy section for information about advocacy, the State Operation Plan, and state recognition process, and how YOU can be involved.


Regulatory Affairs refers to work with government and regulatory agencies in any given state to provide consultation and collaboration on education and healthcare needs as they interface with the music therapy profession.

The CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff works in collaboration with the AMTA Government Relations staff on the State Recognition Operational Plan. This national initiative helps individual state task forces pursue state recognition for the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice by:

  • Facilitating local, regional, and state advocacy efforts
  • Submitting accurate language for legislation and state regulations
  • Working with local music therapists to educate the state regulatory bodies, state government departments, state legislators, and the public about music therapy
  • Supporting state task forces as they seek state recognition of the music therapy profession
  • Protecting the rights of board-certified music therapists to practice


Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC
CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor

Dr. Dena Register has been the Regulatory Affairs Advisor for the Certification Board for Music Therapists since 2006. Register works in cooperation with Judy Simpson, Director of Government Relations for the American Music Therapy Association to carry out the State Recognition Operational Plan. This plan is a systematic set of steps designed to support states across the country as they advocate for music therapy services and obtain formal state recognition of the profession.

In addition to her experiences in Policy and Advocacy, Register is an associate professor of music therapy and Interim Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas. Her primary research interests include personal and professional skill development in music therapy, impact of international study, and music therapy in early intervention. Dr. Register was awarded a Council for International Exchange of Scholars Fulbright Scholar grant in 2009 in order to teach and conduct research at Mahidol University, College of Music, Bangkok, Thailand. She continues her work with the Mahidol program by offering music therapy study abroad opportunities for US students and as a consultant for their Master’s degree program.

Kimberly Sena Moore, MM, MT-BC
CBMT Regulatory Affairs Associate

Kimberly Sena Moore joined CBMT as the Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2010. Kimberly works in cooperation with Dr. Dena Register, CBMT’s Regulatory Affairs Advisor, and Judy Simpson, AMTA’s Director of Government Relations, on the State Recognition Operational Plan.

Kimberly is a private practice music therapist specializing in trauma/attachment and neuro-rehabilitation. She earned her BM in music therapy from the University of Iowa and her MM in music therapy from Colorado State University. Kimberly manages the blog Music Therapy Maven, is a blogger for Psychology Today through the blog Your Musical Self, and is co-host of the Music Therapy Round Table podcast. Prior to joining CBMT, and prior to her move to Missouri in 2010, she served on the CBMT Exam Committee, was actively involved with the Colorado Association for Music Therapy, and was chair of the Colorado State Task Force working on the AMTA/CBMT State Recognition Plan. In Fall 2011, Kimberly enrolled in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.