State Recognition for New Jersey

Recognized? Yes – Licensure

Recognition Status: On January 21, 2020 Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law the Music Therapist Licensing Act, legislation to create a music therapy license under the newly established State Board of Creative Arts and Activities Therapies. Procedures for applying for licensure are currently being developed.

Active Task Force? Yes

Year Started: 2006

Task Force Status: The Music Therapist Licensing Act A2183 was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on January 21, 2020.  Bills A2183/S1687 reintroduced legislation for 2018-2019 from previous sessions [2014-2015 A4353/S2971 introduced toward end of session and 2016-2017 A783/S1601 pocket vetoed after making it to the Governor’s desk] and passed General Assembly April 12, 2018.  The combined bills were placed on hold in the Senate Commerce Committee. The reason for the hold became apparent when on January 31, 2019 Governor Murphy sent the Drama/Dance Movement Therapist Licensing Act A1220 back to General Assembly with a conditional veto that would establish a new state board of Creative Arts Therapies to be comprised of art therapists [existing license under a different state board], drama, dance/movement and music therapists plus public members.  The conditional veto was signed into law December 19, 2019 thus creating the State Board of Creative Arts Therapies.  The music therapist licensing bills were allowed to move forward on January 6, 2020 reported out of committee with state board amendments and passed Senate January 13, 2020.  The new state board name would be amended and signed into law on January 21, 2020 to include Recreational Therapists and become the State Board of Creative Arts and Activities Therapies.

Task Force Contact Name: Paula Unsal

Task Force Contact Email:

Task Force Members: Lynn Coyle, Virginia Eulacio Cierniak, Melissa Santiago, Paula Unsal, Beth Walls, Brian Abrams (consulting), Lauren Carter (student representative)

Task Force Facebook: NJ Music Therapy Task Force

State Association:

State Association Facebook: NJ Association for Music Therapy

Regional Association:

State Legislative Activity:

Below you will find information and links to bills in the state that include the keyword “music therapy.” Some bills may have a direct impact on the profession (e.g. music therapy licensure legislation) while others may not (e.g. music therapy is included in a pre-existing list of healthcare providers). Information is provided by StateTrack, a subscription service that allows CBMT to follow state and federal legislative and regulatory developments. This resource is provided for informational purposes to help you stay informed on legislative and policy issues impacting music therapy practice. Please contact your task force chair with questions and before taking any action.

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