State Recognition for New York

Recognized? No

Recognition Status: Master’s-level music therapists are eligible to apply as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) under the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners. Unlicensed music therapists are allowed to practice within a scope identified by the state.

Active Task Force? Yes

Year Started: 1990

Task Force Status: Provide technical support to current LCATs regarding maintenance of their license, as well as guidance and support to MTs pursuing the LCAT. Respond to questions regarding music therapy practice without the state license (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, or LCAT); task force secured a letter of clarification from the Office of the Professions regarding the practice of music therapy by MT-BCs who do not hold the LCAT, as well as a clarification letter from the New York State Education Department regarding recognition of music therapy as a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Monitor Mental Health Practitioners Board meetings and NY Coalition of Creative Arts Therapists (NYCCAT) activities. Monitor social media postings to correct/address misinformation on practice of music therapists relating to NYS law and regulation.

Ongoing monitoring of legislation that relates to the LCAT. Legislative issues being monitored include insurance coverage for mental health services and possible addition of “diagnosis” to definition of creative arts therapy.

Offer workshops and CMTE courses at the 6 higher education institutions offering music therapy programs as well as at agencies upon request.

Held 2nd Lobby Day in Albany on March 25, 2019, resulting in numerous additional co-sponsors for their tiered MT licensure bill (S3386/A4272). With 8 meeting team leaders in addition to 5 task force members, we also had 12 exhibitors (4 schools and 8 agencies), 68 participants, and 45 meetings, and were introduced on the floor of the Assembly Chamber. Roundtable meeting with the NYS Speech-Language-Hearing Association held in Albany on June 10, 2019, organized by Senate bill sponsor Senator Kaplan. Working on responding to their opposition to the scope defined in our bill. Working with Advocacy Support Network to schedule meetings across the state during the summer months with representatives in their home district offices. Discussing possibility of another NYSTF “school tour” in the fall. 2020 Lobby Day, scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2020, was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic; alternate (virtual) advocacy events are planned.

Task Force Contact Name: Donna Polen

Task Force Contact Email:

Task Force Members: Anaya Baptiste, Matthew Cohen, Ivette Farciert-Vivar, Kenny Farinelli, Donna Polen, Elizabeth Schwartz, Alice Sorensen, Ema Tufekcic, Tracy Wanamaker

Task Force Facebook: NY State Music Therapy Advocacy Support Network

State Association: New York State Association for Music Therapy (NYSAMT)

State Association Website:

State Association Email:

Regional Association:

State Legislative Activity:

Below you will find a link to an online report with information about state-level bills that include the keyword “music therapy.” There may or may not be a bill for your state. 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). 

Click here to read the report

Information is provided by Fiscal Note, 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.