State Recognition for Washington

Recognized? Yes – Licensure

Recognition Status: Music therapy license, created in 2023, will be overseen by the Department of Health through a new Music Therapy Advisory Committee.

Active Task Force? Yes

Year Started: 2006

Task Force Status: A licensure bill was introduced (2008), but died on the floor. Held a Hill Day and found several legislators’ support (2011). Legislation was introduced (2012) to create a state certification program through the Secretary of State (SB 6276/HB 2522), but did not pass out of committee and referred to Sunrise Review to make progress with the Dept. of Health (DOH). DOH recommended that no state regulation needed above the current requirements for the MT-BC credential. Music therapists included in CIIBS waiver (2013) and COPES/MAC/TSOR waivers (2019); however, the expansion of overall access to music therapy through state programs remains challenging. Sen. Darneille (D-27) introduced legislation (SB5485) to create a state licensure program, which passed out of the Senate Health & Long-Term Committee and Senate Floor (January – March 2019). The bill (updated to be ESSB 5485) found resistance in the House Health & Wellness Committee and was referred back to Senate Rules Committee (April 2019). The bill will be picked up in the next legislative session in January 2020.

A bill was introduced in January 2023 (HB1247/SB5214) to license music therapists. It passed through the House in February 2023 and the Senate in April 2023. SHB 1247 was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on April 25, 2023. This bill creates a music therapy license within the Department of Health and establishes a Music Therapy Advisory Committee to assist the Department in matters concerning the license. Application procedures are being developed.

Task Force Contact Name: Evelyn Stagnaro

Task Force Contact Email:

Task Force Members: Cecilia Bartosiewicz, Carlene Brown, Patti Catalano, John Heckel, Marissa Ranella, Evelyn Stagnaro, Wendy Woolsey

Task Force Facebook: WA Music Therapy Task Force

State Association:

State Association Facebook: Music Therapy Association of Washington

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.