Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions regarding the status of the field by investigating areas that affect music therapists and the development of the profession. Participants were 10 music therapy faculty and eight present or past members of the AMTA who were interviewed individually. Results indicated that for these participants, professional growth is influenced by their education, mentors, and communities of practice. Participants consider the strength of the undergraduate curriculum to be that it is built upon articulated competencies. Concurrently, most feel the curriculum is very full. The unification of the NAMT and the AAMT was considered one of the field’s most important achievements, while the small size of the profession was perceived as the biggest challenge. Participants would like increased use of qualitative methodology in the research literature, as well as studies that clearly describe the music therapy process. Important future goals for music therapy stated by these participants include growing in size and gaining greater levels of respect and acceptance from related professional communities.

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