A 783

“Music Therapy Licensure”

NJEA opposes A-783 (Andrzejczak, Johnson, Benson, Muoio, Land, Mukherji).  This legislation would provide for the licensure of music therapists as determined by a newly created Music Therapy Advisory Committee in the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety

The Music Therapy Advisory Committee created by this bill will consist of five members who are residents of New Jersey – three members who have been engaged in the practice of music therapy in the State for at least five years; one member who is a licensed health care or mental health care practitioner; and one member who is a public member.  It will be the responsibility of this committee to:

  • issue and renew professional licenses,
  • maintain a record of licensed professionals,
  • establish continuing education standards for licensed professionals,
  • Set the charges for licensures and renewals.

NJEA is concerned that A-783 infringes on the role of speech-language pathologists.  They are educated and specifically trained to treat communication disorders, fluency cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders.  Their expertise allows them to be members of school child study teams who assess students with communication disorders.

As with other essential school personnel (such as a school nurse or school social worker) to be eligible to work with students in a public school, music therapists should earn a separate certificate – with added requirements as determined by the State Board of Education and issued by the New Jersey Board of Examiners.  The Music Therapy Advisory Committee is not the proper place for this licensure to be issued.

NJEA appreciates the amendments offered by the sponsors of this legislation; however, there is nothing in this bill that would prohibit a music therapist from working with a client diagnosed with a communication disorder.  This poses a potential problem with subcontracting work at a much lower rate to music therapists when that student would be better served by speech-language specialists.

NJEA asks you to vote NO on A-783.

Text of bill A-783

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