HB277 Music Therapy Licensing

And the award for the most meaningless licensing bill of 2014 goes to . . . HB277, which would create a non-mandatory, unnecessary, and duplicative state “certification” for music therapy.  In this case non-mandatory and unnecessary means that you don’t need the state certification to practice music therapy.  Duplicative means that all the state does is confer the “State Certified” title on a music therapist if the therapist is already certified by a third party, such as the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

I believe the intentions behind this bill are good and intended to ensure the public can more easily assess the professional competence of music therapists.  The concern is probably that parents end up paying a ton of money for an untrained person to sit and play music to their child, or children end up paying a ton of money for an untrained person to sit and play music to their elderly parent.  But if there’s a danger of the public being injured by incompetent music therapy, then the licensing requirements should be mandatory and strict.  Since there is no licensing requirement at all, that doesn’t seem like it’s a concern to anyone, and it seems to me that once you’ve decided a profession — such as music therapy — doesn’t pose a significant enough danger to the public to require a license or training to practice, you should just leave it at that rather than creating a meaningless certification.  I would further suggest to you that, not only is this bill unnecessary, the certification it creates is misleading.  In actuality, the state doesn’t certify anything.  It just acknowledges that someone else has certified you, which is great, but to the extent you’re implying to the public that the state has vetted you in any way . . . it hasn’t.

Let’s just leave well enough alone.

But if we’re set on going down this path . . . I’m licensed by an independent third-party organization, can I use the title “State Certified Lawyer”?

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