What is the Certification Board for Music Therapists?

The Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) is an autonomous certifying agency that grants credential recognition to music therapists who have met predetermined CBMT standards and who continue to engage in professional growth and development through the CBMT Recertification Program. Board Certification is voluntary.

What is the CBMT Mission?

The mission of the Certification Board for Music Therapists is to ensure a standard of excellence in the development, implementation, and promotion of an accredited certification program for safe and competent music therapy practice.

What is the Music Therapist – Board Certified credential?

Music Therapist – Board Certified, MT-BC

The credential Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC) is granted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) to identify music therapists who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to practice at the current level of the profession. The purpose of board certification in music therapy is to provide an objective national standard that can be used as a measure of professionalism by interested agencies, groups, and individuals.


Any person representing himself or herself as a Music Therapist – Board Certified shall be Board Certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), an independent, non-profit corporation whose MT-BC program is fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The Board Certified Music Therapist, MT-BC credential is granted by the CBMT to an individual upon:

  • Successful completion of an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved academic and clinical training program.
  • Successful completion of a written objective examination demonstrating current skills in the profession of music therapy.
  • Recertification every five years through the successful completion and documentation of 100 recertification credits, and through the completion of the CBMT Application for Recertification and payment of an annual certification maintenance fee.

How do I become an MT-BC?

To become an MT-BC, one must first complete the education and clinical requirements established by the American Music Therapy Association. Once the requirements are completed, then the person is eligible to sit for the certification board examination. Click here to view the Candidate Handbook.

Who is entitled to use the MT-BC?

Only a person meeting the criteria of CBMT may use the credential MT-BC, Music Therapist – Board Certified. It is unlawful for any person not meeting the criteria set forth by the Certification Board for Music Therapists to use or display in connection with his or her name or place of business, the words Board Certified Music Therapist or the letters MT-BC; or to represent in anyway, orally, in writing, in print, electronic communication, or by sign, directly or by implication that he or she is a Board Certified Music Therapist qualified to provide music therapy services.

Why become board certified?

The MT-BC is a legally defensible program, i.e., all of its documents and programs are developed and reviewed with this concept and responsibility in mind. This defensibility assures the right to work for the certificant within his/her scope of practice as developed through the Practice Analysis and identified in the Board Certification Domains. It also insures consumer protection for the public. The credential provides a means for the public to identify qualified practitioners who have passed a national exam measuring the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to competently practice in the field of music therapy for the given year. This defensibility further provides a means for revoking the credential should protection of the public require it through the disciplinary procedures outlined in the Code of Professional Practice.

What is the Music Therapy Practice of an MT-BC?

The CBMT Board Certification Domains represents the perimeters of practice for Board Certified Music Therapists. The development of the Board Certification Domains is particularly meaningful for the field of music therapy in that the discipline of music therapy continues to grow and expand in its applications. Every five years a practice analysis is completed in cooperation with a team of experts in the field, surveyed certificants, and CBMT’s testing firm, AMP. It is from this process that the current CBMT Board Certification Domains is developed, which details the tasks necessary to practice at a minimum competency level which ensures consumer protection. The four content outline areas, essentially performance domains, encompass the practice of music therapy and what a MT-BC may do in practice. Thus, the Board Certification Domains may be used for defending one’s right to work in any employment setting.

What is a Practice Analysis?

The practice analysis provides the means for defining and measuring current practice in the field of music therapy. It is conducted every five years in cooperation with CBMT’s testing firm [AMP] and a team of chosen content experts in the field. The practice analysis process entails review by the team of the current identified tasks, development of an extensive survey completed by MT-BCs in which they identify the importance of each task related to safe, competent practice, review and statistical analysis of the data by the team under the careful guidance of the testing firm, and the consequent update of identified job tasks. This arduous process results in a detailed job description which is then used to measure competency through examination. This process assures the public that every five years, in a rapidly growing field such as music therapy, the job description to ensure safe competent provision of services for that given period of time has been refined through a psychometrically sound procedure.

How does CBMT assure quality?


The Certification Board for Music Therapists administers a written objective examination, based on a nationwide music therapy practice analysis that is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current clinical practice. Both the practice analysis and the examination are developed using guidelines issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the American Psychological Association’s standards for test validation. Once Board Certified, a Music Therapist must recertify every five years. The purpose of recertification is to encourage the MT-BC to maintain skills and to continue professional growth and development. The Board Certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA approval signifies that the CBMT adheres to the established criteria and standards set by the Commission for its MT-BC program.

How do I complain about an MT-BC who is not meeting the standards of CBMT?

Any person representing himself or herself as a Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC) shall adhere to the standards of the music therapy profession as prescribed by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) and the CBMT Code of Professional Practice. Any complaints made by the public against the Board Certified Music Therapist should be brought to the attention of the Certification Board for Music Therapists for investigation and possible disciplinary action as defined by the Certification Board for Music Therapists Code of Professional Practice.