The AMTAS national and regional boards have been working hard this year to provide educational opportunities for music therapy students and new professionals. Since the spring, new regional boards have been elected, SAAB meetings have been held, scholarships have been distributed, and multiple events have been facilitated through regional and national student boards. Highlights from each region and the national AMTAS organization are shared in this blog!
Regional AMTAS Updates
This region has been busy since their spring fundraisers and in-person conference held in March of 2023. Since the spring, they have maintained active social media posts sharing resources on cultural competence, internship spotlights, tips for students like vocal health, and repertoire building resources. To further promote student growth, this region held a one-day Fall Symposium at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, which covered topics such as songwriting skills, improvisation, guitar and piano skills, and group drumming facilitation. The executive board continues to fundraise for student scholarships through restaurant fundraisers, merchandise sales, and live events. Information about upcoming events in the spring, such as the annual virtual MWRAMTAS Passages event, can be found promoted on Instagram (@_mwramtas_), on TikTok (@mwramtas_), and on their website (mwramtas.org)!
Since their events in the spring, the Western region has been working on increasing their online presence through various means. The new executive board sent out their first regional newsletter which included an introduction of the new board members and a research highlight on mental health and music engagement. This board would like to highlight the recent amazing work of the music therapy organizations at PU, CSUN, and Utah State! Upcoming events and other information can be found at wramta.org and on Instagram (@wramtas)!
The Mid-Atlantic region has been working hard to provide advocacy and educational opportunities such as a high school advocacy project, a mentorship program which pairs current students with professionals or interns in the region, and a Swap Shop event where students share interventions or music therapy topics with one another. In addition to these events, MAR-AMTAS has been planning fundraising opportunities such as sticker and pin sales at MAR Passages, merchandise sales via Bonfire, and a t-shirt competition. This region will also donate to Angelina's Song in the spring for their annual MAR-AMTAS Gives Back fundraiser.
This regional board would like to highlight the following music therapy organization’s accomplishments in the region:
More information about their work in this region can be found on all social media (@mar_amts), and on their website (https://maramts.weebly.com)!
New England Region
NER-AMTAS recently welcomed new music therapy programs at University of Rhode Island, Westfield State University, Southern Connecticut State University. SCSU student, Gager Collier also joined the executive board! Students from these schools, as well as Berklee College of Music and Lesley University, attended this region’s 24th Annual Student and New Professional Music Therapy conference in October, which included networking and fundraising opportunities. They also held their first vendors from The Massachusetts Music Therapy Alliance and Granite State Music Therapy at this conference.This regional board will be holding advocacy campaigns and events in the spring, as well as working on continued fundraising efforts to support students in this region. Information regarding these upcoming projects will be available on all social media platforms (@neramtas) and on their website (https://www.neramtas.org/)!
This region has been working on creating new student scholarship opportunities this fall. They have created two new undergraduate scholarships for $250 each, and these will be awarded to students in the region who show passion, great work ethic, and an exemplary application. This board has also been planning the spring regional conference which will be held at University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and will include an internship session, call for interventions, craft activities, and interregional socialization. One stand-out school in this region for the fall semester has been the University of the Incarnate World for having the most student attendance at last year’s 2023 conference in Austin, Texas, for which they were awarded a cajon. Information about upcoming events in this region can be found on their website at https://swamta.org/conference!
The Southeastern region is excited to announce a new music therapy program at Jacksonville University! Interim program director, Danielle Porter, said, “Between our unique collaboration with Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences and affiliations with a variety of medical settings in Jacksonville, we truly have the ideal educational and training experience for music therapy students." SER-AMTAS is excited to support this program and collaborate with JU students. This regional board has also been advocating for a new DEI chair position to potentially be added to this board to increase representation and advocacy. To further promote DEI initiatives within the region, they plan to hold meetings with student groups such as student associations for Asian American students to gain perspectives on how to continually grow in these areas throughout the year. Updates about what this region is working on can be found on Instagram (@ser_amtas)!
Great Lakes Region
GLR-AMTAS has been working on creative ways to increase connectivity throughout the region such as bi-monthly Connection Hours which provide activities such as karaoke and talent show fundraising competitions to promote networking among students. Along with this talent show fundraiser, other opportunities to raise funds to better support students include a Krispy Kreme donut fundraiser, Christmas Grams, and ongoing seasonal Bonfire merch! Advocacy through social media has also been a focus for this region, as they held a social media initiative over the summer to share informational content about music therapy. The GLR regional board also would like to highlight the consistent advocacy and networking efforts shown by Cleveland State University in this region! Upcoming projects include conference and Passages planning, as well as an Internship Guidebook for the Great Lakes Region that includes information about internship requirements, interview tips and processes, and other considerations. More information and updates from GLR-AMTAS can be found on Instagram (@glramtas) and on their website (http://glramtas.weebly.com/)!
AMTAS Board Updates
AMTAS events, fundraisers, scholarships, and more can be found on social media platforms (@_amtas_)!
The second half of the AMTAS board term has been filled with planning, advertising, and facilitating our annual SAAB, Student Business Meetings, and Passages Conference. At these conferences, over 24 bylaw changes to improve consistency and clarity were proposed and approved. For the first time since 2021 at least, each regional student leadership position, student advisory role, and AMTAS board for 2024 has been filled. Additionally, AMTAS is grateful for the collaboration and assistance from AMTA leaders this year, including the AMTA Assembly of Delegates, Dr. Lori Gooding, Angela Snell, Leslie Henry, and Brian Jantz, in advocating for a decrease in AMTA Student Membership from $95 to $60, effective January 2024.
In October, AMTAS hosted its annual Passages Conference, "Navigating Music Therapy" virtually with over 30 students and new professionals from across the country, as well as over 100 registrants who will have access to the recorded sessions. Highlights of the event included keynote speakers, Dannielle Caldwell and Morgan Maxwell (SER), cohosts of the music therapy podcast “Music til Proven Therapy,” as well as Maggie Ford (SER, East Carolina University), Rina Tabuchi (MAR, Montclair State University), and Jessie Ku (MAR, New York University) as our student presenters. The AMTAS board would like to express great gratitude to AMTA Conference Committee Leaders, Andrea Dalton and Jennifer Sokira, for their assistance with the AMTA-U website and Zoom assistance for this event. In November, AMTAS facilitated the first national music therapy internship fair since the 2021 AMTA Virtual Conference to connect students with national roster internship directors. A GoogleDrive with resources will be accessible to all students on our AMTAS website and will be updated annually.
Scholarships & Fundraisers
The AMTAS board coordinated and facilitated multiple fundraisers throughout the fall to fund student scholarships. Five STARS award scholarships were awarded to qualified students, one regional fund was given to the Mid-Western Regional chapter, and one president's challenge award was provided. One ongoing fundraiser is the AMTAS Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/amtas), which holds t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, posters, and tote bags with the AMTAS logo and raises funds to support students nationally!
Hello AMTAS, my name is Mercedes Shook and I am your secretary for the 2024 year! The purpose of this blog is to provide updates on the AMTAS region, give helpful tips and tricks for music therapy students, share meaningful experiences, and promote collaboration with all music therapy students across America! If you have any ideas or questions regarding this blog please don’t hesitate to reach out via email.
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