Dianne Sawyer

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward A, Roth, M.M.

Second Advisor

Dr. David Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Mansberger


Music, benefits, state, licensure, perceptions

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This qualitative study investigated a state task force perceptions of music therapists who served on the task force to become licensed. Participants included six licensed music therapists, all of which were female. Through Naturalistic Inquiry, participants provided information about the perceived benefits and liabilities for music therapists, accessibility to clients, funding sources, and other healthcare professionals causing harm. Collected data was analyzed to determine common themes, perceived benefits and drawbacks of licensure, and the push for more regulations based on music therapists’: years of experience, level of education and advanced trainings. The overall perception from the licensed music therapists, is that state licensure is beneficial. Licensure has few disadvantages primarily financial and stricter guidelines on continuing education units. With the increased regulations it added an extra layer of protection for the consumer and clinician, increased validity and respect from other healthcare professionals, and increased accessibility to consumers. Further research would be beneficial as music therapists continue to gain experience in a licensed state and investigate if their perceptions change over the years.

Included in

Music Commons