In September of 2015 a communication was sent to all State Directors of Special Education from the Oﬃce of Special Education Programs, the United States Department of Education reiterating that music therapy could be included as a related service on a child’s Individual Education Plan. Each state’s Department of Education should be able to clarify in writing this federal directive. What about for infants and toddlers under IDEA Part C? Can music therapy be provided? Yes. As with IDEA Part B, music therapy may be included for infants and toddlers under IDEA Part C in early intervention. From Federal Register/Vol. 76, No. 188/Wednesday, September 28, 2011:
“(d) Other services. The services and personnel identified and defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section do not comprise exhaustive lists of the types of services that may constitute early intervention services or the types of qualified personnel that may provide early intervention services. Nothing in this section prohibits the identification in the IFSP of another type of service as an early intervention service provided that the service meets the criteria identified in paragraph (a) of this section or of another type of personnel that may provide early intervention services in accordance with this part, provided such personnel meet the requirements in §303.31 (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1432(4)” (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ FR-2011-09-28/pdf/2011-22783.pdf).
Do I have to hire a music therapist to provide music therapy? Determining who can provide services within an educational setting in the United States is decided by each state. The federal government does suggest guidelines in assuring that all related services, including music therapy, are provided by professionals who are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained. From the June 2010 United States Department of Education QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAMS (IEPs), EVALUATIONS, AND REEVALUATIONS:
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“Part B of IDEA does not prescribe particular qualifications or credentials for personnel providing special education and related services. Under 34 CFR §300.156(a), each SEA must establish and maintain qualifications to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out the purposes of Part B of the IDEA are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained” (https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/ guid/idea/iep-qa-2010.pdf ). The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) (www.musictherapy.org) and Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT) (www.cbmt.org) oﬀer search engines to find a certified music therapist in each state. A Music Therapist Board Certified (MT-BC) must have attended an accredited university training program and is adequately prepared to provide high-quality services. A list of frequently asked questions about the Board Certification can be found at http://cbmt.org/frequentlyasked-questions/. How can my district pay for music therapy? Music therapy can be paid for out of district operating funds or with grants such as educational enhancement funding through IDEA. Although disbursement of funds is unique to each state and municipality, music therapy funding is supported in the following document from New York State.
“IDEA Part B funds may be used for the following expenditures which are not also included in the tuition rate: … Art and music therapies by part-time staﬀ or contract services” ( http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ specialed/finance/2012-13-DEAapplicationMemo.htm). Can music therapy only be provided as a related service in my schools? No. Many schools and educational programs throughout the United States employ or contract with music therapists to provide group music therapy services for children with disabilities as part of their program oﬀerings.
In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....