Oregon Lawmaker Proposes Licensing Regulations for Music Therapists

Published March 3, 2015

In Oregon, legislators are debating a bill adding state licensing requirements for music therapists. If passed into law, House Bill 2796, introduced by State Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn), would make it so “a person may not practice music therapy or assume or use any title, words or abbreviations, including the title or designation ‘music therapist,’ that indicate that the person is authorized to practice music therapy unless the person is licensed” by a newly created Board of Music Therapy.

 The Board of Music Therapy would include 3 licensed music therapists, a licensed health care professional, and a member of the general public. All board members would be appointed by the director of Oregon’s Health Licensing Office, selected for being “well informed on the practice of music therapy.

 A Mercatus Center study, conducted by Saint Francis University Associate Professor of Economics Edward Timmons, examined licensing laws, opticians’ reported incomes, and malpractice insurance premium rates in 21 states.

Timmons, however, did find a significant correlation between licensing laws and practitioner income levels.