The American Music Therapy Association describes music therapy as "the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program."
Individuals who complete one of the approved college music therapy programs (including field placements and an intensive internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). CBMT is the only organization to certify music therapists to practice music therapy nationally. Its MT-BC program has been fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1986. There are currently 6,652 music therapists maintaining the MT-BC credential and participating in a program of recertification designed to measure or enhance competence in the profession of music therapy.