Under a proposed bill, HF 2366, it would become illegal to practice music therapy or call oneself a “music therapist” in Minnesota, unless that person obtained a license from the state. Unlicensed music therapy could be punished with civil penalties as high as $1,000.
A music therapy license would have strict requirements. Applicants first must have a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, complete at least 1,200 hours of clinical training and obtain at least 900 hours of internship experience and then take an exam. Every five years, licensees would have to take 100 hours of continuing education in order to renew their licenses.
Thankfully, only six states license the practice, according to the Certification Board for Music Therapists.
“I am in favor of people having the opportunity to fulfill their calling, and with these types of laws, that opportunity is being diminished,” Lee McGrath, the Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice’s Minnesota Office, told KSTP.
“Your reputation today spread over the Internet is much more valuable than a piece of paper hanging on the wall saying you’ve been licensed by the state of Minnesota,” he added.
In a time when occupational licensing is under greater scrutiny by the media, by Congress and even the White House, it’s telling that Music Therapy Association of Minnesota, which backs creating the new license, “would like to keep the music therapy licensure topic out of the media as much as possible to avoid turning it into a potential political battle which would make progress more difficult.”
Instead of adding yet another burdensome regulation, lawmakers should slash red tape (the average low- and middle-income license requires 290 days of experience and training in Minnesota) or, at the very least, opt for less intrusive forms of regulation.
To see how bad occupational licensing is in your state, check out IJ’s report, License to Work.