Interim President Presents: Time For Action

9b_Dr. Annie Heiderscheit_Iterim President 2013-2014

Dear Colleagues,I continue to discover so much as I travel around the world. I continue to find that we are different…and yet the same. Dr. Petra Kern and I recently returned from an informative trip to Japan. We had the great pleasure of meeting with the Japanese Music Therapy Association (JMTA) and several local music therapists. It was a wonderful visit filled with great opportunities for us to learn about music therapy in Japan.Did you know the JMTA has 5500 members? Since the early 1970’s several groups and associations have worked actively to support and develop the profession of music therapy. As a result of this committed work, JMTA was founded in 2001. JMTA also instituted a board certification process, and currently there are 2500 board certified members. There are twenty universities that have music therapy academic training programs. JMTA has nine regional chapters, and each year one of these nine regions hosts the country’s national conference.JMTA is currently working to gain recognition from their national government in order to access funding and to create inroads into various other healthcare settings. Recently, the Japanese government has been focusing on the country’s aging population, and as a result, music therapists are actively involved in helping to meet the needs of the elderly and are striving to address wellness for the elders of Japan.In reading about the JMTA, maybe you also recognize how we are different and yet the same. Many of us in countries all around the world are working to gain recognition from the government, insurance companies, healthcare systems, etc. We may not all speak the same language, play the same music, or use the same instruments, but we are working for the same cause in many situations. We all understand the great power of music to help and to heal. Every day we strive to meet the needs of our patients. We explore new research avenues to discover further and to understand better how music therapy is beneficial. We meet with leaders and officials to educate them about our work. Yes, we are different and we are the same in so many ways.We all have the great fortune to gather this year and to learn from each other at the 2014 World Congress in Vienna and Krems, Austria. A WFMT World Congress is a unique and special event. Nowhere else can you gather with music therapists from over 40 countries, choose from over 400 papers, hear about the latest research and advances in the profession from around the world, and experience several cultural events unique to Austria. Come and join us for this vibrant learning exchange, filled with opportunities for discovery and collaborative conversations with colleagues from all around the world. You won’t want to miss it!In preparation for events at the World Congress, we have another opportunity for WFMT members to exercise their voices. Some of our current Regional Liaisons are committed to serve one further term of three years, which we welcome, as it guarantees the sustainability of the organization. However, during April 1-30, 2014, we are calling for suggestions for the available appointed Regional Liaisons’ positions: Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. According to the WFMT Bylaws, the Regional Liaisons must reside in the region they represent and are appointed by the Officers of the Council and Chairperson of the Commissions at the Federation’s Council meeting before the World Congress. Please send your suggestions to by 30 April, 12pm (CST). Individuals who belong to a WFMT member organization, please include the name of your organization in the email.We look forward to seeing you at the 14th World Congress this summer,Annie Heiderscheit, Ph.D., MT-BC, LMFTFellow of the Association for Music and ImageryInterim President, WFMT