In November 2015, Black music therapists and music therapy students gathered together for a networking session at the American Music Therapy Association national conference. What was initially thought would be a gathering of 7 or 8, ended up as a gathering of 17 Black music therapists and degree-seeking students from across the U.S. For many, this number may seem small, but for Black music therapists and students, moments like these were few and far between. The conversations that grew from the networking session led to the formation of a Facebook group for Black music therapy professionals and students that soon totaled over 100 members. One year later, the Black Music Therapy Network, Inc. was incorporated with the aim of fostering continued connectivity amongst a vibrant Black music therapy community and supporting their educational development and professional advancement.
The Black Music Therapy Network, Inc.'s mission is to support the health and well-being of Black communities through music.
BMTN is as an organization comprised of Black musicians, students, practitioners, business owners, researchers, educators, and cultural workers deeply invested in our people. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for the educational advancement and holistic professional development of persons of African descent and/or racially positioned as Black who are music therapists, music therapy credential-seeking and the critical and community-centered intersections of music, wellness, healing, and transformation.
BMTN's work centers 1) community-based, culturally-sustaining, knowledge of music, healing, and transformation; (2) the educational needs of practitioners at the intersection of music and health; and (3) the liberation and freedom of Black people and communities. We seek to nurture environments of intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth and support for members and community partners striving towards effective stewardship within the communities we serve.