Rita Antonia Abante Moats

Class of
Director of Integrative and Creative Arts Therapies

Rita “Rich” Antonia Abante Moates received her Bachelor of Music in music therapy and Master of Arts in music therapy with summa cum laude honors from Berklee College of Music. Her clinical area(s) of focus include medical music therapy and clinical musicianship/musical integrity. Moates is currently the director of integrative and creative arts therapies, AdventHealth Central Florida (Orlando), and serves as the internship director for the American Music Therapy Association national roster internship site.

In her own words:

"With my background in medical music therapy, I take on an integrated approach when assessing the needs of the whole person. I use a variety of approaches from creative music therapy, biopsychosocial, neurologic music therapy, resource-oriented, person-centered, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. At the core of my personal approach is prioritizing meaningful connections through music-ing and drawing from and strengthening the musical resources of an individual."

"I am passionate about music therapy, primarily because of how I know our brains, minds, and emotions are uniquely created to respond to music!"

"My hope for the future of music therapy is for our profession to be integrated into healthcare settings as a modality that is consistently considered alongside medicine and other effective treatments. There is much work that we all need to do in our different spheres of influence, whether that be in academic, research, or clinical settings, and it will require all of us to work together and be united to move our profession continuously forward."

Moates has been involved in medical music therapy research at AdventHealth and has contributed to the following presentations/publications.

  • Moats, R. A. A. (2019). Clinical Musicianship 101: A Continuing Music Therapy Education Course on Building Musical Integrity [Master's thesis, Berklee College of Music.
  • Moats, R.A., Millett, C.R., Tang, J.W. (2018). Let music do the work: Developmental, cultural, and musical considerations in pediatric palliative care. In Vernisie, S.N. (Chair). Whole Person, Whole Life: A comprehensive view of music therapy in pediatric palliative care. From AMTA 2018 Conference Program, Dallas, TX.
  • Millett, C.R., & Moats, R.A. (2017). Interdisciplinary harmony: What a child life specialist needs to know about music therapy. From FACLP 2017 Conference Program, Orlando, FL.
  • Freed, M., Callaway, T., Moats, R.A., Hall, K.M., & Tang, J. (2017). Moving to the groove of music therapy: Evidence in adult neurorehabilitation. Rehabilitation Report: Advancing the Science of Rehabilitation.  
  •  Moats, R.A. (2017). Music Therapy Workshop: Medical Music Therapy: Utilizing Best Practices
  • and Evidence-Based Approaches. St. Paul University Music Therapy Department, Manila, Philippines.
  •  Moats, R.A., Deloach, D. (2014). Pre-Conference Continuing Music Therapy Education Institute: Reaching Early Childhood and Adolescent Needs Through Music: What Works?. From AMTA 2014 Conference Program, Louisville, KY. 
  •  Moats, R. A. (2013). I Have a Voice: Using Songwriting for Emotional Expression with Hospitalized Children. From AMTA 2034 Conference Program, Jacksonville, FL. 
  • Standley, J. et al (2013). Pre-Conference Continuing Music Therapy Education Institute: Medical Music Therapy for Infants & Children. AMTA 2014. Jacksonville, FL.