Meet Our TeamBoard-Certified Music Therapists
Mary Altom, MT-BC
Owner, Music Therapist
Sound Starts Music was established by Mary Altom, a board certified music therapist, in 2011 to provide music therapy and adapted music lessons for children with special needs. Giving students opportunities to learn through music is Mary’s passion, and she is a firm believer that music is a language that transcends DIS-ability and creates A-bility.
In addition to Sound Starts Music, her private practice in Frisco, TX, Mary serves as Client Services Manager for Music Therapy Services of Texas and provides evaluations and contractual music therapy services to school districts across the DFW metroplex.
Mary earned her certification as a Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT) through intense training at Colorado State University. Mary completed her music therapy internship with MusicWorx of California under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Reuer and graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in Music – Music Therapy in 2007.
Mary is an active member of the American Music Therapy Association and the Southwestern Region American Music Therapy Association. She enjoys attending national and regional conferences each year and has presented at regional conference. Mary is married to Ben and they have two children – Jaxon (4) and Lily (5 months). She enjoys reading and pinterest crafting in her spare time.
Samantha Lowry, MT-BC
Samantha Lowry is a recent graduate from West Texas A & M University with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. Throughout her educational career, she has worked with a wide variety of clientele and discovered that serving school-aged children is her preferred and strongest area of practice. Samantha completed her internship spring of 2015 at Hurst-Euless-Bedford I.S.D. near Fort Worth. Her experience at Hurst-Euless-Bedford I.S.D reinforced her calling to work with the school-aged population. She enjoys using familiar songs and writing new materials to target specific goals as well as engaging her clients in improvisational music making. Her love of music and desire to help others is what brought her to Sound Starts Music! Samantha loves sharing her passion for music with the families at Sound Starts Music!
Elle Sanders, MT-BC
Elle Sanders is a graduate from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee where she received a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy. She is a native to the DFW metroplex and excited to be back in Texas serving north Dallas families. In 2015, Elle worked as the Music Director at Illuminate Academy, an alternative academic institute serving children with special needs in Nashville. Elle completed a medical music therapy internship at Florida Hospital Orlando and the Walt Disney Pavilion where she worked with a variety of populations including NICU, NICU grads, pediatrics, behavioral health, and hospice. In her free time, Elle enjoys writing music, reading books, and anything that involves fresh air and sunshine! Elle loves the healing potential of music and seeing how it empowers clients to grow and thrive in their surroundings.
Jamie Rifkin, MT-BC
Jamie Rifkin is a recent graduate from The University of Kansas with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. During her studies, Jamie got the opportunity to study music therapy in Thailand and learn to work with clients of differing backgrounds including older adults and children in an orphanage. She completed her internship in June 2017 at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas where she worked with a wide variety of populations including NICU, Oncology, PICU, Cardiac, and Psychiatry. She has a love of learning, sharing music with others, and helping other people grow through music. She is eager to bring music to as many people as possible in the local community. In her free time Jamie enjoys reading, being in nature, and hanging out with family and friends.
Music Therapy Intern
Tyler Smith is a student at Sam Houston State University majoring in Music Therapy. He is completing his degree requirements by interning with Sound Starts Music Therapy. Tyler is a percussionist and was a drummer for the SHSU jazz lab band. Plano, Texas is his home, so he is excited to be back serving in this community. He is recently married so in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Madison, watching movies, playing ping-pong, and watching the sunset. Tyler is excited to learn from and work with the individuals at Sound Starts Music.
Specially Designed Songs & Strategies
Our team is trained to developed specific songs and music interventions to meet a wide variety of goals specific to each of our client’s needs.
Client Centered Services
We believe in client centered services. We take the time to get to know you and meet you exactly where you are.
Evidence Based Practice
Our music therapist’s techniques and strategies are a direct reflection of the most current evidenced based practice in music therapy.
You can expect frequent communication from our music therapists. Session reminders and session summary notes are shared weekly.
Clients Served Each Week
Music Therapists on our Team
Get In Touch.
We offer a complimentary consultation so get on our schedule today!