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 can help every individual reach their fullest potential.
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 three children – Jaxon (8), Lily (4), and Owen (baby). She enjoys reading and pinterest crafting in her spare time.
Watch Ms. Mary’s Facebook video here.
Samantha Lowry, MT-BC
Center Clinical Director, Music Therapist
Samantha Lowry is a graduate from West Texas A & M University with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. As Center Clinical Director, she oversees all things related to our center-based services in Frisco and Grapevine! Throughout her 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!
Watch Ms. Samantha’s Facebook video here.
Tyler Smith, MT-BC
Community Clinical Director, Music Therapist
Tyler Smith is a 2018 graduate of Sam Houston State University majoring in Music Therapy. As Community Clinical Director, Tyler completes school evaluations and oversees services provided at our schools and other outside organizations! 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 lead The Band Experience at Sound Starts.
Watch Mr. Tyler’s Facebook video here.
Our TEAM MUSIC THERAPISTS
Kelsey Clark, MT-BC
Kelsey Clark graduated from Sam Houston State University in the Fall of 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. Kelsey completed her internship at Sound Starts Music in December of 2019. During her time at SHSU, Kelsey worked with a variety of clientele, including preschoolers, a client with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, geriatrics, and a client with Cerebral Palsy. Her primary instrument is the cello. Kelsey has known since she was 12 that she wanted to work with children with special needs, and is excited to work with this population through Sound Starts. In her free time, Kelsey loves writing poetry, binge-watching TV shows (especially Grey’s Anatomy), and hanging out with her cat, Strudel, and her dogs Kujo and Brady.
Watch Ms. Kelsey’s Facebook video here.
Cecilia Esparza, MT-BC
Cecilia Esparza studied music therapy at TWU, receiving her board certification in October 2022, and is now completing coursework for a Master’s Equivalency. During her studies, she worked with a variety of clients including children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and adults with dementia. Cecilia is a long-time musician and also has a BM in Piano Performance from SMU. For fun, Cecilia likes to read, watch and discuss media with family and friends, and experiment in the kitchen. She finds that there is no greater joy than seeing a child smile and grow, and strives to share the power of music with those around her.
Shawn Crump, MT-BC
Charlotte Clark, MT-BC
Charlotte Clark is a graduate from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor’s in Music Therapy and has been Board Certified since 2016. Charlotte has experience working with different age groups and diagnoses. She has grown up and resides in Denton, TX where her love of music was created and nourished. She is a firm believer that music is a universal language and anyone can be a musician. Charlotte is also involved in her church choir and in the Denton Bell Band. When she is not working, Charlotte enjoys reading books, manga and online webcomics, as well as pottery, archery, and attempting to sew.
Rachel Steffen, MT-BC
Rachel Steffen graduated from Radford University in southwestern Virginia in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. She completed her internship at Lawrence Public Schools in Kansas in April of 2021. She started her journey to becoming a music therapist
as a part of an inclusion gymnastics team that worked with people of all ages and abilities. When she got to high school, she realized how much she loved her primary instrument, percussion, as well. Soon after, she knew she wanted to be a music therapist. She is so excited to be working with the Sound Starts team. During her free time, Rachel plays for a community band and enjoys hiking, reading, and listening to podcasts.
Music Therapy Intern
Sofia Heyl completed her coursework for her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in May 2022. During her studies, Sofia worked with a variety of clinical populations including infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities, children and adolescents in the gastrointestinal unit of a children’s hospital, adult outpatient and cancer survivors, and older adults with Parkinson’s Disease. Sofia’s primary instrument is voice, and she also loves playing the ukulele. Sofia is passionate about music therapy and using music to help and connect with people. In her free time, she loves to bake, teach voice and ukulele lessons to kids, play video games, watch competiton reality TV shows, and hang out with family and friends.
Music Therapy Intern
Tanner Ledet completed his coursework for undergrad in Music Therapy in Fall of 2022 at Texas Woman’s University. In his studies, he worked with adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s, children in special education, adults at the homeless shelter, and clients diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome at the TWU speech-pathology clinic. Tanner is a strong believer in music therapy and hopes to empower his clients and provide skilled therapy using the power of music. In his free time, Tannerenjoys running and spending time with his family.
Specially Designed Songs & Strategies
Our team is trained to develop 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!