Meet Our TeamBoard-Certified Music Therapists
Our FRISCO Team
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.
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 (7) and Lily (3). She enjoys reading and pinterest crafting in her spare time.
Samantha Lowry, MT-BC
Center Clinical Director, Music Therapist
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!
Amrita Atrey has served as Sound Starts’ administrative assistant (guru!) since 2018, though she and her family have been part of the Sound Starts family for much longer! She does ALL the things and keeps our office running smoothly. If you have an an administrative or billing question, she is the one to contact.
Jorja Benjamin, MT-BC
Internship Director, Music Therapist
Jorja Benjamin has been a board-certified Music Therapist since July 2016. She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with her Music Therapy degree with an emphasis in voice. Jorja worked with medically fragile kids during her internship at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Oklahoma City. She has served children with special needs, adults with special needs, and children on the Autism Spectrum. Jorja was a Registered Behavior Technician ABA Therapist for a year. She is so excited to be part of a wonderful Music Therapy team and serve the families of North Texas! Jorja is from Amarillo, TX and loves bowling, darts, and learning new music.
Tyler Smith, MT-BC
Community Clinical Director, Music Therapist
Tyler Smith is a recent graduate of Sam Houston State University majoring in 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 lead The Band Experience at Sound Starts.
Our GRAPEVINE Team
Carlee Efeney, MT-BC
Carlee Efeney graduated from Texas Woman’s University in the Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Therapy. Carlee interned with Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia where she worked in six different schools providing music therapy to special education classrooms. Clientele served included emotional behavioral disorder, autism, intellectual disability, significant developmental delay, speech and language delay, and orthopedically impaired. During her internship, Carlee’s love for serving children with special needs strengthened. She also developed a passion for working with adolescents and young adults. Although she loved her time in Georgia, Carlee is a Texan at heart and knew she wanted to come back and serve her home state. In her free time, Carlee enjoys spending time with her fiancé and planning their wedding for April of 2020. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, attending concerts and festivals, and simply relaxing. Carlee is so excited to be heading Sound Starts Grapevine and to watch the location flourish!
Music Therapy Intern
Olivia Spahr is an undergraduate music therapy student at Shenandoah University and will be completing her degree at Sound Starts Music Therapy. Throughout her practicum experience, Olivia had the opportunity to work with a wide array of ages and populations, including, children in schools, adult psychiatric hospital, dementia, and military facilities. In her free time, Olivia likes to read, listen to the latest pop hits, and bake sweet treats!
Mary Catherine Morrison
Music Therapy Intern
Mary Catherine Morrison is an undergraduate student at William Carey University and will be completing her degree at Sound Starts. Throughout her practicum experience, Mary Catherine has had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clientele, including children with special needs, adults with special needs, general medical settings, adult psychiatric hospital, geriatric wellness, and end-of-life care. In her spare time, Mary Catherine likes to discover new music, journal, and take care of her many houseplants!
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 Center Based Team
Get In Touch.
We offer a complimentary consultation so get on our schedule today!