The Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund exists to increase access to music therapy in Texas by providing financial assistance to clients and interns.
Nikki Belshe, MT-BC
President of the Board
Nikki Belshe, MT-BC, is founder and current President of the Board for the Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund. She is also founder and Clinical Director of Heart and Harmony Music Therapy, a private practice serving urban and rural communities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Nikki was an honoree in the 2020 Forty Under Forty Awards from Fort Worth Business Press.
David Belshe, Nikki’s late husband, worked alongside her as a music therapist for nearly a decade. Over the years they saw a big need for additional funding sources for music therapy in their community. Starting a nonprofit to increase access to music therapy was a long time goal for the couple.
After David’s death in 2018, a generous donation raised by the student organization at his alma mater, Colorado State University, lit a fire under Nikki. She used that donation to found the Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund. She was also accepted into Arizona State University’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program.
Nikki has worked primarily with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 2009 and is a professional member of Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). She is passionate about autonomy and human rights.
You can probably find Nikki somewhere outdoors: digging in the garden, watching birds, reading in the hammock, or – most likely – being chased by her kiddos.
William Hayter has performed on clarinet and bass clarinet in the United States and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and free improviser. He holds a Bachelor of Music with Teacher Certification from the University of Houston, Master of Music degrees from Texas Christian University and Codarts, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (the Netherlands), and a Doctor of Musical Arts from TCU. His primary teachers have been Jeffrey Lerner, Henri Bok, and Gary Whitman. Dr. Hayter presently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Midwestern State University (Texas).
Secretary of the Board
Working as an executive assistant/meeting coordinator for twenty years has allowed Lori the opportunity to help people find success in reaching their business goals. This type of work is a perfect fit with her ability to organize, strategize and keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. Supporting people in doing their best work is what she enjoys most about her job, “I like to see people succeed”.
Lori is passionate about volunteering and working to support her community. She has volunteered as a child advocate at CASA of Tarrant County and was named as one of their Rookies of the Year. She was also an usher at Bass Hall for many years. One of her most life changing volunteer experiences was volunteering at Ground Zero feeding the workers after the September 11th terrorist attack. She currently volunteers at her church, does some tutoring on the side and is serving as a Tarrant County Election Judge.
Outside of work Lori enjoys all things theater, watching classic movies & TV sitcoms and keeping up with the reading assignments from her many book clubs. You can often find her curled up on the couch with her sweet dog Joey, a book, her journal and a hot cup of peppermint tea.
Treasurer of the Board
Ellie Sloan graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in History, and the University of Kent in Athens where she received her master’s degree in Heritage Management, nonprofit administration. Ellie has a background in grant writing and nonprofit development and currently serves as the Serving and Volunteer Coordinator at The Grove Church in Dallas and assists nonprofits with grant writing.
Outside of work, Ellie serves in the Belong disAbility Ministry performing arts programs in Highland Park.
Ana-Alicia Lopez, MM, MT-BC has been a practicing Board-Certified Music Therapist for 10 years. She is a Central Texas native and now lives in Southwest Florida with her husband. She and her husband own and operate The House of Music Therapy which primarily serves children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual, developmental, and mental health disorders. Ana recently competed her master’s degree in Music Therapy with an emphasis in Neurologic Music Therapy at Colorado State University.
Ana enjoys spending time with her “old-lady boxer” and two active cats. Ana is also a tandem cyclist and, since moving to Florida, certified open-water scuba diver.
Dr. Laura Singletary is Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Instrumental Music Education at Texas Christian University. Singletary is an active researcher, conductor, and teacher. She has presented at state and national conferences including the Florida Music Educators Conference, the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, and the National Association for Music Education National Conference. Singletary’s research interests include music teacher education, young band instruction, individualized instruction in the beginning band setting, and time use in the secondary instrumental classroom.
Laura Singletary completed her Ph.D. degree in music education at Florida State University, and earned her Master of Science degree in music education from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana. She earned Bachelor Degrees from Florida State University in music education and flute performance. Prior to her graduate work at FSU, Singletary taught secondary instrumental music for twenty years in Georgia and Florida, working with middle school and high school band and orchestra students in a variety of educational settings. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), The International Society for Music Education (ISME), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), The Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA), and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity (PBM). Singletary is proud to serve on the board of the Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund.
What we do
Founded in 2019, Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund provides Music Therapy Grants to individuals seeking music therapy services and Internship Scholarships to music therapy students completing an internship as part of their course requirements for an accredited music therapy program.
Why we do it
In the state of Texas
01. Health Insurance
Health insurance companies occasionally cover music therapy. When covered, it is almost always considered out of pocket. This means that individuals often have to meet high deductible costs before even beginning the fight for coverage.
Many wait more than a decade to receive class waiver services
03. Out-of-Pocket Pay
Because insurance coverage is difficult to obtain and waivers have long interest lists, many people are forced to pay out of pocket for their services. This causes financial strain that often forces families to choose between therapies.
Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund
Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund was founded to support individuals, families, and facilities so that they do not fall between these funding gaps.