Healing Notes2021-03-10T15:17:13-06:00

Healing Notes

An interactive music therapy influenced concert program

About Healing Notes

Thank you to AWARE Dallas for supporting Healing Notes.

AWARE is dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease by providing funding and support to programs, projects, and research provided by nonprofit organizations that actively help individuals affected by Alzheimer’s in Dallas and in the greater North Texas area.

Healing Notes is a music therapy influenced concert program designed to provide an interactive experience for its audiences.

The Plano Symphony Orchestra partners with senior facilities and the Collin County Juvenile Detention Center to provide unique experiences.

Senior Facilities

Residents participate in concerts with singing, clapping, and foot tapping as well as playing egg shakers, rhythm sticks and scarves. Small ensembles perform selections that resonate with audiences, including patriotic themes, hymn tunes, Broadway and popular songs.

Juvenile Detention Center

Teenage participants enjoy interactive chamber music concerts, including a saxophone quartet, Dixieland group, a guitar duo and percussion ensemble. Weekly drum circles led by a licensed music therapist engage residents in an outlet for creativity and life skills in leadership and teamwork.

Program Administrators

Dr. Jennifer Wheeler

Dr. Jennifer Wheeler currently serves as the Director of Education and has been a member of the Plano Symphony Orchestra for over 13 years. She holds a doctorate in music from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently teaches flute, music theory, and music history at Collin College. Dr. Wheeler is actively involved in community engagement through the Plano Symphony and is excited to expand concert involvement beyond the concert hall.

Mary Altom

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 current Vice-President Elect of the Southwestern Region American Music Therapy Association. She enjoys attending and presenting at national and regional conferences each year. Mary is married to Ben and they have two children – Jaxon (6) and Lily (2). She enjoys reading and pinterest crafting in her spare time.


The performers for Healing Notes are members of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. These professional musicians are active in the local community and boast long resumes in both performance and education. The programming includes chamber groups of mixed instruments in an intimate setting such as flute, viola and harp, brass trio, and string trio.

Sample Programming at Senior Facility:

Bicycle Built for Two Henry Dacre
Anything Goes Cole Porter
I’ve Got You Under My Skin Cole Porter
Someone to Watch Over Me George Gershwin
I Got Rhythm George Gershwin
Go to Top