Music Therapy Access Fund exists to increase access to music therapy in Texas by providing financial assistance to clients and interns.
Nikki Belshe Lanza
President of the Board
Nikki Belshe Lanza, MNLM, 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 Music Therapy Access Fund (then Fort Worth Music Therapy Fund). Nikki then pursued and graduated from Arizona State University’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program.
Nikki has worked primarily with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 2009. She was a participant in The Arc Of Texas Partners in Disability Leadership program for 2021. Nikki 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.
Dr. Hayter holds Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Texas Christian University, a Master of Music from Codarts, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Houston.
Kendall Moore, DMA, is a composer, arranger, educator, and brass specialist living in Huntsville, TX. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Instrumental Performance from University of Miami. Moore has previously taught music theory, music appreciation, and brass methods and ensembles at Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, and Houston Community College. Kendall is passionate about cultivating a community of healing, reconciliation and prosperity in rural and urban underserved communities of color, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Eden Theological Seminary. His partner Carolyn is an active music therapist and professor and her endeavors inspired Kendall to learn about how music therapy services could be beneficial to underserved communities in the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.
As an educator, working with students representing a range of social and demographic backgrounds helped Kendall to develop understanding of the state-specific issues of inequity and lack of available resources to access educational, mental health, and economic support. Many of his students desired to study music with a goal of giving back to their communities, yet clear inequities existed in their ability to gain access to the tools necessary to be of maximum service to their communities in this capacity – lack of quality instruments, limited access to affordable private lessons, and lack of mentors to provide guidance.
Issues of equity are not just prevalent in music education, but also in all things health-related, particularly in Texas for Black and Brown communities and for minoritized individuals and families. Increasing access to music therapy, including supporting music therapy interns and clients, not only benefits the individuals, but also the communities they represent. Kendall is thrilled to be able to advocate for increased access to music therapy services as a MTAF board member!
A Dallas native, Craven grew up as the 2nd oldest of 10 siblings and quickly developed a natural affinity for music and helping others. After obtaining her degrees in Music Therapy and Psychology from Southern Methodist University, Craven moved to San Diego to begin her career at Music Worx Inc. From 2014 to 2018, she worked in Plano with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and discovered a passion for addressing the often overlooked mental health needs that her clients experienced.
In 2018, Craven started North Star Therapy, a private practice specializing in music therapy for mental health. She and her team work extensively with YES Waiver services, and developed therapeutic approaches for supporting high acuity clients who are often in crisis due to anxiety, depression or trauma. In early 2022, she co-founded LIFT Therapies, which provides Lasting Intensive Family Treatment using a wraparound model to address from every angle the needs of clients and their families.
Craven sings, plays guitar, piano, and ukulele, and brings creative, collaborative thinking to treatment teams. Often described as engaging, disarming and sharp, you can count on her to ask effective questions or challenge an idea to promote meaningful conversation and progress. Outside of work, Craven loves to read, travel, and spend time with her friends and her dog Lola.
What we do
Founded in 2019, Music Therapy Access 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.
our code of ethics
All board members, staff members, and volunteers will abide by the following ethical principles while representing Music Therapy Access Fund:
Principle 1: Integrity
Act with integrity and veracity; file appropriate disclosures of financial, organizational, and legal nature; maintain adequate documentation; report potential ethical violations; and report illegal actions in accordance with the law.
Principle 2: Inclusivity
Disallow discrimination of any type; promote a culture of absolute inclusivity; identify and address personal biases; collaborate with others; and respect and protect the dignity and rights of all.
Principle 3: Governance
Promote the mission of the organization; possess the skills necessary to serve; fulfill responsibilities for the benefit of the organization and its public purposes; maintain oversight of programs, policies, finances, operations, and overall commitment to the mission.
Principle 4: Accountability
Fulfill professional and legal obligations to the organization in accordance with local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and employer policies; demonstrate responsible stewardship of all revenue; maintain adequate internal controls that include filings and/or audits conducted by a third-party certified public accounting firm; cooperate with all procedures and policies.
Principle 5: Conduct
Maintain professional conduct through continuous learning and personal growth; use caution and critical thinking when necessary; refrain from illegal and unethical actions; and encourage others to uphold legal and ethical actions.
Our commitment to Diversity, equity, & inclusion
Music Therapy Access Fund believes that marginalized communities must be centered in the work we do. We offer our programs to anyone in the state of Texas regardless of race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, political belief, or disability, and we stand for fairness, equity, and inclusion.
The mission of Music Therapy Access Fund is to increase access to music therapy in our state. We recognize that there are numerous systemic barriers to obtaining and maintaining therapy services. Our organization was founded to mitigate these inequities.
Our action steps:
- Maintain a scholarship application review process that minimizes bias and supports diverse populations.
- Support marginalized voices by sharing their perspectives through social media posts that align with our mission.
- Train our board. We will continue to research books, training opportunities, and resources to continuously educate and equip our board and volunteers.
- Diversify our board to more appropriately reflect our community. We recognize that our board members are predominantly white, while the Texas population is beautifully diverse.
Support us by doing whatever is within your capacity:
“Scarlett has made great progress since beginning music therapy in October! Her ability to focus and follow directions has immensely improved.”
– Carlee Efeney, MT-BC, Music Therapist of Grant Recipient
“With the scholarship, I have been able to look towards future goals and needs such as graduate school and my living expenses during that time. By this time next year, I hope to have started a graduate degree program with my (soon to be service) dog Monty by my side–and this was all made more possible with FWMTF’s help.”
– Ali Esparza, Music Therapy Intern Scholar