Board Members

NSBTM Board Members

  • ChairJefferson Svengsouk, MD, MBA, RDMS, FACEP, Member-at-Large
  • Vice Chair: Edie Elkan, MA, HCMT, CMMT, IMTA, CMT- P, Founder and President, Bedside Harp
  • Secretary: Rachel ChristensenCTHP: International Harp Therapy Program
  • Treasurer:  Nicole Anderson, CMCP, Director Clinical Musician Certification Program
  • Director: Carol Spears, CMP, CEO Music for Healing and Transition Program
  • Member at Large:  Maryalice Little, CCM VAHTP

Representative Council

We wish to thank the individuals currently on the Representative Council. This is a group of individuals who represent the therapeutic musicians’ organizations that are accredited by or affiliated with the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. They serve to support the goals and mission of the NSTBM in an advisory capacity and with committee work, while representing their respective programs.

  • Karen Theume, VAHT:  Since 2022
  • Karen Stowe, RNCMP, VAHTP, Music for Healing and Transition Program: Since 2015
  • Wendy Thompson, CHT, Bedside Harp: Since 2019
  • Jan Valentine, CMCP: Since 2022
  • Jordon Turner, IHTP:  Since 2022
  • Portia Diwa, CHT, Bedside Harp: Since 2008; Healing Harp Certification Program Clinical Faculty since 2007.

Founding Members

Established in the fall of 2003, the founding committee (involved directors and officers of established certification programs) was instrumental in creating the original Courses of Study, Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accredited Programs, Scope of Practice, and recruiting the first board of directors. The founding committee hired, and worked in conjunction with, independent consultants to establish the first application process for the accreditation of certification programs. Members of the Founding Committee are:

  • Stella Benson
  • Lynette Edelson
  • Melinda Gardiner
  • Mona Peck
  • Cynthia Price-Glynn
  • Laurie Riley
  • Dee Sweeney
  • Christina Tourin
  • Betty Truitt
  • Sarajane Williams

Thank you to the following people for their contributions in the formation of the organization.

  • Edie Elkan
  • Julie Hussar
  • Rebecca Lytle
  • Nell Morris

In Memoriam


Stella Benson passed away on the 28th of July 2014. She began her journey into healing music in 1992 and was instrumental in bringing together leaders in the emerging field of therapeutic music to create the National Standard Board for Therapeutic Musicians. Stella was the person who steadfastly imagined and held the “container” that has manifested the NSBTM as it is now. She chaired the Board for several years, was its archivist, developed and maintained its original website, and devoted countless hours to the Board as it matured.

Stella’s impact extends far beyond the Board and the patients for whom she played. Her educational books, therapeutic music collections, and recordings have been and will continue to be invaluable resources to therapeutic musicians entering and working in the field, both in the US and internationally. We are so grateful for her contributions to our field and know her presence will continue to be felt.