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Meet Our Team


Tamela Ponder, MT-BC

Tamela Ponder, MT-BC -
Neurologic Music Therapist, Executive Director, Founder

Board-certified Music Therapist and member of the American Music Therapy Association, Tamela began serving the special needs community of Central Florida in 2008. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Loyola University (New Orleans) and an Associate of Arts degree in Music Education. She also completed graduate studies as an Infant and Toddler Developmental Specialist at the University of Central Florida and has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy from Colorado State University.

Tamela specializes in working with children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental delay. In 2012, she received the Community Champion Award from the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. Tamela has made it her life's goal to teach families about the healing powers of music through her private practice.

FUN FACT: Tamela is an avid New Orleans Saints football fan. 

Email Tamela


Mary Ann Russell - Office Administrator

Mary Ann joined JMT in 2014 and brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit arena, specifically event planning and volunteer management. Her background includes serving on the National Disaster Team with the American Red Cross, working in an association for children with Down syndrome, coaching as a doula, counseling on prenatal/postpartum health, and teaching lactation classes for the health department. Needless to say, Mary Ann brings a wealth of knowledge to the JMT team. When she is not working tirelessly with the team she shows her love of cooking by spoiling them with treats and work meals. 

FUN FACT: Mary Ann scuba dives and plays the piano.

Email Mary Ann

Mary Ann Russell

Amy Gower, MT-BC

Amy Gower, MT-BC
Neurologic Music Therapist, Associate Director, Internship Supervisor

Amy holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Converse College. She is a board certified Music Therapist and has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University. Amy joined the Joyful Music Therapy team in June of 2011. Amy is currently the lead therapist at the Paragon School and The Arbor School. Amy loves working with clients of all ages, and specializes in working with older adults with dementia and various age-related diagnosis. She also has experience teaching piano, guitar and percussion.

FUN FACT: Amy grew up in the same town the King of Rock & Roll (Elvis) was born. Tupelo, MS.

Email Amy


Molly Moses, MM, MT-BC

Board Certified Music Therapist, Internship Supervisor

Starting in 2015, Molly brought her experience as a Music Therapist, piano, and clarinet teacher to the JMT team in a unique way. Before completing her internship at Ann & Robert H. Children's Hospital in Chicago, she received her master’s degree in music therapy from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Stetson University. Molly is also NICU-MT certified, allowing her to implement research-based music therapy interventions with premature infants. Her research has been published and featured in two well-respected publications, including 'Imagine' magazine.

FUN FACT: Molly once worked as a balloon animal artist.

Email Molly 

Molly Moses MM, MT-BC

Charniqua Snell, MT-BC

Charniqua Snell, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist

Charniqua joined the Joyful Music Therapy team late 2015. She graduated from University of Miami with a bachelor’s in Music Therapy. She completed her internship with Season’s Hospice-Miami working with older adults and their families at the end of life.

Charniqua is excited to be working as a music therapist in Central Florida. She has experience teaching piano and violin.

FUN FACT: ChaCha and her sister have matcing "To Infinity and Beyond" tattoos. Hers says "and beyond"

Email Charniqua


Kristen van Caulil, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist

Kristen graduated cum laude from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. She completed her internship with Mobile County Public Schools in Mobile, Alabama. During her internship, Kristen was based at the Regional School for the Deaf and Blind, but also worked throughout the county with students of all ages in special education.

Kristen is passionate about working with children. She has experience teaching oboe, guitar, and piano. Kristen grew up in the Orlando area. She is excited to return and begin serving this community with Joyful Music Therapy!

FUN FACT: Kristen broke a few bones during high school marching band. 

Email Kristen

Kristen Van Caulil, MT-BC

Emily

Emily Dugas Lambert, MM, MT-BC
Neurologic Music Therapist

Emily earned her master's degree in music therapy from the University of Miami in 2015 after completing her equivalency at the University of Georgia. She also earned her bachelor's degree from UM back in 2005 in Music Engineering Technology. Additionally certified in Neurologic Music Therapy, Emily comes from a background that includes work with neurological rehabilitation, traumatic brain injuries, older adults and dementia, and children on the autism spectrum. In addition to Florida and Georgia, Emily has practiced music therapy in Minnesota and Michigan. Emily enjoys working with a large variety of individuals and tries to find something new to learn every day.
Fun fact: Emily has a hypoallergenic cat named Maestoso.