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 an 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.
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 serves as the associate director and is an internship supervisor. 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, percussion, and voice. Amy initiated the musical theatre program at JMT and the Joyful Percussion Ensemble. Amy is passionate about serving the Orlando area community and providing excellent services to all her clients. Amy expects to complete her Master of Music Therapy at Shenandoah University in the Spring of 2021.
Fun Fact: Amy grew up in the same town the King of Rock & Roll (Elvis) was born. Tupelo, MS.
Lindsey Vrana, MT-BC Board Certified Music Therapist
Lindsey joined the Joyful Music team in January 2018 for her internship. Lindsey graduated from Belmont University with her Bachelors in Music Therapy. She is passionate about working with children and older adults. She has experience teaching piano and voice. Lindsey grew up in Texas but is excited to be living closer to Disney. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her friends.
Fun Fact: When Lindsey was a Junior in High School, she spent two weeks living in New York and performing in an Off-Broadway Show as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Margaret joined the Joyful Music Therapy team in August 2019 after moving to Orlando from Wisconsin with her newlywed husband. She earned her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI, and completed her internship at Bridgeway Academy (a school for children with autism and other developmental disabilities) in Columbus, Ohio. Margaret has experience giving adaptive lessons and working with a variety of populations. She is thrilled to help serve this community with the JMT team!
Fun Fact: Margaret’s two favorite types of cheese are brie and sharp cheddar.
Molly Moses, MM, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist
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.
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.
Nic Sanabria is a nationally credentialed board-certified music therapist since 2013. Born and raised in New York, Nic relocated to Orlando, Florida in March 2020 to join Joyful Music Therapy’s clinical team. Nic holds both a Bachelor's of Science and Master's of Science in Music Therapy from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. Nic completed post-graduate training in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, earning a Level 1 Certification. As a therapist, Nic has presented clinical work within music therapy at professional conferences. Nic has a wide range of clinical experiences, such as working with adults in psychiatric and medical settings as well as children and adolescents with learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Fun Fact: Nic was on two episodes of "Sesame Street" as a child.
Leslie Weingarten, MT-BC
Leslie joined the Joyful Music Therapy team in July 2020. Leslie is born and raised in Florida, near the Tampa Bay area. She received her bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Florida State University in 2013 upon completed her internship with Season’s Hospice of Miami. Leslie has worked with children and older adults in a variety of settings in South Florida for the past five years. She moved up to the Orlando area to be closer to her Bay area family and is excited to be part of the Joyful Music Therapy team!
Fun Fact: Leslie is a bassoonist and played the bassoon in a Ska band in high school.
Michael Davis Jr. joined Joyful Music Therapy in February 2020. He has experience working in corporate admin and bill collections. He is most proud to be a musician who plays 5 instruments. Micheal studied music at The University of Mobile and collaborates with various artists and ministries in Florida. He also currently serves at Hope City Church.
Fun Fact: He’s the house jazz pianist at the Grand Bohemian Downtown Orlando.
Sarah began volunteering for Joyful Music Therapy in 2018. She joined the administrative team in February of 2020 and said, "I've loved every minute that I've spent with this incredible company." She was born and raised in Utah and moved to Florida four years ago with her fiance. Currently, she attends Seminole State College and plans on obtaining a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy after that. She loves being surrounded by amazing music therapists at JMT and can't wait to continue learning about the remarkable world of music therapy.
Fun Fact: She started a dog-friendly hiking group and hosted monthly meetups because she loves hiking with her dog, Scout.