Meet the Team

Erin Jester

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

As a founder of Beyond Words, Erin is passionate about bringing music and dance to children of any ability. When she couldn’t find a place in Cleveland that was successful in both artistic mediums, she decided to create this opportunity. As the company grew, her vision expanded to guide music therapists to incorporate successful behavior management, sensory integration, presuming students’ intellect and positive reinforcement into their practice. Before obtaining her Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) credentials, she studied at Eastern Michigan University as a double major in Music Therapy and Dance Performance. She was a music therapist at non-profit company for 5 years, but found her niche for children with autism and gained experience with behavior management as a Lead Behavior Therapist at STEPS Center for Autism. At STEPS, she also led group music therapy sessions, ranging from Pre-K to High School. Her experience and training in ABA, VB and Floortime carries into her practice and teaching. Erin has been studying dance since the age of 3. She began teaching traditional and adapted dance classes immediately after college and has choreographed for a variety camps and musical theater groups in the Cleveland area.

Click HERE to email Erin or call at 440-230-6100, extension 700.

MARSHA JAPUTRA

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

Marsha is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). She received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from University of Dayton in Dayton, OH, where violin was her primary instrument . She completed her internship at Bridgeway Academy in Columbus, OH, working with individuals of various ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. During the day, Marsha leads music therapy groups at Kids First School, TOPS School, Fairview Park School, Hobbitts Preschool, Regina Health Center and Lifeworks Adult Autism Center. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton, Medina, Avon and Highland Heights studios.

Click HERE to email Marsha or call at 440-230-6100, extension 707.

MADELEINE LANDRY

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

Madeleine is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). She received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH . She completed her internship at New Avenues to Independence in Cleveland, OH, working with children and adults with developmental disabilities at Broadmoor School and other various New Avenues to Independence facilities. Prior to Beyond Words, Madeleine worked at a private practice in Columbus, Ohio. During the day, Madeleine leads music therapy groups at Capstone Academy, Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools and Brunswick Schools. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton and Independence studios.

Click HERE to email Madeleine or call at 440-230-6100, extension 708.

ELIZABETH KAHLER

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

Elizabeth graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a B.M. in Music Therapy. She completed her internship at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in Florida, where she worked with children and adult patients in all hospital units. Prior to Beyond Words, she was a music program director for a summer camp for children and adults with special needs. During the day, Elizabeth leads music therapy groups at Orange Integrated Preschool, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation and Garfield Heights School. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton, Independence and Highland Heights studios.

Click HERE to email Elizabeth or call at 440-230-6100, extension 705.

MACKENZIE SIMMONS

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

Mackenzie received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Cleveland State University. Mackenzie completed her internship at New Avenues to Independence in Cleveland, working with a variety of ages in group and individual sessions, as well as children with a various disabilities. During the day, Mackenzie leads music therapy groups at Hobbitts Preschool, Barberton Schools and Brunswick Schools. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton, Medina and Highland Heights studios.

Click HERE to email Mackenzie or call at 440-230-6100, extension 709.

EMILY SWEENEY

ADAPTED DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Emily graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelors of Science in Mild to Moderate Special education, with a concentration in language arts and social studies, and a minor in dance education. She has been dancing for 20 years and teaching dance for 11 of those years. Prior to Beyond Words, Emily was the lead dance instructor at a local non-profit social club for children with autism, as well as, extensive experience volunteering with children with disabilities. Emily is a certified K-12 Intervention Specialist. During the day, Emily is a Kindergarten Teacher at the Julie Billiart School in Akron which caters to a variety of students, all of which are on IEP’s. After school, she teaches our adapted dance program at the North Royalton studio.

Click HERE to email Emily or call at 440-230-6100, extension 706.

NICOLE DERTHICK

ADAPTED DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Nicole graduated Kent State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in dance and disability/inclusion studios. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Dance/Movement Therapy. Nicole has been dancing for 18 years and teaching dance for 4 of those years. Prior to Beyond Words, Nicole completed an internship with Moving Wheels and Heels, working with dancers with disabilities in the Mary O’Donnell technique. Nicole leads adapted dance classes at Lifeworks Adult Autism Center.

Contact Nicole at 440-230-6100, extension 704.

AVERY JESTER

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Avery is currently studying Speech-Language Pathology at Cleveland State University. Her office is at the North Royalton location and she is available to meet with you, Monday-Friday 3-7pm.

Contact HERE to email Avery or call at 440-230-6100, extension 710.