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.

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 is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta (whose national philanthropy is Autism Speaks) and was also chosen to be a member of a leadership fraternity on campus. During the day, Emily is an Intervention Specialist at the Julie Billiart School in Akron. She has been dancing for 18 years and teaching dance for 9 of those years. Prior to Beyond Words, Emily was the lead dance instructor at a local non-profit social club for children with autism. 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.

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 Fairview Park School, Hobbitts Preschool, Regina Health Center, Boundless Community Pathways and Monarch 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, KidsLink, Barberton Schools, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation and Garfield Heights School. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton 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 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.

ANNA POPA

BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST (MT-BC)

ADAPTED DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Anna graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a B.M. in Music Therapy. She completed her internship at Akron Public Schools, where she worked with special needs students grades K-8th. Prior to Beyond Words, she was a music intervention teacher for the summer program at the Salvation Army Learning Zone in Akron. During the day, Anna leads adapted dance groups Boundless Community Pathways. After school, she sees students at the North Royalton studio.

Click HERE to email Anna or call at 440-230-6100, extension 704.

OLIVIA LAWRENCE

MUSIC THERAPY INTERN FOR 2019-20

Olivia has completed her coursework at The College of Wooster. Her last step to sitting for the Music Therapy Certification Board Exam is an internship with at least 1040 hours through our university affiliate internship program with the Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium. Her anticipated date of completion is May 2020. She is currently observing and co-leading sessions in the community with our Music Therapists, as well as leading music therapy training groups at the North Royalton and Independence locations to practice her emerging music therapy skills.

Interested in one of Olivia's music therapy classes? Click here for more information and register by calling Erin Jester, Internship Director/Supervisor at 440-230-6100 x700.

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.