President + Founder, Creative LEAPS
President, Creative LEAPS, Inc.
Board Certified Music Therapist since 2006
Fellow of the Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy since 2011
Marion obtained her Master’s Degree in Neurologic Music Therapy at Colorado State University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
She is a multi-instrumentalist trained as a mezzo-soprano, with clinical and performance proficiency on guitar, violin, piano, viola, bass, percussion, and various world instruments. She has an extensive knowledge in music composition, theory, and history, and is skilled in improvisation, arrangement, teaching, and conducting.
Her 13 years of clinical experiences have taken place in Minnesota, Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Colorado, working with a broad range of populations including older populations in memory care, adult rehabilitation, individuals with special needs, integrated classrooms, behavioral health, and many more across the lifespan.
Her research investigating the effects of rhythmic seated exercises on Parkinson’s gait parameters was published in Human Movement Science in 2019 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167945718305979).
She has presented at various national and regional conferences and symposia, advocating and raising awareness for the Music Therapy’s scope of practice, ethics, and current research that supports Music Therapy interventions.
She is always eager to share her knowledge with future Music Therapists and anyone interested in learning more about the field by continuing to create university-affiliated programs, supervising volunteers, applying her experience as Graduate Teaching Assistant at Colorado State University, supervising Music Therapy students during their clinical practice.
Born in Venezuela, Marion is fluent in Spanish and English, and has learned French at the conversational level. Marion continues to perform throughout the Tampa area in various ensembles and bands ranging from a classical string ensemble, to Japanese drumming, to rock and roll.
Marion has extensive training, education, and experience developing programs that maximize the benefits of the arts in all areas of learning, development, and rehabilitation, taking into account individual differences and unleashing the creative being that resides within each person.
Officer, Creative Leaps, Inc.
Chris completed his Music Therapy education at St. Mary of the Woods College, in Indiana. He began his undergraduate Pre-Med studies at the University of South Florida but quickly came to the conclusion he could not give up his passion for music so, instead, he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance at USF’s School of Music, focusing on Opera and Classical Cross-over.
He has had the opportunity to perform internationally and continues to perform regularly for the St. Petersburg Opera Company and St. Mary Lady of Grace Church. He also performs in other ensembles and bands, and as a solo performer.
Chris has been working with various clinical populations including individuals with Parkinson’s disease, children with exceptional needs, and adults with mental health diagnoses. He is proficient in various musical instruments including the piano, guitar, ukulele, hand percussion, trumpet, and world instruments.
Vice-President, Creative Leaps
Myles has over 15 years of improvisational and classical performance experience on trumpet and other brass and woodwind instruments. He is well-versed in all areas of music including theory, history, arrangement, instruction, and composition. He is currently attending St. Petersburg College and previously attended the College of Central Florida’s music program.
Myles continues to pursue his passion for music with local bands and ensembles, and has dedicated his time to understanding first-hand the Music Therapy process by participating and aiding in the Music Therapy programs provided at creative LEAPS. Myles unabashedly shares his passion and knowledge of music with individuals of all walks of life and all abilities. He continues to write and arrange music, and has experience teaching the creative process of music to individuals of all ages and abilities.
Myles joined the CreativeLEAPS team to assist in the creative building process, and to help people find focus through music, art, and dance. he is a strong believer in connecting the mind and the body with the use of musical instruments.
His deep passion for music has resonated with him since childhood. Sounds and rhythms are everywhere, and musical composition can be brought to life no matter the location.
Personally, music has given Myles focus, with the purpose to educate and show others how to develop their creative process and bring what they hear to reality. Music is a constant stable source of growth, to share, to educate, and to bring people together.
Emma has been a helper in Music Therapy sessions and classes since the very beginning of creative LEAPS, and continues to be a friend to everyone, a well as a creative member of the team.
Volunteer Artist, Creative LEAPS
Monica is a Visual Arts student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, currently working as an exceptional volunteer at Creative LEAPS. She has an Associates degree in Art from Hillsborough Community College and is currently working towards completing her Bachelor’s degree with the goal of continuing her education to become an Art Therapist.
She has volunteered in many organizations in the Tampa Bay community, including Metropolitan Ministries, TherAbilities Performing Arts Center, Autism Walk, PFLAG Tampa, and Tabernaculo de Dios Church. She has worked as a counselor at Sulphur Springs YMCA’s after school program and as Coordinator of a Specialty Class for the YMCA Summer Program at Springhill Community Center. After spending many years in Corporate America, Monica re-evaluated her life and realized that her passion has always been painting and working with children and the elderly.
Monica would like to continue having a positive effect on the lives of children and adults within the Autism Spectrum as well as individuals diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. She loves seeing the smiles on children’s faces and the parents’ proud reaction upon seeing the joy making art brings to their day.
Officer, Creative LEAPS
Percussionist and Marketing Director
Alex works behind the scenes on everything social media and search engine related. He assists in making sure our website is performing to its highest potential and ensures our social media content hits home with our target audience.
Alex joined creative leaps to support its mission in providing growth and development in individuals by giving them the opportunity to participate in the arts.
Alex has been a professional drummer all his life and has a personal connection to music and the arts. He plays a crucial role in making creative LEAPS programs possible through his work and by sharing his expertise as an altruistic effort to help our community.Program Facilitator
Affiliations and Collaborations:
Creative LEAPS has the opportunity to work with various entities. The following are some of the partnerships and collaborations we are grateful for!
- Gannon University Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Dept., Ruskin, FL (2018 – present)
- Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center Music Therapy programs, Tampa, FL (2019)
- Autism Awareness Vocational Training Shop Music Therapy programs, Tampa, FL (2018 – present)
- University of Toronto Music and Health Sciences Co-Authored Peer-Reviewed Research Publication in Human Movement Science (2019)
- Pan-American Movement Disorder Society Congress Research Poster Presentation, Miami, FL (2018)
- University of South Florida College of The Arts Art Student Independent Study Program, Tampa, FL (2018)
- Parkinson Place Voice Power and Neurologic Music Therapy, Sarasota, FL (2015 – present)
- ProTherapy Plus Music Therapy and the Arts, Lutz, FL (2017 – present)
- St. Pete Opera Company St Petersburg, FL (Winter Recital 2017, Spring Recital 2019)
- Tampa Taiko Tampa, FL (2015 – present)
- Sutton Psychology Services Music Therapy and the Arts, Tampa, FL (2015-2018)
- Dancing for Donations Music Therapy services, Brandon, FL (2018)
- St. Mary of the Woods College University-Affiliated Music Therapy Internship, St. Mary of the Woods, IN (2015 – 2016)
- Resurrection Catholic Church Spring Recital 2017, Riverview, FL
- Creative Clay Music Therapy Internship Programming, St. Petersburg, FL (2016)
- Jubilee Gymnastics Summer Camp Music Program, Ruskin, FL (2016)
- Superior Residence of Brandon Winter 2016 Recital, Brandon, FL
- The Crossings at Riverview Spring 2016 Recital, Riverview, FL
- Arts Council of Hillsborough County Project Promise Music Therapy Program for Children’s Home, Tampa, FL (2016)
- University of South Florida – Performing Arts Medical Association Conference Music Therapy in Parkinson’s Research Presentation, Tampa, FL (2016)
- TherAbilities Performing Arts Center Music Therapy and the Arts, Tampa, FL (2015)