Marion Haase, M.M.

CEO, Creative LEAPS

Board Certified Music Therapist

Fellow of the Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy


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 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, integrated classrooms, and many more across the lifespan. Her research has involved investigating the effects of rhythmic seated exercises on Parkinson’s gait parameters. She has presented at various national and regional conferences, advocating and raising awareness for the Music Therapy 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 internship programs, welcoming volunteers into our programs, and during her Graduate Teaching Assistantship at Colorado State University. 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 her own eclectic band, to name a few. She 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.

Chris Romeo, M.M.

Managing Member, Creative Leaps

Music Therapist




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.

Monica Velandia, A.A. 

Volunteer, Creative LEAPS

Visual Artist




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. She 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. Monica loves seeing the smiles on children’s faces and the parents’ proud reaction upon seeing the joy making art brings to their day.

Nathan Haase, B.F.A.

CFO, Creative LEAPS, LLC


Nathan received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where he trained in various art media and styles .He has worked as a freelance photographer since 2003, with experience in many genres of fine art and commercial photography. He has a passion for creativity in all forms and loves to see people of all ages grow, learn, and create. He enjoys living and working in a place where art and creativity can be the principal forms of expression and communication.

Melissa Maldonado

Member, Creative LEAPS, LLC

Melissa is a vital pillar at Creative LEAPS as a key decision-maker and supporter of its mission. She embodies compassion and understanding in her everyday life, and carries that over in every endeavor she takes on. She has influenced the lives of many children by providing them with an enriching, challenging, and loving environment as a caregiver, a friend, and as a family member, and continues to do so in her community and beyond.

Collaborative partnerships:

University of South Florida College of The Arts, Tampa, FL

Parkinson Place, Sarasota, FL

ProTherapy Plus, Lutz, FL

Sutton Psychology Services, Tampa, FL

St. Pete Opera Company, St Petersburg, FL

Tampa Taiko, Tampa, FL

St. Mary of the Woods College, St. Mary of the Woods, IN

Resurrection Catholic Church, Riverview, FL

Creative Clay, St. Petersburg, FL

Jubilee Gymnastics, Ruskin, FL

Superior Residence of Brandon, Brandon, FL

The Crossings at Riverview, Riverview, FL

Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL

The Children’s Place “Project Promise”, Tampa, FL

University of South Florida – Performing Arts Medical Association Conference, Tampa, FL

TherAbilities Performing Arts Center, Tampa, FL