Jeniris Garay, EdM, MT-BC, LPMT
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jeniris is an educator and licensed, board certified neurologic music therapist with clinical experience in various fields including intensive care, special education, prematurity, neurological conditions and humanitarian aid. Jeniris holds a master's degree in Education from Harvard University with specialization in Human Development and Psychology, as well as a Bachelors in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music. Fluent in 4 languages and proficient in over 10 musical instruments, Jeniris has organized community service trips and presented at conferences throughout the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. Currently, Jeniris is part of Hands in Harmony, a non-profit organization that offers Neurological Music Therapy services to the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts in psychiatric and medical hospitals, educational centers and in the field of early intervention. Jeniris also teaches clinical guitar methods for music therapy students at the University of Rhode Island and is President of the Latin American Music Therapy Network.
Lic. Cecilia Di Prinzio
Vice President of the Latin American region
Lic. Cecilia Di Prinzio lives in Argentina and graduated in 1997 with a degree in Music Therapy from the Universidad del Salvador, Argentina. She has clinical experience in older adults, especially Parkinson's disease. She is a member o the WFMT. As well as she conducts meetings for stress management, and especially conducts research on teacher stress, she participates in the music therapy community as a speaker at scientific conferences.
-She is Certified in Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) The Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurological Music Therapy
-Also has her own company and is Managing director at Musicoterapia Norte / www.musicoterapianorte.com.ar
-Since 2007 she began to be a professor at the Universidad del Salvador as at the Clinic in motor and sensory disabilities in the Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy, Universidad del Salvador Argentina. Also she is a mentor and supervisor of students in their early years of clinical practice.
-Since 2014, she is the Founder and Coordinator of the Latin American Network of Music Therapy for Early Childhood, coordinating a group of professional Latin American music therapists specialized in early childhood. And she is the general editor of the Latin American Journal of Music Therapy for early childhood.
- Co-founder of the Music Therapy Forum for the elderly
She currently has the honor of participating in the Latin American Music Therapy Network as Vice President of the Latin American region
Natalie Cole, MA, MT-BC
Natalie Cole, MA, MT-BC, NMT is a Florida native music therapist. Natalie earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from the University of Miami and earned her Master of Arts in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music. She currently works full-time with veterans and mental health. In addition, Natalie is a mentor with Guitars Over Guns, an after-school music and mentorship program, and teaches piano and creates social-emotional learning exercises with her team of mentors for middle school students. She has presented on topics of culturally appropriate music therapy treatment, approaching mindfulness interventions with veterans, and using songwriting as a means of Trauma-Informed Care both locally and nationally. Natalie strives to build new music therapy and mental health programs that are accessible for underserved communities and empowering of the people.
Marta Hernández Candelas, Ph. D., MT-BC
Marta Hernández Candelas has dedicated her life to the use of music for well beings. In 2013 he founded the music therapy program in the HIMA San Pablo hospital system. She is an Associate Professor at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music where she offers graduate and undergraduate courses in Music Education and Music Therapy. She works with various settings including medical, perinatal, neurocritical music therapy, oncology, trauma, HIV, victims of violence and special education. In addition, she collaborates in music therapy projects with the Música y País Foundation, Music Alliance and the Network of Providers of the Ryan White Part C Program of Lares, Inc. In the musical artistic field, she has collaborated as a professional violist with the Arturo Somohano Philharmonic Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and in various chamber music ensembles. She has a Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Granada in Spain, a Bachelor's Degree in Viola Performance and a Master's in String Pedagogy, both from Temple University, and a second Master's in Music Therapy from Illinois State University. In addition, she is a board-certified music therapist. She has published articles in the following peer-reviewed journals: Revista Psicodidaáctica, National Association of Laboratory Schools Journal [NALS], Research Perspectives in Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Eufonía and MUSIKE. In addition, she collaborated in a chapter of the book "Music in early childhood education: Research and music" (Gluschankov & Pérez, 2017).
Veronica Abigail Tienda, MT-BC, NMT
Veronica Abigail Tienda, MT-BC, NMT is a first-generation Mexican-American Music Therapist. She was born and raised in the diverse city of Houston, Texas where Spanish was her first language and English followed. Veronica received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Sam Houston State University, which she credits for the many leadership roles that have shaped her work ethic. Soon after completing her internship position with Hospice of Santa Cruz County in 2019, Veronica officially began her career as the full-time Board Certified Music Therapist with a hospice organization in San Jose, California. She is currently serving the Bay Area with telephonic and in-person sessions while providing support as a Bereavement Coordinator. As she works towards supporting our Latinx & Ally community, Veronica is actively continuing her education and sharing what she knows as advocacy for our field.
Bethany Lindeblad, MT-BC, CTRP
Region - Mid-Atlantic
Bethany is a graduate of Molloy College and currently lives in Westchester, New York where she works at a residential treatment facility with undocumented minors, child welfare, and homeless/runaway youth. She is also a certified trauma and resilience practitioner. She recently presented on a culturally informed approach in music therapy at the World Congress of Music Therapy and is passionate about social justice.
Cindybet Pérez Martínez, PhD, MT-BC, NMT
Region - The Caribbean
Cindybet Pérez Martínez, PhD, MT-BC, NMT is a board-certified music therapist and neurologic music therapist with over 10 years of experience. She is also a music educator and special education specialist certified in Puerto Rico, the State of Florida and the State of Alabama. She completed her BA in Music Education at the University of Puerto Rico, her Masters in Music Therapy at Illinois State University and her Doctorate in Music Therapy at Cambridge International University, Spain. She has experience working with neonates, infants, children, youth, adults, elderly and families in a great diversity of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, hospice, among others, helping individuals and families improve their quality of life and health through music therapy. Cindybet resides in Puerto Rico where in 2019 she started the music therapy program in the Primary Stroke Center at HIMA.San Pablo Hospital in Caguas, PR, specializing in serving neuro critical patients. She also is a professor of music therapy at the Pontifical Catholic University in Ponce, PR, and has a private practice office in the heart of the City of Caguas. Has been a presenter in conferences in Puerto Rico, USA, Guatemala and Colombia. She continues to offer conferences, classes and workshops; to educate the community and promote the uses and benefits of music therapy and offers counseling, supervision and training to other music therapists in order to expand the field in the island which is one of her passions.
As a Regional Representative of the Caribbean, she hopes to be able to connect other music therapists living in Puerto Rico and the sister islands to the care, support, and community that the Latin American Music Therapy Network represents.
Marianela deVries, MMT, MT-BC, NMT
Region - Central America
Marianela deVries is a Music Therapist-Board Certified and Neurologic Music Therapist at HCR ManorCare in Broward County, Florida where she specializes in hospice and palliative care. In addition, Marianela is the owner of MCS Music Therapy LLC, a music therapy private practice in the South Florida area that serves individuals of all ages with physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social needs. Ms. deVries obtained her Masters of Music Therapy from Texas Woman’s University.
Jessica Hernandez, MT-BC
Regions - South America & US Southwestern
Jessica Hernandez, MT-BC is a third-generation Mexican-American who grew up in central Texas and now lives and works as a music therapist in Houston, TX. She has a passion for mental health and has worked extensively in the adult and adolescent inpatient setting providing individual music therapy consults and offering psychoeducational groups with a focus on wellness and recovery. She earned her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Sam Houston State University. Along with English and Spanish, Jessica is also fluent in Portuguese and has strong connections with the Brazilian community both in Houston and in Brazil. Additionally, Jessica is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in her own workplace and is an active member of several groups and committees that promote these initiatives. Ultimately, Jessica strives to build a better bridge that connects people together while celebrating and appreciating all the unique parts of an individual.
Mabel Ortiz Guzman, MM, MT-BC
Social Media Manager
Mabel Ortiz Guzman, MM, MT-BC, a native of Puerto Rico, is a board-certified music therapist who obtained a master’s degree in Music Therapy from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Mabel is also currently finishing a second master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University. She has clinical experience working with adults and adolescents in substance abuse recovery and psychiatric settings, children on the autism spectrum, and individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. Mabel specializes in grief work as a hospice & bereavement music therapist in Florida and is the owner of Limitless Harmonies. Mabel is also passionate about the topics of mental health and working with Latinx clients. As a cross-trained music therapist, she strives to continue to advocate for and serve Latinx clients, as well as providing education, support and resources for music therapists working with this community.
Mariagracia Rivas Berger, MT-BC
Social Media Manager
Mariagracia Rivas Berger, MT-BC, also known as MG, was born and raised in Lima, Peru (#bilingual!) and currently lives in Northern Virginia. Mariagracia received her undergraduate in Vocal Performance and received her graduate Music Therapy studies from Shenandoah University. Mariagracia currently works in the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Children’s National in Washington, DC. In her 3 years there, she expanded the program to add a second music therapist and is leading the hospital’s first music therapy study, which is focusing on the pain and emotional wellbeing of adolescents and young adults with Sickle Cell Disease.
Mariagracia also specializes in working with people with autism and multiple disabilities and is passionate about empowering others and advocating for the music therapy field!
Steven Franco MA, MT-BC
Steven Franco holds a Master of Arts in Music Therapy from the University of Missouri—Kansas City and a Bachelor's degree from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in Classical Guitar (performance) with a minor in music education. Currently, he works as a music therapist at the Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero, a maximum-security forensic psychiatric facility with primarily male patients. As a bilingual music therapist, he provides multiple groups for Spanish-speaking patients. Some areas he addresses through music therapy include stress reduction, cognition, insight, emotional intelligence, social skills, and managing anger and aggression. He also serves as one of the music therapy internship supervisors. He has been able to present at regional and national conferences regarding music therapy in the forensic setting. As a classical guitarist, he has participated in multiple master classes with world-class performers such as Manuel Barrueco and Marcin Dylla. He has over eight years of guitar teaching experience, both private and group lessons.