Meet Our Team
Calli Puko, MT-BC
Calli is a board certified Music Therapist and helped pioneer the Creative Melodies program . She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Music Therapy and a minor in Psychology from The State University of New York at Fredonia and completed her internship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Within her internship experience, she worked with with children and adolescents aged 6 weeks to 18 years old with diagnoses including leukemia, aplastic anemia, and trauma. Calli has launched and implemented numerous Creative Melodies programs and has been a fundamental leader in demonstrating and communicating the Creative Melodies mission. Inspired by the relationships that she has formed with the children at the childcare and learning centers, Calli has been creating specialized series that can be tailored to each child’s abilities and goals. Following the Creative Melodies’ humanistic approach, Calli implemented clinical Music Therapy services with adolescent behavioral health facilities and with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Calli respects and praises her clients for their unique ideas and abilities, and values them no matter their situation or diagnosis. Through her Music Therapy practice, she provides a safe space for clients to express their individuality and make their voices heard. Music changed Calli’s life, so she uses Music Therapy to change others’ lives and help them reach their fullest potential.
Emma Jakiela is an Arts Facilitator who received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy and Music from Seton Hill University. She recently completed her fieldwork through Creative Melodies at The Verland Foundation where she utilized art to build on the strengths of clients and to form meaningful connections with everyone she met. Emma firmly believes that creating art can be a therapeutic outlet that allows clients to explore themselves in a safe space. She is passionate about making art accessible to all, and empowering clients through the art making process. Her goal is to eventually pursue a Master’s in Art Therapy and to become a board certified Art Therapist. Aside from music and art, Emma enjoys camping, gardening, and spending time with her cats and chickens.
Haley Welsh, MT-BC
Haley Welsh is the founder and director of Creative Melodies. As a clinical Music Therapist, Haley pioneered and developed multiple Music Therapy programs including services at community homes for residents with intellectual and physical disabilities and at a children’s inpatient rehabilitation unit. Haley values a collaborative approach with other members of the treatment team to reinforce their goals with individual/group music therapy sessions to children and adolescents that were diagnosed with TBI, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health. Haley also specialized in working with individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome, where she incorporated Music Therapy into their daily routine and their group therapy schedule. As well as a flourishing professional career in Music Therapy, Haley is a proud mother of three children and it is them who inspired her to create the Creative Melodies program.
Allyssa Heitzenrater, MT-BC
Allyssa Heitzenrater is a Board Certified Music Therapist who received her Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Duquesne University, and completed her internship at Broome Tioga BOCES. Allyssa has previously worked in skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health facilities, schools, and daycare centers to help people increase their quality of life, learn coping skills, and achieve their social/emotional goals. While she has had the opportunity to work with people across the lifespan, Allyssa has a particular passion for sharing music experiences with young children. Their creativity and energy inspires her to continue growing and learning every day. When Allyssa is not thinking of ways to foster growth for young minds, you’ll find her drinking coffee and fostering growth for her jungle of houseplants.
Ryssa Ezykowsky is a Board Certified Music Therapist who graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor of science in Music Therapy. She recently completed her 6-month internship with Creative Melodies, and is overjoyed to be a part of the Creative Melodies team. Ryssa's previous work experience within a childcare center inspired her to use music to help foster personal growth within the learning centers that team with Creative Melodies. Through Creative Melodies, Ryssa is part of the Habilitation Services Team at The Verland Foundation where she uses Music Therapy to enhance the quality of lives for people with Intellectual disabilities. Ryssa strives to create an inclusive environment within music that focuses on clients strengths and abilities. She feels that music can bring out the best in people, which can then generalize into their everyday lives. Ryssa can't wait to continue to grow as a Music Therapist. When she's not working hard and making music, Ryssa enjoys listening to folk, 70s, and 80s music, reading, and crafting.
Lindsay Malloy is a music therapy intern who completed her undergraduate work at Slippery Rock University, where she was an active member of the Music Therapy Club at SRU, serving as both President and Historian during her 3 years with the club and a past recipient of the Sue Shuttleworth Music Therapy Scholarship. Lindsay completed practicums with neurodiverse learners in a school setting, adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities, and a classroom of preschoolers; with goals of increasing expression, maintaining self-regulation and coping skills, and increasing self-agency. Through her undergraduate experience, she has cultivated a person-centered, feminist lens of music therapy, promoting autonomy and self-expression. Apart from music, Lindsay enjoys drinking chai tea, playing her Nintendo Switch, and collecting Squishmallows.