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Meet Our Team

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Haley Welsh, MT-BC

Owner

Haley is the proud founder and owner of Playnotes, dedicating her career to the transformative potential of Music Therapy. As a Music Therapist, Haley specializes in using Music Therapy to uplift individuals of all abilities, including those with intellectual disabilities and in behavioral health settings. Her humanistic approach ensures that each therapeutic intervention is tailored to the unique strengths and needs of the individuals she serves. Collaborating with multiple clinical organizations, Haley has extended her expertise to diverse settings, fulfilling her deep passion for making a meaningful difference through music therapy . Inspired by the joy and curiosity of her three young children, Haley embarked on the creation of Playnotes’ children's music program. Alongside her talented team, she brings individualized and tailored music sessions to numerous learning centers throughout the Pittsburgh area. This program is a testament to Haley's commitment to nurturing the next generation through music, fostering cognitive, emotional, and social development in young minds. When Haley is not working, she enjoys being outside, hanging out with her family, and camping.

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Calli Puko, MT-BC

Scheduling Coordinator

Calli Puko is a board certified music therapist who received her Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy and a minor in Psychology from the State University of New York in Fredonia, and completed her internship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. She has been a member of the Playnotes team since the beginning in March 2021, working with childcare centers, children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and adolescents in behavioral health. Calli has helped Playnotes grow and expand across Pennsylvania by developing and implementing numerous programs, and collaborating with directors and other on site professionals. Her favorite parts of her work with Playnotes are the amazing opportunities she’s been given, like introducing music into childrens’ lives for the first time and giving a TedX talk on music therapy. 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. When she’s not working or making music, you can find Calli crocheting and playing with her cats.

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Allyssa Heitzenrater, MT-BC

Internship Director

Allyssa Heitzenrater is the Internship Director and a Music Therapist at Playnotes. Since receiving her Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Duquesne University, Allyssa has been dedicated to using a person-centered approach to help people increase their quality of life, practice coping skills, and achieve their social/emotional goals. Allyssa is passionate about sharing joyful music experiences with people, especially young children. Their curiosity and creativity continues to inspire her every day! As the Internship Director at Playnotes, Allyssa loves helping future Music Therapists learn and hone their skills, so that they can enter the wonderful world of Music Therapy with confidence. When Allyssais not working you’ll find her caring for her large collection of plants, playing outside, and making as much art and music as possible!

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Ryssa Ezykowsky,

MT-BC

Ryssa Ezykowsky is a Board-Certified Music Therapist who graduated from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy. She has been with the Playnotes team since June 2022, starting as an intern. Ryssa's previous work experience in a childcare center inspired her to use music to foster personal growth within the learning centers that partner with Playnotes. Through Playnotes, Ryssa is part of the Habilitation Services Team at The Verland Foundation, where she uses Music Therapy to enhance the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities. Ryssa also brings music therapy to nursing homes, where she loves to see the residents light up as they participate. She strives to create an inclusive environment within music that focuses on clients' strengths and abilities in all settings. Ryssa believes that music can bring out the best in people, which can then generalize into their everyday lives. When she's not working hard and making music, Ryssa enjoys listening to classic rock and folk music, doing puzzles, and crafting.

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Emily Conroy

Emily Conroy is a Music Facilitator who will receive her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy from Seton Hill University. Starting as an intern, she has been a part of the Playnotes team since September 2023 and is thrilled to be a part of an amazing group of people. Working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, childcare centers, and adolescents in behavioral health, she strongly believes that music can be a safe place for individuals to express themselves. Working with these populations has done nothing but inspire Emily. Focusing on a person centered approach, she caters each experience to the individual to help improve their specific goals. Aside from working, Emily enjoys spending quality time with her cats, playing video games and crafting!

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Deanna Wolfgong,
MMT, MT-BC

Deanna Wolfgong is a Board Certified Music Therapist who completed her studies at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and received both a Bachelor of Music (2008) and a Master of Music Therapy while meeting requirements to complete her Licensed Professional Counselor training (2019). Deanna began her career working with children diagnosed with autism and has worked with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She believes in a person-centered approach to therapy. When she is not wearing her music therapist hat, Deanna teaches music lessons for voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele and spends time with her dog, Baxter. She is also an active Board Member and participant of the Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin, PA

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Emma Jakiela

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.

Want To Join Our Team?

Are you a passionate MT that would like to be apart of our team?

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