Melissa L. Taveras holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy from Montclair State University and a Registered Music Therapist designation through the American Music Therapy Association and National Music Therapy Registry.
Ms. Taveras has extensive experience working with special needs individuals, from pre-school age to adulthood, working with group, individual or co-treatment settings.
She has been a staff member at The Mount Carmel Guild Schools, The Cerebral Palsy League/Jardine Academy, and provided in-home therapy sessions. She is also proficient in American Sign Language.
Ms. Taveras is dedicated to improving students’ lives through positive musical experiences.
Sheri Kandel began her studies in Music Therapy in 1981 under the tutelage of Dr. Charles Eagle, professor emeritus, at Southern Methodist University. While she also studied composition, music therapy became more than a major, it became a calling.
Ms. Kandel relocated from Dallas to Philadelphia and received her Master’s Degree in Creative Arts in Therapy from Drexel University in 1989. She then worked in hospitals, providing individual and group music therapy at both Carrier and UMDNJ, until she settled in Westfield where she established, and owned and operated Music Therapy For All Ages from 2007 to 2017.
She feels it is an honor to work individually with special needs clients, providing music therapy and/or piano lessons to children in Westfield and the surrounding areas. Being herself the parent of a special needs child provided her with a unique understanding of the dynamics associated with bringing up these beautiful children.
As her experiences continued to build upon each other, Ms. Kandel was privileged to serve on The New Jersey Parent Caucus and to co- found the Parents Executive Counsel at Trinitas Hospital. After graduating from the Parents Advocacy Course, she provided a monthly support group for parents of children with special needs.
All of these experiences enriched her ability to provide music therapy with a full understanding of the value of parent participation. The work is always client focused and is sure to provide successful experiences through music; invariably, this success is deeply enriched by family participation.
Ms. Kandel is a “retired” would -be rock star keyboard player and vocalist, but you may still see her performing or sitting in for someone at the occasional event!