Melodic Connections provides music therapy services to individuals in Greater Cincinnati through five programs, fulfilling our mission of empowering special learners through low or no cost music therapy-based instruction. We believe that music therapy is a powerful tool that should be within everyone’s reach.
Our mission is carried out through our core programs: Adaptive group guitar, piano, voice and drum lessons, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, summer social skills camps and music in the schools program. Instruction is performance based, so that performers and audiences alike experience the transformative power of music created by exceptional people.
Melodic Connections was founded in 2008 by music therapist and special educator, Betsey Zenk Nuseibeh. After helping a student with autism who has perfect pitch and beautiful musical expression unlock his talent at the piano, Zenk Nuseibeh recognized the need for a studio to support musicians with a love for music who require alternative teaching methods and an understanding instructor trained to address individual special learning needs.
Confirmed need and community desire for this type of programming has driven rapid expansion from three volunteer music therapists each providing one hour of therapy per week to five full-time, salaried music therapists providing programming, one full-time and one part-time administrative staff, and three talented musicians who serve as teaching assistants.
Betsey is a special educator and a board certified music therapist in Cincinnati. Betsey received her BM in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa. She has an MM in Oboe Performance from CCM and her MEd from UC in Special Education. Betsey is also the founder of Melodic Connections. Melodic Connections opened its Conservatory Program Fall 2010 for adults with different learning needs and has also provided services for the Stepping Stones Day Program, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the TALL Institute, Rising Star Studios, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, Starfire University, and the Marjorie Book Continuing Education Society. In addition to managing Melodic Connections, Betsey regularly advocates on behalf of music therapy through speaking engagements and providing group services throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area.
Christina McCracken, MT-BC
Christina is a University of Dayton graduate. Throughout her college career, she enjoyed participating in various vocal groups and being a part of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women’s music fraternity. Following her graduation she moved to South Carolina to complete her internship in a general hospital. She comes to us from Indiana where she worked as a Music Therapist for a private practice. Christina is a certified Music Together teacher and is authorized to provide Music Together Within Therapy services. Christina grew up in Cincinnati and is excited to come back to her hometown.
Erin Dougherty, MT-BC
Erin graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Industry from State University of New York at Oneonta and with a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy with a specialization in Music Therapy from Nazareth College of Rochester. She received her board certification in June of 2010, after completing a six month internship at the University of Rochester Medical Center, working with pediatric oncology patients. She has previously worked with children with developmental disabilities and with urban at-risk youth. Erin is excited and thankful for this incredible opportunity.
Elaine Ramage, MT-BC
Elaine Ramage graduated with a degree in Music Therapy from the University of Dayton in May 2009 and has been teaching private adaptive lessons since getting her certification in 2010, before joining Melodic Connections. Elaine has been playing piano since age 7 and guitar for the past 5 years. Classically trained, Elaine also has taken three years of jazz piano. She has been singing as long as she can remember and currently sings with the Sweet Adeline barbershop chorus Cincinnati Sound, and she and her sisters have competed in barbershop quartet competitions for several years, internationally.
Becky Bergh, MT-BC
Becky Bergh, MT-BC is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, where she honed her therapeutic skills as an active member of Cleveland Student Music Therapists, and through participation with smART (a summer camp literacy program for inner city students).
After graduation, Becky completed her internship at Kardon Institute for Arts Therapy where she worked with a variety of populations over the course of 10 months. She has worked extensively with adults with developmental disabilities. “I find that individuals with developmental disabilities have so much joy, and enthusiasm for life, that it is a pleasure to work with them, specially in the context of music.” Becky said.
Shelly Zeiser is a board certified music therapist who graduated from University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA and completed her internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has been passionate about music since she began playing oboe at the age of seven and passionate about music therapy since she first discovered the profession. Her additional interests include international opportunities and community engagement, stemming from previous experience with music therapy and education work in Jamaica and China, as well as domestic music therapy work with at risk youth.
Brendan is a Musician and Educator from Cincinnati, Ohio. Brendan has spent time living in Providence, Rhode Island and in Central and South America where he taught and tutored English and played music. Since returning, Brendan has dedicated his time to educating and playing music here in Cincinnati. In addition to assisting at Melodic Connections, Brendan teaches Music and Physical Education at The New School Montessori and gives private drum lessons. Brendan plays drums in several local bands, including Baoku, LZRPNY, Dr.Hue & The Chris Comer Trio.
Lynn is a former marketing executive turned musician with a unique blend of skills, and she wears a couple of different hats at Melodic Connections. As a licensed Kindermusik Educator and Associate of Arts in Music from Thomas More College, she lends her teaching and guitar skills as a teaching assistant in music classes. Lynn also serves as our Communications Manager, drawing upon her 15 years as a marketing strategist, and she is currently pursuing a both a BA in music and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management at Northern Kentucky University.
Bill is a guitarist, producer and audio engineer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended The University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music in 2006 for Jazz Studies. After a semester, he decided to leave CCM and pursue a career as an international touring guitarist. In 2011 he attended Toronto Ontario’s Audio Recording Academy. During his time in Toronto, he worked as a session guitarist and audio engineer with Grammy nominated artist, “The Weekend,” “Serena Ryder,” and “The Pigott Brothers.” He’s excited to be back in Cincinnati and cherishes every moment with his friends at Melodic Connections.
Jenny McCloy, Board President
Jenny has over 20 years of experience as an advocate for a child with special needs. She is a mother of four, and has a degree in speech/language pathology.
Martha Ostendarp, Director
Martha is retired from her position as Early Matters Coordinator at Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, and she is the grandmother of a child with Down Syndrome.
Michael Knab, Treasurer
Michael is banking center manager with Bank at First. He has seven years of experience in banking, four of the seven in small business banking. He is knowledgeable about how to run a business including understanding business returns. He is a graduate of BOARDway Bound, a coaching program provided by ArtsWave.
Megan Duffie, Director
Megan is coordinator of corporate giving at Macy’s Inc. She is a graduate of BOARDway Bound, a coaching program provided by ArtsWave.
Nanciann Moschner, Director
Nanciann serves as territory manager at Doskocil Manufacturing d/b/a Petmate. She was formerly senior sales representative at Cumulus Media and is experienced in sales and multimedia communications and marketing campaigns. She is a graduate of BOARDway Bound, a coaching program provided by ArtsWave.
Ramzi Nuseibeh, Secretary
Ramzi is a small business owner, member and current president of a service-oriented organization in Lawrenceburg, IN, and an experienced fundraising event planner.
Del Weldon, Director
Del is a trial attorney with Zerbe Garner Miller & Blondell, and is experienced in civil litigation, business formation and transactions.
Sue Antczak, Director, Chair of Finance, Non-voting Member
Sue is a Certified Public Accountant with Integrity Accounting Solutions.