At MusicWorks, our innovative and creative staff provides caring and effective support to all of our clients.



Lori O’Leary, MBAExecutive Director

Lori O’Leary brings over three decades of general business experience, strategic planning and the ability to build strong professional relationships to MusicWorks. In 2006, Lori began the process to convert MusicWorks to a nonprofit agency to raise funds for families that could not afford music therapy for their children with challenges. Simultaneously, she worked closely with “Mr. Jerry” to craft presentations to local managed care organizations (MCOs) to secure Medical Assistance funding for children. In 2009, MusicWorks served its first client under MA as a nonparticipating provider. Lori worked tirelessly towards becoming an in-network provider for Magellan Behavioral Health in 2012. MusicWorks is the first music therapy service provider in the country to be credentialed by Magellan.

For the O’Learys, MusicWorks is truly a family created by their entire family. Ms. O’Leary’s proudest moments are working along with her husband since 2002 to supply music therapy services to individuals of all ages, reporting to her son, Patrick, as he leads an ingenious database project for MusicWorks and organizing her daughter, Mariel, and her team of friends to continually volunteer their time to prepare presentation packages, new client folders and represent MusicWorks at community resource fairs.


Jerry O’Leary, MA, MT-BCDirector of Music Therapy

Jerry O’Leary brings his years of music performance experience as a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, theatrical performer / director and music therapist to lead the  clinical team at MusicWorks. Mr. Jerry, as he is known to his clients, is personable, empathetic and a well-respected music therapist. He offers a compassionate ear and creative mind to develop innovative music therapy techniques to help clients from children to adults overcome challenges. At MusicWorks, we look for the “little miracles”, and Mr. Jerry truly believes that “Music Works Wonders”. He shares his passion with the MusicWorks clinicians and staff to offer MusicWorks clients a truly unique, encouraging and “can-do” experience. He shares a personal and deep commitment to help people who face every day cognitive, behavioral, developmental and emotional struggles. Mr. Jerry loves music therapy and all the wonderful benefits that MusicWorks can deliver to everyone.Jerry completed his undergraduate degree in business at St. Joseph’s University and his master’s degree in music therapy at Immaculata University. In January 2023, he became a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has been a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2001.


Brenda Norris, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Brenda Norris has worked part-time for MusicWorks since 2009. She achieved her Board Certification in 1994 and has over two decades of experience as a music therapist. She has worked at the Elwyn Developmental Center with children ages 3-5 primarily on the autism spectrum. Prior to MusicWorks, she worked for 10 years at the Suburban Music School, providing music therapy in a community outreach program to preschoolers and elementary school students in the Chester-Upland School District. Brenda has her Bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Elizabethtown College and also performs as a professional musician with “Celtic Women & Friends.” She sings, plays guitar and piano and teaches both piano and guitar to children.


Marilyn Benvenuto, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Marilyn Benvenuto received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Immaculata University in 2019 and later that year obtained her Board Certification. Marilyn completed her music therapy internship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia working with infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and school aged children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). She currently provides music therapy services to children through teens at MusicWorks in Havertown, on Devereux’s Chester County Campus and to adults and seniors in individual and group sessions throughout Delaware County. Marilyn enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and caring for her cat, Pumpkin.


Vittoria Coleman, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Vittoria Coleman received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy in May 2021 from West Chester University, while taking her music therapy courses at Immaculata University. Vicki completed her music therapy internship at MusicWorks and achieved her Board Certification in 2022. Her past experiences as a music therapy student include her time at Holisticare Hospice in Berwyn, PA, working with those in end-of-life care, and at Recovery Centers of America at Bracebridge Hall, working with adults in addiction recovery. Vicki has a strong musical background in voice, trumpet, guitar, and piano. Vicki works at Overbrook School for the Blind, our Havertown Treatment Center and seniors in the community. Vicki enjoys getting involved in community theater, whether through performance or music directing. Her latest community theater performance was Novice Sister Mary Robert in “Sister Act” for Center Stage Productions. Vicki looks forward to all that she will experience and all the clients she will meet in her career as a music therapist!


Riley Hohenstein, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Riley has been with MusicWorks as a full-time employee since September of 2022. She services a diverse range of clients including individuals in our communities, students at Saint Katherine’s Day School and Overbrook School for the Blind, as well as facilitating sessions at our Havertown treatment center. Riley graduated from Temple University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy then went on to obtain her Board Certification. In 2023, Riley completed training in Ecotherapy with Philadelphia Ecotherapy and incorporates the healing power of nature into therapy sessions. She takes a client-centered, trauma-informed, and multi-modal approach to all music therapy work. Outside of being a music therapist, Riley enjoys taking hikes, making pottery, and spending time with her two cats Beemo and Stevie.


Lorena Zachariades, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Lorena Zachariades has been a full-time music therapist with MusicWorks since July 2023. Lorena graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Education and a minor in Psychology, with violin being her primary instrument and viola as her secondary instrument. She subsequently went back to school and completed the Music Therapy Equivalency program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Lorena also did her music therapy internship at AccentCare Hospice and Palliative Care, at their location in Houston, TX. She achieved her Board Certification in December of 2022. She is now working on her Master’s of Arts degree in Music Therapy at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. At MusicWorks, Lorena conducts music therapy sessions with students at Our Lady of Confidence during the school day, and facilitates small-group music therapy sessions in our Hatboro Treatment Center in the evenings. Prior to joining MusicWorks, Lorena was a music teacher in New Jersey, teaching 3rd / 4th grade general music and strings at Foundation Academies Charter School, 4th through 8th grade orchestra in Wall Township School District, and elementary general music in Hamilton Township School District. In her free time, Lorena enjoys traveling, running 5k races, writing and recording her own music, performing in local orchestras, scrapbooking, and playing Pokémon Go with her husband.


Julie Caswell, MA, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Julie Caswell passed her Board Certification in 2020 and completed her master’s degree in music therapy at Immaculata University in the summer of 2022. She completed her internship at Camilla Hall Nursing Home working with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She currently provides music therapy services to seniors at Kendal At Longwood. For MusicWorks, Julie works with adults and seniors on Thursdays and Saturdays in our Hatboro Treatment Center. Her musical background is in voice, guitar, and piano.


Jesse Appel, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Jesse Appel has been with MusicWorks as a part-time employee since September 2021. He primarily services diverse clients throughout the community. Prior to joining the MusicWorks team, Jesse worked as a music therapist and recreation coordinator in Long Term Care facilities. He graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. He earned his Board Certification in 2017. While in college, Jesse studied classical harp as his principal instrument, and continues to enjoy playing harp in music therapy sessions and for special events. Jesse is currently working on his master’s degree at Temple University. In his off time, Jesse enjoys wildlife photography, baking, playing drums in a local rock band, and taking care of his three cats.


Fiona Connell, MTMusic Therapist

Fiona Connell started with MusicWorks in May 2023 as a music therapy intern, and is continuing her journey as a music therapist. Over her time with MusicWorks, she has worked in the community servicing preschool students all the way through seniors in group homes and adult day programs. Prior to her internship, Fiona completed her undergraduate degree in music therapy with a minor in addiction studies, as well as a focus in voice at West Virginia University. She has a strong love for jazz performance that she enjoys integrating into her practice. In music therapy, Fiona values supporting clients in being their whole, best selves on an individual basis. With her off time, she loves to collaborate musically, spend time in nature, and relax with her adorable dog, Archie.


Jenique Jeffers, MT-BCMusic Therapist

Jenique Jeffers joined the MusicWorks team as a music therapist in June of 2023. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Temple University in July of 2021. She completed her internship at First Impressions Child Care Center in Woodbury, NJ. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked with a wide array of clients, including children with developmental and intellectual disabilities, children who have been rescued from human trafficking in Tijuana, Mexico (virtual sessions), adults with substance use and mental health disorders, and older adults in a geriatric setting. At MusicWorks, Jenique services community group homes during which she plays client-preferred music and provides support. She is a multi-talented instrumentalist who’s primary instrument is trumpet, though she also plays guitar, bass, and drums. She achieved her Board Certification in music therapy in October of 2023. In her free time, she writes, records songs, and plays them live at local venues in the Philadelphia area.


Kerri RickardsAdministrative Assistant

Kerri Rickards is a graduate of West Chester University in 2018 where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in Creative Writing. Prior to joining our team, Kerri worked for the Upper Providence Tax Collector as well as Xactus (Universal Credit Services). At MusicWorks Havertown, Kerri is the first person clients meet as they enter our facility and they are greeted warmly and with a smile. Outside of work, Kerri loves to play drums as a hobby and is an animal lover!


Kathleen MaloneAdministrative Assistant

Kathleen Malone joined MusicWorks Hatboro in the fall of 2023. Her former career was as an Administrative Legal Assistant in downtown Philadelphia before making the decision to stay home and raise a family of five children. Kathleen greets everyone at our Hatboro treatment center with a big, warm smile when they arrive for their music therapy sessions. In her free time, she likes to go to the shore with her husband and children. Kathleen is excited to join the MusicWorks team.


Patrick O’LearyVolunteer Technology Coordinator

Patrick O’Leary was 5 years old when his parents started MusicWorks. He grew to understand those with special needs from a child’s perspective. Patrick became fascinated with the world of computers and at age 14 and provided a much-needed service for MusicWorks by developing the agency’s database. During high school Patrick was our Technology Coordinator. He led teams of Villanova juniors and seniors over 18 months in a project to construct a database on the Salesforce platform to more easily manage client information. Patrick graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a degree in Computer Science in May 2019. Patrick was employed full-time as a Salesforce Developer at CRM Science and now holds the position of a Sr. Salesforce Developer at Higher Echelon. Patrick volunteers his time at MusicWorks. He is responsible for compiling and analyzing client progress data demonstrating viability of music therapy to solicit grant funding and support for MusicWorks.


Mariel O’LearyAdministrative Support

Mariel O’Leary developed firsthand experience with children and adults with challenges. MusicWorks was almost 4 years old when she was born. As an administrative support, she prepares client folders, presentation packages and supports MusicWorks on evenings and weekends at community functions. Mariel checks eligibility of all clients under insurance and fills in at our front desk, when needed. Mariel graduated from Merion Mercy Academy in May 2023 and is currently studying Political Science at St. Joseph’s University. She has always been a true team player at MusicWorks.