Sound Connections®

Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach


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The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

2021 Music Therapy Clinic
Private sessions to support the continuation of Sound Connections at 6 schools in St. Johns County.
To pay for your private music therapy session, register HERE.

Sound Connections® Music Therapy Clinic provides music therapy to children of all ages. For a reasonable fee, children and teens are able to work 1:1 with a board-certified music therapist to maximize their potential through engaging music experiences. Samantha Hassold, MT-BC, our clinic therapist, also provides adapted piano and ukulele to increase confidence and build musical skill in a fun and supportive environment. We are also able to provide documentation for the Gardiner Scholarship.

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach


Hand Made Wind Chimes for Sound Connections® available in person and at 904-280-0614 x 1206!

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach


Since 2006, The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach has been the leader in nonprofit agencies by starting the first music therapy program on the First Coast in the public schools. Sound Connections® started as a small pilot program at Cunningham Creek Elementary school in 2006, when Minda Gordon, MT-BC, volunteered at the school to provide music for children in the ESE classrooms. The principal, Betsy Wierda, and teachers witnessed the potential of music therapy to help children learn and grow and decided to seek a partner to provide music therapy for their students. A formal partnership between Cunningham Creek Elementary and CCPVB was formed. CCPVB secured pilot funding from The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts to start the program, which was initially for 10 hours per week. The program has grown to two therapists serving in five different St. Johns County Schools working with over 300 children with special needs. Thankfully, The Woodcock Foundation has continued to be a major funding source throughout the years. Many new donors such as the Persbacker-Wyman Family Foundation, the DuBow Family Foundation, and The United Way of St. Johns County have joined our cause and allowed the program to grow.

Our first major growth occurred in 2015 when Jessica Richardson, who had been serving at Cunningham Creek Elementary as Assistant Principal, was named principal of Ocean Palms Elementary. Her firsthand experience with the music therapy program led her to seek funding to start a program at Ocean Palms. The Persbacker-Wyman Family Foundation stepped in to fund music therapy in the beaches elementary schools, including Ocean Palms, Ponte Vedra Palm Valley, and Valley Ridge Academy. Due to this growth, the program formally changed its name to Sound Connections, to not only reflect the connections students make in music therapy, but also the connection that CCPVB is making to the community through music therapy.

The 2019-2020 school year marks another milestone in growth and connection to the community for Sound Connections®. Due to the generosity of The United Way of St. Johns County and the St. Augustine Cultural Council State of the Arts Grant, we are able to provide music therapy services to Webster Elementary School in St. Augustine. We are continuing to seek funding to grow this new program from five hours per week to fulltime services at this school.

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra has been successful in providing music therapy through the Sound Connections® program for thirteen years because of the generosity of donors and grants. Each year, the Center must raise a minimum of $100,000 to support two therapists, supplies, and operating expenses. This year, in order to fully staff our new school, we will need to raise $150,000. We need your help! Please contact Donna Guzzo, Executive Director, or Minda Gordon, MT-BC, Sound Connections®Coordinator to learn more about how you can help.

Donate Now!

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

What is Music Therapy?

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” In our program, our board-certified therapists formally evaluate each student's needs and write specific music therapy goals that reflect the student’s IEP. Students are seen in classroom groups, small groups, and in individual sessions where the therapists use evidence-based interventions to address the academic, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical goals of the students. Our 300-plus students are typically seen in music therapy 2-3 times per week. During the 2018-2019 school year, 100% of the students met at least one of their goals, 98% met three or more goals, and 94% met all but one goal.

Apply to volunteer with Sound Connections® here!

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach music therapy programs are sponsored by:

Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc
The Lazzara Family Foundation
The DuBow Family Foundation
The Persbacker-Wyman Family Foundation
The Borkowski Family Foundation
The PV Rotary Foundation
The Red Coats Foundation
The United Way of St. Johns County
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
Advanced Disposal
The Deborah and Anthony Castor Foundation


3972 3rd Street South
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Phone: (904) 280-0614


Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday
10:00am - 4:00pm

(After Hour Appointments Available)


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Cultural Center At Ponte Vedra Beach
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Phone: (904) 280-0614

Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
(After Hour Appointments Available)

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The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with tax ID #59-3238148

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