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Meet the Teachers

Joyful Creative Arts & Bee Bop Buddies Children's Programs

Our teachers offer exceptional instruction in the arts & strive for the best to reach student's goals by building foundations in music, art, & the expressive arts while having fun!

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Image by Tyler Clemmensen





Image by Anna Kolosyuk



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Alexis Arrazcaeta

Alexis Arrazcaeta enjoys the challenges of finding creative ways to actively engage students in new learning explorations through the use of art, music, dance, and movement.  Combining her experience with Art and Music Therapy in Early Childhood Education, Alexis believes that hands-on learning and creating experiences with different art modalities improves communication skills, increases healthy creative expression, and inspires lifelong learning. 


Alexis earned her Masters in Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida and is a certified Artist in Residence. Her undergraduate studies at the ​University of Tampa include Psychology, Art Therapy, and Fine Arts.   


Alexis is an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa teaching arts in health and an Artist in Residence at St Joseph's Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida creating art and playing music for pediatric oncology patients.  Alexis offers Expressive Arts, Adaptive Art Lessons, Arts Education Classes, & Art Events. 

Melissa Cercone

Melissa has been working with children for over 10 years and has a passion for helping others learn through creativity.   Melissa graduated with her BSW from the University of South Florida and is presently pursuing her Masters in Social Work as well as practicing sign language as a second language. ​​


Melissa is the Community Outreach Service Coordinator at the Preschool for Creative Learning on USF campus where she able to help families connect with the right resources in education.   Melissa grew up in a musical family, and music has been a primary part of her life. Whether it be performing in musical events or gigs with her dad at local restaurants, music has always been her favorite form of expression. 

Melissa offers live Musical Special Events, Arts Education classes, Expressive Arts, and private Adaptive Music & Art Lessons.

​​She is a specialized trained arts instructor for individual and small group sessions with children and adults of all abilities and uses guitar, sign language, keyboard, and percussive instruments with a focus on music and the arts. 

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Since starting piano lessons as a child, Adaline has fostered a passion to not only practice and perform, but to share that love of music with others.  As a teacher, her goal is to advocate for each student's success, which involves a personalized, creative curriculum to allow each student to reach their musical goals.  Adaline is a Florida Certified Teacher & earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida, where she served as the pianist for the USF Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble & presently the Tarpon Springs Middle School Orchestra Director.

In 2021, Adaline was invited to Grand Rapids, Michigan to participate in the National Intercollegiate Band.  Adaline's musical training also includes solo repertoire with emphasis in diverse composers and contemporary compositions, and progressive music education techniques such as songwriting and music production.

Adaline is also a music education advocate and is a member of the Florida Music Education Association Government Relations Committee, which seeks to make music accessible to all students. Adaline offers beginner piano lessons and adaptive lessons for all ages and abilities.  

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Amanda Cardwell


Amanda Cardwell has been a dedicated musician since picking up the flute over 10 years ago and has been a dedicated artist since she could hold a pencil. Art and music have always been a foundation for Amanda, and she loves sharing the creative experience with her students.  


She started her college career in Music Education, learning many instruments and techniques to help students express themselves through music and has earned a bachelor's degree in Music Studies from USF. Amanda studied flute intensively and would often serve as principal chair in ensemble. Amanda learned how to use music to express emotions that were otherwise difficult to convey and strives to equip every student with that same creative toolbox to cope with whatever they may be experiencing. She is mainly self-taught with art but has taken vigorous art courses in high school such as AP Art and advanced ceramics. Amanda has extensive training in children with special needs and is so excited to be part of the wonderful group of compassionate educators at Joyful Creative Arts. 


Amanda offers adaptive lessons for students of any age range on flute, trumpet, horn, trombone, saxophone, ukulele, and piano, and will often incorporate other art forms such as drawing, painting, and sculpting into lessons with students who enjoy and benefit from it. 

Steven Alvarez

Since starting piano lessons at the age of 5, Steven has not only advanced his passion to practice and perform, but to share his love and understanding of music with others. After moving to the United States from Colombia, Steven joined his middle school band as a trumpet player.  These formative musical experiences have led him to pursue music professionally, and he is currently studying Music Education with an Applied Piano Study at The University of South Florida. He has excelled at playing piano and trumpet in the wind ensemble, symphonic band, marching band, and other ensembles. 


Steven has been part of numerous competitive marching ensembles as a member of Heat Wave Drum and Bugle Corps in 2018 and Horizon Winds from 2019-2020. He has been an active performer with The Boston Crusaders since summer of 2021 and is currently preparing for the competitive winter season as a new member of Infinity Percussion. He has also been involved in local arts conservatories, such as The Patel Conservatory at The Straz Center and The Maria P. Hoffman School of The Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Aside from music, Steven can often be found in tea shops, visiting local museums and botanical gardens, or spending quality time with his peers.


As a teacher, Steven’s goal is to further develop each student's progress via a customized and creative curriculum, allowing each student to reach their own personal musical goals while having fun. Steven offers private piano and trumpet lessons at home or online, teaching students anywhere ranging from beginner to advanced levels.  His outstanding musical prowess coupled with his vast array of professional experiences enables him to cultivate the skills of young musicians and allow their talents to bloom.

Brett Wilkins

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Brett Wilkins has been playing music professionally in the Tampa Bay area since 2016.  He offers a wide range of solo acoustic guitar and vocals always looking to expand his ever-growing set list. His influence ranges from the works of Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, The Beatles, John Mayer, and more! You might recognize Brett from playing in local establishments and markets across Tampa Bay. He has been featured at local festivals and beach resorts showcased as the headliner entertainment.


Brett especially enjoys presenting his talents for local fundraisers to celebrate helping causes he is passionate about to bring awareness and education to highlight the importance of music in our lives for all ages and abilities.  His performances for special needs groups show compassion, generosity, and a passion for sharing his talents with all communities.  


As a musician, Brett feels the most important role of music is to connect with others. He finds it important to never allow yourself to plateau as there is always something new to learn in the world of music.  Brett offers professional instruction in guitar, from learning riffs to increasing your knowledge in a variety of techniques in playing guitar, for all ages and abilities.


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Marley Burwell

Marley began her passion for Spanish since she was a child taking classes to learn and experience the Spanish cultural.  She has developed an enthusiasm for learning the language, as well as facilitating others to develop their skills in understanding Spanish in a creative and fun curriculum.   


Marley took Spanish classes all throughout middle and high school, achieving college level credit and excelling in the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam in high school.  Her level of skill, talent, and knowledge of the language gives her the inspiration to be a creative teacher of not only the language but the culture as well.  

Marley will receive a Bachelors in World Language and Cultures with a concentration in Spanish at the University of South Florida with honors.  She is a member of the Judy Genshaft Honore College and the USF chapter of the Academic Honors Society, Phi Beta Kappa.  Her goal is to travel the world sharing her passion of teaching and opening cultural experiences to help other foster their own passion for Spanish, as well as grow communication skills in a foreign language bringing the world together.  

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