* Kathy Erickson *
* Nalini Bissoon * Aya Robertson *
Owner & Director of 'The Music Box'
Piano & Cello
Kathy Erickson, originally from Cheshire, England, has been teaching music to children and adults for over 25 years. She began playing the cello and piano at the age of nine and studied at the Royal College of Music in London, England. While at the college Kathy performed in many concerts, including concerts with John Williams and Placido Domingo and for Prince Charles & the late Princess Diana.
While living in London, Kathy taught music at a private school in South Kensington for four years and also taught private instrumental lessons there and at several other schools.
After moving to Canada, Kathy owned and directed her own music school in Nanaimo BC for fifteen years. The school brought music to over 160 children per week through private lessons in piano, voice, strings, guitar, choir and musical theatre and through the Music 'n' More Preschool Music Programs for children aged 12 months - 6 years (written by Kathy Stacey).
In addition, Kathy provided music lessons as a part of the rehabilitation program for brain-injured adults through Bill's Place Support Services as well as music therapy with children with autism and for visually impaired children with cerebral palsy, through the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health.
While living in Nanaimo she was the assistant principal cellist in the Vancouver Island Symphony orchestra for nine years and was also the Education Consultant with the VI Symphony for 5 years, responsible for compiling the educational materials for the schools for the Children's Education Concert Series.
In a more intimate setting, also in 1999, Kathy was hired to perform at the birthday party of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Kathy was also the cellist hired to perform in the stage production of "Lies & Legends - A tribute to Harry Chapin" at the Belfry Theatre, Victoria BC during the Summer of 2000.
From 2000 - 2008 Kathy has been on the teaching faculty of the Celtic Performing Arts annual Celtic Festival 'Celtfest', teaching Celtic cello to musicians from across North America and beyond.
Kathy, also a mother of four children, now resides in Victoria, BC. She still plays professionally as a session musician, in the cello and guitar duo 'Ten Strings & a Bow', and as a soloist. Kathy's cello work has graced a great many albums.
Kathy has been a Primary music specialist and instrumental teacher at Christ Church Cathedral School since 2008 and is the Choir Director for the Primary Choir. Kathy believes in continuous education and is constantly updating her skills as a teacher. She regularly attends and participates in workshops & master classes and takes advantage of the many professional development opportunities available to teachers in Canada. Through 'The Music Box' Kathy has successfully guided students through festivals, exams, and performances.
Voice & Piano
Nalini Bissoon has been performing and teaching music for over ten years. She studied voice from the age of nine while performing in the Viva Choir, the Greater Victoria Youth Choir and the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival. She has participated in numerous voice recitals, master classes and workshops throughout the city including the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Vocal Oratorio Academy (2012). Expanding on her interest in other genres of music, Nalini began studying Jazz piano in 2005 and founded and directed her own folk fusion band in 2011.
Between 2003 and 2006 Nalini volunteered at George Jay Elementary School teaching singing and music theory. Following this, Nalini began her post-secondary studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music graduating in 2009 with a Diploma in Music (Classical Voice) and an AVCM in teaching. In 2010 and 2011, she participated in the Katimavik National Youth Volunteer Program working as a music teacher and choral director at Duncan J. Schoular School in Smiths Falls, Ontario. This rewarding experience further fostered her passion for teaching music to young children and upon returning to Victoria, she volunteered at the Fernwood Community Centre as a music facilitator, providing interactive musical games for pre and school aged children and their parents.
In June 2014, Nalini received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria where she majored in Classical Voice and minored in Composition. In addition to having her own works performed, she has premiered those of fellow UVic composers including Justin Boechler’s opera “Ithaca,” (2012). She has been the soloist for the UVic Convocation Ceremonies since April 2013.
Nalini is thrilled to share her diverse range of knowledge, experience and love of music with her students at the Music Box.
Antonia WhelanPiano, Sax, Trombone
Antonia Whelan, originally from Newfoundland, graduated from Carbonear Collegiate with honours and an entrance scholarship to post-secondary. Antonia teaches piano at The Music Box. In addition to teaching piano Antonia is also able to tutor band students in sax and trombone. Antonia has been studying piano for 15 years and has completed RCM Grade 10. Antonia has also played saxophone for 8 years and trombone for 3 years. She has been very active as piano accompanist, having accompanied many school bands, choirs and soloists for the past 6 years. She was also a member of the MUN youth chamber orchestra for 3 years.