Teachers

AIMING HIGH, MOVING FORWARD…

The primary aim of the initial recruitment drive, in 2018, before the school opened, was to identify teachers with a high level of expert knowledge, pedagogical expertise and passion for their subject, whether it be Maths, Science, History, Music Theory, Music History, Composition, English, French, German etc. 

The teachers who joined our team have now been working with us for five years, showing an extraordinary level of commitment to the global aim of the school: to provide a dual academic and musical education of the highest quality. This commitment can be seen through the highly individual attention students receive, the pastoral care that is part of our teachers’ approach, their understanding of the particular challenges each student is facing, and the concrete support they offer students by, for example, being present at their concerts. This special bond created between students and teachers plays a key role in enabling students to flourish and succeed in their academic studies and as well-rounded human beings. 

Our Teachers & Staff

Senior Management

STEFFI PETCH​

Steffi Petch

Academic Director
English Literature and Psychology teacher

After completing a Master’s degree in Modern Languages at Oxford University, Steffi spent a couple of years working in business in London before moving to Belgium where she has pursued a career in education. 12 years teaching and researching in the English Linguistics Department of the Catholic University of Louvain were followed by 15 years teaching and running the English department in an International School. She has been with Music Mundi School since its foundation and loves her varied and challenging role with the school and the opportunity to be surrounded by remarkable young people and music on a daily basis.

Harriet Gibson

Academic Advisor

Harriet was born in London and studied for her first degree, in English & Educational Psychology, at London University. After teaching briefly in London she moved to Belgium 40 years ago. In her late 40’s, she gained an MA in Education as well as a diploma in Special Needs. She spent 25 years running the English department at Ecole Internationale Le Verseau, taking a year out in 2005 to run a charity devoted to helping children with learning difficulties find appropriate help and back up in Belgium. She retired from Le Verseau some years ago but couldn’t stay away from the field of education and has been working with Musica Mundi School since its foundation.

Staff members:

Naguissa Bostaille

Biology, Chemistry and Psychology teacher

Naguissa obtained her PhD in neurovascular development in 2017 and after a short academic career that lead to publications in several journals including Science, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal.

She decided to change her career because she wanted to share her knowledge with the new generation, our future so decided to obtain a teaching degree. She joined Musica Mundi School when it opened in 2018 and has taught Biology, Chemistry and Psychology at the school ever since. She has also had some experience in teaching Biology in a number of Belgian schools and in eCatalyse (asbl), which helps students preparing for the entrance examination in med school.

Teaching is her new passion, surprising and fulfilling. She works constantly on finding new ways of imparting scientific knowledge in an active learning setting and helping her students to reach their academic goals. She loves working with young people, which creates new challenges that in turn help her to grow as a person.

KATE MORRISON​

Kate Morrison

History & Global Perspectives teacher

Kate grew up in Canada, New Zealand and Scotland and has lived in Luxembourg and Belgium for the last 15 years. She has a PGCE in Secondary History from Oxford University, an honours degree in Modern History from St Andrews University, and an MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from Essex University. Kate has taught the Cambridge curriculum in History, Global Perspectives and English for many years, as well as teaching EAL and Drama, and has worked in school leadership. She has been at MMS since its foundation. She has also worked in the non-profit sector and co-founded a Belgian non-profit organisation that promotes the integration of all children in society, particularly in education. In her spare time Kate enjoys yoga, hiking, gardening, writing and time with family.

PAUL ANTHONY MOTWANI​

Paul Anthony Motwani

Maths teacher

Paul was the World Under-17 Chess Champion, and the youngest-ever Scottish Chess Champion, at age 16 in 1978. He later became Scotland’s first-ever International Grandmaster, and also wrote and published five chess books. ‘Mr. Mo’ is now even happier to be a Christian family man and the Mathematics teacher at Musica Mundi School, Waterloo. A Maths classroom is like a second home to him because he has been practising daily and teaching Maths for most of his life. His keen, puzzle-loving students could spot and remember that oh memory plus and employs humor are anagrams of Mr. Mo helps you! His favourite anagram is: I teach at MMS = Mathematics! Paul was delighted to win the 2022 British Senior Chess Championship, and he shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for ‘The Royal Game’ in the school’s Chess Club, where students can enjoy playing him and each other. Can friends challenge Paul simultaneously? Of course: 3 is his absolute favourite number! Everyone is welcomed warmly, whether they have already played before or are just beginning a fresh adventure 😊

CHRISTINE VAN ESCH​

Christine Van Esch

French Teacher

Christine has a Master’s degree in modern languages and literature from the Catholic University of Louvain. She spent 12 years working for an international company in the Education and Sales departments. After that, she worked as a language teacher in a Flemish secondary school for 10 years. At the same time, she started her own small language school where she organizes French classes and workshops, mainly for teenagers and adults. She has been working at Musica Mundi School since the first year of its creation.

Christine is a mother of 3 boys, sings in a choir and enjoys reading, walking and playing badminton.

SVETLANA KOCHENOVA​

Svetlana Kochenova

Geography teacher

Svetlana has a Master’s degree in Physics from the Department of Physics, Moscow State University, Russia, and a PhD degree in satellite remote sensing from the Department of Geography, Boston University, USA. For more than 15 years she worked in the field of satellite measurements at different scientific establishments in Belgium and in the United States. Her main duties included development and modification of computer programs used to extract atmospheric data from Earth observation satellites. Teaching has always been part of her scientific activities.

Emile DaEMS

Music theory and Music History teacher

Violinist Emile Daems discovered his passion for music as a child, when at the age of six he took his first violin lessons at the music academy in Anderlecht. In 2012, this talented young musician was admitted to Léonid Kerbel’s class at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. It was there that he also studied Musical Theory and Writing from 2013 until 2018, graduating summa cum laude. He is currently studying composition with the composer Annelies Van Parys. Emile’s passion is chamber music. He has already taken several masterclasses with famous teachers such as Walter Grimmer, Dejan Bogdanovic, Miriam Fried, Menahem Pressler... Emile regularly performs with his piano trio FCM. He also receives valuable support from the Robus Foundation. For several years running, Emile has taken part in the Musica Mundi workshops and festival as a young talented musician. This enabled him to develop his experience in chamber music and work with some outstanding artists such as Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, etc.

JENS VAN STEERTEGHEM

Science teacher

Jens studied at the university of Leuven, Belgium, where he received Master's degrees in Biochemistry and Philosophy, the latter with a focus on the philosophy of science and the philosophy of physics. After spending some years in the EU bubble, he became a maths tutor and science teacher. In his free time, he enjoys deepening his knowledge of mathematics, science, and philosophy.

DAVID BALTUCH​

David Baltuch

Music history and music literature teacher

David prepares the Musica Mundi School students for their CAMBRIDGE IGCSE and AS LEVEL Listening Exam. This includes notions of music theory, music history and world music. David taught piano, harmony and music analysis in the Belgian musical system for fifteen years, and was the Director of the Music Academy in Farciennes for twenty-three years.

He also teaches History of Music for sponsors and supporters of the school. These classes take place 5-6 times a year.

David is a pianist, conductor and composer. He studied in Belgium, France and the UK. He got a PhD from Birmingham Conservatory on a thesis about orchestral conducting. His eclectic background leads him to perform works from Baroque to contemporary music, jazz and avant-garde. David has performed in several European countries, the USA and Israel.

JAN VAN LANDEGHEM​

Jan Van Landeghem

Composition teacher

Jan Van Landeghem is both a composer and an organ, harpsichord and piano player. He was a professor at Brussels Royal Conservatory and Director of Bornem Music Academy. He has composed more than 300 works, won several national and international composition-awards, and performed worldwide as a solo player and in chamber music formations.

He was awarded a PhD in Arts from the VUB and KCBrussels. www.duolandini.be

DIRK DE NEF​

Dirk De Nef

Music theory, history and composition teacher

Dirk De Nef was born in 1957 in Ghent. As a boy he sang in a choir and played the guitar. Only when he was fifteen he started the solfège course at the Conservatory of Mechelen. He received first prizes in solfège, harmony, choral conducting and music history at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp. At the Royal Conservatory in Brussels he received first prizes in counterpoint and fugue with Rafaël D’Haene, composition with André Laporte and higher music analysis with Frans Geysen.

Rik Ghesquière

Conductor

Conductor Rik Ghesquière is a versatile artist who is known as a stimulating and sensitive conductor. He builds on his extensive experience as a musician in the “Brussels Philharmonic”. This allows him to present an impressive repertoire from classical to contemporary. He studied orchestral conducting with Lucas Vis, Frank Shipway and Norbert Nozy at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Internationally he has collaborated with the “Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Windworx Orchestra” (South Africa), the opera company “Stichting Klein Podium” (Netherlands), the “Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha” (Germany) and the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (Thailand). In 2018 he conducted in Nashville, United States. Rik Ghesquière is also the artistic director of the professional “ORFEO” orchestra and permanent conductor of the “Symfonieorkest De Lier”, the “Vlaams-Brabants Symfonie Orkest” chief-conductor of the “Brussels Young Philharmonic” from 2018 till the end of 2022. In 2019 Rik was appointed as “Extraordinary Associate Professor of Music” at Stellenbosch University and in September 2022 he became the first ever Belgian to conduct the renowned “Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra” in South Africa.

HELEN COYNE-WINCOTT​

Helen Coyne-Wincott

English teacher

Helen studied Language and Linguistic Science at the Universities of York (UK) and Toulouse (France). An unusual career path led her to become an International Tax Consultant for several years before she moved with her family to Belgium in 2005. She then qualified with the UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists and spent ten years working as a freelance translator and teacher of English to adults. More recently, Helen has obtained a Specialised Masters from the University of Mons in the teaching and learning of languages. Music is also an important feature of Helen’s life; she plays the flute in a number of ensembles in and around Brussels and sings in a close harmony trio.

Julia Weisbrich

German teacher

Julia has an MA in from the University of Bremen where she specialised in English & Arts in secondary education. Following her MA from University of Bremen in English, Arts and Pedagogy, Julia then studied costume design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. She is a qualified teacher and works as a teacher and costume designer spending her time between Berlin and Brussels. Julia has three daughters.

Julietta Kocharova

Voice coaching

Soprano Julietta Kocharova began her musical education at the age of 4 with violin and piano. At the age of 16 she was admitted as the youngest student ever for “Academic singing” discipline to the Saratov State Conservatory in Russia. After graduating with high distinction Julietta was immediately engaged by the Saratov Opera and Ballet House. So, at the age of 21 she became the leading soloist and made her debut on opera stage with the role of Adelie from the Kalman operetta “Die Fledermaus”. Julietta has sung many main characters in the Saratov Opera and Ballet House repertoire for her type of voice. She has also actively collaborated with other opera houses. She is a winner of a number of international singing competitions. Julietta has always had an incredible love for jazz, operetta, and chamber music.With great success, Julietta has toured in such countries as China, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Germany, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Montenegro, etc... Julietta continued her education and acquired a Master in Voice and Postgraduate degree in Chamber Music at the Brussels Royal Conservatory, and her PhD at Sholokhov Moscow State University for Humanities with high distinction. She has learned from great musicians such as Dinah Bryant, Cheryl Studer, Daniel Blumenthal, Christoph Pregardien, Anna Samuil, Julius Drake, and many others. In 2014 she founded and became president of the Belgian musical association "Triomphe de l’Art", asbl. Since 2020 she’s been part of the Musica Mundi School staff for Voice coaching.

Héloïse Stevins

Sport teacher

Héloïse is an experienced physiotherapist and passionate about rugby, physical preparation and well being. She has spent six years working with elderly people and is a high level player in the Belgian rugby seven national team. This has given her valuable experience with high level sport, recovery, nutrition and well-being, and a good knowledge of strength work via weightlifting.

Héloïse is also experienced as a sports physiotherapist and trainer in group gym classes. At the ULB she obtained her Master diploma of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, specializing in chronic and recurrent muscle and tendon rehabilitation.

VINCENT WILLIOT

Administration, Infrastructure & Accounting Officer

Vincent was born in Brussels and moved to Waterloo with his family at the age of 7.

After completing a Master in Business and Finance at the Institut Catholique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales he worked for an American Corporation for 35 years, where he held various Senior Management positions in Belgium and several European countries.

Looking for new experiences and challenges, he recently joined the school where he is bringing his finance and accounting expertise.

It took him only a few days to fall in love with the wonderful project of Musica Mundi School! Giving support to young people on their learning journey has always been one of his goals in life.

Vincent is married and has 3 grown-up boys. He is passionate about Comic Strips and his newly born grandson.

Jan Vanderwegen

IT Manager

Jan Vanderwegen obtained his violin diploma in Antwerp in the class of Valère Lenaerts, his viola diploma in Brussels in the class of Ervin Schiffer and continued his viola studies with Emannuel Vardi in New York.

He was principal viola in the Nieuw Vlaams Symfonieorkest and in Collegium Instrumentale Brugense. From 1993 until 2002 he was a member of the Spectra Ensemble for contemporary Music.

From 1994-1999 he participated in the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (U.S.A.) as a teacher, soloist and chamber music player.

In 2000, he became a member of the Musica Mundi Festival faculty.

Meanwhile he also developed his ICT skills and in 2002 he started as ICT manager in Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussels where he later also was the head of the student administration and student counsellor, until 2018 when he joined the Musica Mundi School as ICT manager.

Christophe Gillain

Visual Communication

Christophe has a degree in marketing and communication. In 2009, after 17 years as a graphic designer and creative director in different communication agencies, he founded his own company, Studio89. Since 1998, when he met Hagit and Leonid Kerbel, International Musica Mundi Course and Festival founders, he started collaborating with them to assist with Festival communications and promotion. As this collaboration became stronger friendship and business became intertwined, and in 2017 Christophe became part of the Musica Mundi School project and took its communication under his wing

Jacqueline Hasson Arsin

Counselor

Jacqueline Hasson Arsin was born and lived in Congo ( RDC) for 32 years before moving to Belgium. She was licensed in Clinical Psychology from the ULB in 1975. As a personal development therapist she has over 20 years experience in counselling, breath work and meditation. She’s a mother of three children and proud grandmother. Jacqueline is very happy to join the Musica Mundi team.

PETER DE VLEESCHHOUWER​

Peter De Vleeschhouwer

Housefather

Peter was born in St.-Niklaas in a musical family. He studied music (trumpet) at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Ghent. After playing as a freelance musician for many years, he was able to expand his experience by combining his musicianship with the function of assistant stage manager at the Belgian National Orchestra in 1998 until recently. Looking for a new challenge, he applied for the role of housefather at the Musica Mundi School. He wants to make good use of all his expertise in the musical world, in order to take care of the students, and to support the school in every possible way.

ANNABEL MANTILLA ADOLFO​

Annabel Mantilla Adolfo

Housemother

Annabel was born in the Philippines, specifically in Southern Leyte. She came from a humble and loving family, completed a degree at University of Cebu and then took up a Bachelor of Science Major in a Junior Secretarial Course in 1991. She has been living in Belgium for 16 years now, joining the Musica Mundi Course and Festival in February 2006 as a staff member. She became House Mother of the newly founded Musica Mundi School in 2018. She is looking forward to many more fruitful and beautiful years ahead with Musica Mundi.

Chanoine Laetitia

Chef

Laetitia has been working as a chef at Musica Mundi School for just over four years. She completed studies in Hotel Management and worked for five years in a variety of restaurants in Braine l’Alleud and Waterloo. After 9 years working for one of the big healthy-eating food chains, she decided to go back to being a chef, coming to Musica Mundi where she takes great pleasure in providing nourishing and interesting food for the students. She is in love with her new job and constantly looking for new culinary ideas.

Nathalie LUCAS

Cook

Nathalie Lucas studied hotel management at the Ceria in anderlecht. She worked at the clinic of Doctor Derscheid as a dietician and nutritionist for 15 years and then joined Clairie Catering and Mr. Patrick Vandenbergh at the Berlaymont School in Waterloo as a chef cook . Since Januray 2023 she is serving as chef cook at the Musica Mundi School in Waterloo.