Allison Marshall was attracted to the piano as a toddler and began playing the piano at age five. She began accompanying at an early age, first to her vocalist mother and violinist brother, then for a junior church choir as a teen. Later, while at the University of Victoria, she accompanied cello students at the University and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
In l969, as a student of Robin Wood, Allison won the city of Victoria Medallion. Also that year in Calgary she won the Rose Cohen Memorial Scholarship Trophy with a mark of 97 from adjudicator Phyllis Schultz.
In l965 Allison received her ARCT in Performance. In 1973 she completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Victoria, and followed this with graduate studies in Music Education.
Allison’s developing interest in teaching beginning pianists led to extensive research into early childhood education which evolved into her highly successful program Childhood Horizons to Keyboard Musicianship, better known as Folksongs for Little Folks, which are largely based on the methods of Kodaly.
Allison has invented and marketed several music education games : Musical Bingo in three levels : Musical Snakes and Ladders ; Octaves and Glissandi ; and a game of Musical Scrabble. These games are used in her teaching to promote musical concepts, and are enthusiastically received by students and parents alike.
In January 2006 Allison began accompanying the Avalon Singers of Victoria. She is also accompanist to Mary Clarke’s violin students, as well as those of her own studio. Recently Allison has begun working with Clarinetist Larry De la Haye and they have performed together with the Avalon Singers. They also played at the memorial for Dr. Abram Hoffer.
In 2006 Allison began studying Harp with Kathryn Ely who was so impressed with her progress that, only a year later, she encouraged her to start teaching Harp. She now has seven harp students.
Allison is sought after as a pianist and harpist for weddings and other special occasions.
In 1961 Allison graduated as a Registered Nurse from the Calgary General Hospital and practiced for twenty years in Peace River, AB as well as Nanaimo and Victoria, BC.