Lizzie is a musician and linguist based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She currently works as a multi-instrumentalist, translator, editor and teacher in the surrounding areas and remotely.
Lizzie’s diverse portfolio of work stems from her eclectic interests and broad fields of study. A life-long musician, picking up the recorder and piano aged seven, Lizzie went on to play oboe, saxophone and clarinet in school, area and county level. In addition to her preoccupation with music, Lizzie grew increasingly interested in Japan as a teenager and set her mind to learning more about the country at university. As part of her study, she lived in rural Akita for a year where she learned traditional arts such as tea ceremony, ikebana, calligraphy, kendo and yosakoi. She graduated with a 2:1 in Japanese Studies, and went on to work at the Embassy of Japan in the UK for two years. Here, she made great use of her Japanese language skills and displayed a flair for translating and writing formal documents, revelling in both the research and presentation elements of the role.
Lizzie returned to study at Master’s level in 2019 to further develop herself as a musician. She studied Ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield, where she learned how to understand and perform a wide range of musical styles including Karnatic and Hawaiian music, and developed further her specialism in Japanese-style music. Combined with her years of performance experience, Lizzie set about developing her teaching practice by training as a Primary School Teacher. She worked in primary schools for two years teaching whole-class subjects across the curriculum before returning to teaching extra-curricular subjects through tutoring, clubs and workshops. Now, Lizzie prides herself in teaching music through instruments, encouraging her students to find their own musical identity through experiencing musical cultures from around the world and spreading the joy of creating their own music.
Lizzie describes herself as a “musical native” – someone who has progressed musically through unconventional routes as a performer. She obtained Grade 8 Saxophone at fifteen and DipABRSM Performance Oboe at eighteen, learning saxophone and clarinet with Pete Effamy and oboe with Lucinda Willits in Portsmouth and Christine Swain in Sheffield. Lizzie has a hobby of collecting musical instruments and indulges in teaching herself those that she has collected, including the flute, guitar and whistle. By her early twenties, Lizzie had played at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms (2009), completed tours with her ensembles in South Africa (PanJazz Project / South Africa Jazz Project, 2008 & 2010), Provence (Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, 2010) and Amsterdam (Sheffield University Wind Orchestra, 2016), and performed with jazz greats Abram Wilson and Soweto Kinch with the Southampton University Progression Ensemble and Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra. Lizzie specialises in ensemble work and has played and sung with over twenty ensembles since 2002, including trad jazz bands, saxophone quartets, choirs, and symphony orchestras. As a multi-instrumentalist she has particularly enjoyed working with pit bands as a reed musician for musicals including The Producers (Fareham College, 2012) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (RicNic Winchester, 2012). During lockdown, Lizzie performed remotely with Japanese superstar Yoko Kanno’s The Seatbelts (https://tinyurl.com/4yzfv77t, 2020) and the Bland Big Band (2020), and began to arrange music from anime and videogames for sharing on social media. She now performs with the Phoenix Concert Band and online under the alias Digi-rocker, always keen to share her musical talent with others.