Liz Walters Biography 1996~2012
Liz’s Taiko journey began with Mugenkyo (the UK’s first professional Taiko Group) in 1996, learning also from their Taiko Teacher Masaaki Kurumaya in Japan.
When Mugenkyo moved to Scotland, Liz was invited to tour internationally to teach and perform as a solo artist in France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Albania, Ireland, Hungary, Malaysia, the USA and Japan with established world solo artists Joji Hirota, Pete Lockett and Guo Yue.
In 2001, Liz set up the ‘Tamashii School of Taiko-Do’ for people interested in learning not only about Taiko rhythms but also wishing to experience further insight into the deeper traditions, disciplines and etiquette of the Japanese culture and Japanese Taiko.
Her performance troupe Tamashii (original student members who have been with Liz for over 10 years) have travelled extensively around the UK performing at Theatres, Festivals and public/corporate events. Recent performances include Westminster Abbey (the first time drums have ever been played in the Abbey!), Kizuna Japan and Global Launch Party at the Natural History Museum in London
Liz facilitates fun and energy packed ‘hands on’ workshops for Primary, Secondary and SEN Schools throughout the UK, offering longer term projects; school collaboration events & performances and is currently working on introducing Taiko into the school music curriculum.
She runs regular classes and workshops for the public throughout the year.
Liz teaches regularly in Italy and once a year co-facilitates the annual International Taiko Course in Japan with Masaaki Kurumaya. She also runs the annual AMC’s 5 Day Taiko Summer School in London (previously at Royal Academy of Music in London).
Liz’s personal energy and joy from playing Taiko comes as a result of the heartfelt reaction from audiences and workshop participants.
“Sometimes people come up to me after a show in tears and cannot explain why. This for me is a sure indication that the spirit of Taiko reaches in to a part of us where there are no words, only feeling and pure emotion”.
Martial Arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, Gong Fu, Chi Gung and Aikido have helped to provide the fundamental basics to Liz’s Taiko style and form.
“Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself”
Jan Andrzejewski – Workshop Facilitator
Jan’s Taiko journey began in 2004.
Having retired four year earlier from a lifetime of playing football, he needed to become physically active again. Whilst searching on the internet for information on Tai Chi, he spotted a link for Taiko workshops in the UK which led to a week’s residential Taiko course with Liz Walters.
‘Knowing’ that this is what he would be doing for the rest of his life he travelled continuously from Leicester to Aylesbury, Acton, and High Wycombe as many times as he could, to keep on learning and progressing through Tamashii School of Taiko.
He became a full member of the Performance troupe ‘Tamashii’ in 2008.
Jan travelled to Japan in 2007 and 2011 for the two week intensive International Taiko Course with Kurumaya Sensei and Liz Walters Sensei.
“It was during these visits that I met some wonderful people from many countries all with the same degree of passion for this art. I’m so fortunate to have picked a Sensei in the UK who teaches TaikoDo (the ‘Way of Taiko’) and the Hokuriku style which for me is so challenging yet so rewarding.
I always thought that I would end up teaching football to youngsters but todays game has lost that ‘team spirit’, so helping to teach Taiko to youngsters as a school facilatator has shown me a path and given me real meaning in life. I respect how much Taiko as an activity really brings individuals together as a ‘happy’ group, this is why I love Taiko.”