Teacher Profile: Louisa Gilmour

photo of Louisa Gilmour saxophone and piano teacher at Maxx Music

Meet Louisa Gilmour

Sax and Piano teacher

 

At Maxx Music we pride ourselves on finding only the best music teachers.  When you meet Louisa, we think you’ll agree that she is a great addition to our team.

Louisa has been playing the saxophone for 13 years and the piano for 10 years. She is an experienced performer both as an ensemble member and as a solo artist.  Highlights include performing at Sydney Opera House as part of the State Wind Band and she toured Europe with the West of the Divide Wind Ensemble.

Louisa has now set her sights on becoming a film composer and is currently studying a BA Arts majoring in Screen Sound with Music at Macquarie University.  She is passionate about trying to redress the under representation of women in the screen music industry.

As she discusses as part of her interview, Louisa has chosen to teach music at Maxx Music as a way for her to give back, hoping to inspire young musicians to learn and love music as much as she does.  Find out more about why Louisa teaches music, along with how to tackle a long road trip, in our short interview.

Are you or have you ever been part of a band, orchestra or a solo performer?

Since I began playing, I have been in local bands in my hometown, as well as performing solo on a regular basis. This eventually led to me becoming a member of the State Wind Band, where we performed in the Opera House, and a member of the West of The Divide Wind Ensemble which toured Europe multiple times. I have also performed solo in multiple eisteddfods, saxophone competitions, at festivals and local events.

Why did you decide to teach music?

Music has opened a lot of avenues and opportunities for me, and I attribute many of my achievements to my teachers along the way. They have been major role models for me, not only musically, but also in life and I would love to be that person for many new students and help them fall in love with music like I did.

How has your upbringing influenced your music style?

I come from a small country town in Rural NSW, so community was a big influence in me not only learning instruments for myself, but also to give back to the people that have supported me. I started playing piano when I was 10 years old and immediately fell in love with playing and performing. My piano teacher, and still close friend, made sure to introduce me to many pieces of varying genres and styles. I would come home and perform pieces varying from jazz, to country, to pop to rock and roll, and my parents would often through requests at me and I would try my best to fumble out classic songs from their heyday. This was the pipeline to the saxophone for me, as many of the songs from my parents’ genre would have epic saxophone solos.

When I picked up the saxophone, I immediately took to it and fell in love with its gorgeous tone and versatility instantly. I started joining concert, jazz, and rock bands, and would travel to perform in wind ensembles. This meant that I was playing a little bit of everything. I really loved the saxophone in context of the concert band. This led to me pursuing a degree at Macquarie University in film and music with future plans to become a film composer and write scores which pay tribute to the big band pieces that I was raised on.

What book or film has profoundly affected your perspective on music?

The 2013 film, The Secret Life of Walter directed by Ben Stiller changed my life! And I attribute my response to it majorly to the choice of soundtrack and score. I remember when it first came out, my family took me multiple times to see it in our cramped tiny cinema in my hometown, and still to this day I get goosebumps every time I nostalgically watch it.

For starters, the majority of the score and end title tracks are written, produced, and performed by Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist Jose Gonzalez. He approaches music with a tenderness that I had never really witnessed before, and it absolutely stuck with me. Not a project goes by when I don’t include a sub conscious homage to Jose, whether it be a soft guitar pattern operating as the heartbeat of the piece, or a haunting whistle that feels both like a warm hug and a cold breeze. Secret Life of Walter Mitty has introduced me to one of my favourite artists, and I had the pleasure of witnessing his performance at the Sydney Opera House last year, continuing to transcend physical and temporal boundaries.

Carrying on from this, the remainder of the music in Walter Mitty consists of other Indie bands and personal favourites including, Of Monsters and Men and Rogue Wave which add to the beautifully nostalgic landscape of the film. It also features many covers of classics including Space Oddity performed by Kristen Wiig and Escape (the Pina Colada Song) performed by Jack Johnson. These additions helped me in realising that music is fun… and holds so many potential meanings.

It is safe to say, that no matter how many times I rewatch this film, I am always finding new meanings between the lines and behind the musical representations. It is a must watch!!

What’s your favourite road trip soundtrack?

My family lives on a farm on the Queensland border, so every time I travel home… I’m in for a nine-hour journey. This means I think I have curated the perfect three-part playlist to get you through any road trip! It is as follows:

Part 1 – This is the warmup. You’ve just started the trip so you need something to hype yourself up! I tend to start by shuffling my most recently played songs, that way you are guaranteed to hit some sing-alongs, as well as those earwigs that you are currently obsessed with.

Part 2 – The dreaded slump in the middle of the trip. Although you’ve cracked halfway, your passengers are drifting in and out of sleep and you keep tossing up whether to play car cricket with yourself or not. At this point you have two options: you can play it safe for the sleepers and hit the soft mellow tunes (I tend to go for an indie band like The Lumineers or The Shins) or you can shift the vibe completely and play the older classics (this is when I bring out the Phil Collins and Paul McCartney tracks).

Part 3 – The Final stretch!! Now this is a divisive play; you have to time it so the last songs you listen to are bangers, but you don’t want to peak too early. On my final fuel stop before I get home, I spend 5-10 valuable minutes dedicated to this last leg and the songs that will accompany it. This is totally up to you… see how you are feeling. It may be a slow wind down, or a house music-esque push to the finish line.

Overall, over many hours of travelling across the state, I have tested this method and without fail it has gotten me from point A to B with many fun songs along the way.

 

Have you been inspired to learn saxophone or piano?  Find out more about our saxophone lessons and piano lessons and book your FREE Trial by contacting our friendly lesson coordinators on 0298940000.









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