Discovering Influences (Music Production)

CREDIT: Quincy Jones Grammys
CREDIT: Quincy Jones Grammys

Us: Kanye West is similar to you in that he’s the producer everybody wants to work with in the last decade …

QJ: How man? No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on, man. He’s just a rapper. There’s no comparison. I’m not putting him down or making a judgement or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet. I spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don’t rap. It’s not the same thing. A producer has to have some sort of skills that enable him to be a producer. It’s totally different to know what to do with 16 woodwinds you know from piccolos down to bass clarinet. It’s a whole different mindset. No comparison. None. –

Material below is adapted from the 2019 IB Film Teacher Support Material

Project Description

  • An important part of studying music is discovering artists and producers who make an impression on you. Most musicians are influenced by other muscians, producers and song writing traditions.
  • The music journal (your blog) is a great place for you to consider and reflect upon songs, muscians, riffs or techniques that really speak to you. These could be used later on to guide your own production work, or help  to develop your own sense of style.
  • After listening to a song  you should take a moment to record one aspect that they found compelling. Once you have done this, allow 15–20 minutes for the student to do further research on this (including biography, relationships to other songs, technical commentary, and so on) to give you a better understanding of this influence.
  • Over the course of the year(s), you should have a substantial list of influences that you can then use to inspire your production work and guide you in your choice of topics for further study.

Music Producer Research Resources


  • Research great music producers
  • Listen to songs
  • Create a blog post titled, Discovering Influences (Music Producers)
  • Copy and paste these headings into the post:
    • Summary
    • Favorite Music Producer(s)
    • Recipe for Great Production
    • What I learned
  • Under the Favorite Music Producer(s) section
    • Research your favorite producer or production team
    • Embed one of their songs (make sure it is appropriate)
    • Explain why you like this producer
  • Under the Recipe for Great Production section
    • Compose a step by step list of tasks to produce a song
  • Complete the Summary section
    • Describe the what and why of the project