World Music Day: influences that inspire

Jun 26, 2019
Especially for World Music Day last week, we asked the talented staff from our composition team to share the tracks, artists or moments that sparked their passion. While the Dixie Chicks may seem like a strange choice, Head of Music and Voice for California Rebecca High explains why they inspired her to pick up the violin – and pursue her own career in the industry.


When you’re growing up, your first taste into music is brought on by what your parents listen to. For me, that meant Motown, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac – the list goes on and on. I was lucky to grow up with parents who loved music and had (good) influence into shaping my music taste throughout the years. My mom also got me Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on CD, and as soon as I heard it, I was in love.

When it came to developing my own musical preferences, the first memories I have of hearing something I really liked probably around age 5. I was a huge Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss fan, so when my mom asked me if there was an instrument I would like to learn how to play, I immediately chose the violin. Of course, I didn’t actually learn to fiddle like my idols – but my training through the Suzuki method (a method of musical teaching created by the renowned Japanese violinist) propelled me into the world of classical.

These early teachings obviously had a huge influence on my career, but it was again what I listened to that pushed my down this path. I discovered Danny Elfman thanks to the Big Fish soundtrack, which ultimately led me to realize what I wanted to do for a living. Being where I am now, I realize how much music has been a part of my life. Although people tend to laugh off how much of an influence The Dixie Chicks had over me, I think it goes to show how important it is to have women in music. Imagine - me, five years old, seeing three strong women playing instruments and wanting to do what they were doing. I wanted to be the woman playing fiddle. Later in college I learned about Ann Mincieli, Leslie Ann Jones, Delia Derbyshire, Wendy Carlos, Mary Ford and many other women who work behind the scenes, and they also had a huge role to play in my decision to enter into a career in the music industry. 

The more we expand our horizons when it comes to who we listen to, who we go to for recording, producing, the greater the influences will be on the music industry’s future generations – so everyone will have their very own inspiration. 

Read more:
In celebration of World Music Day, PHMG Founder Grant Reed shared his thoughts on the importance of music to all – along with the musical inspirations of our talented composers. Click here to take a look.