Teaching Students About Jeff Richmond


Jeff Richmond, a renowned composer, producer, and actor, is a phenomenal subject to teach students about in music class. His immense contributions to television and film scores make studying his work a fascinating journey for aspiring creatives. This article discusses the importance of teaching students about Jeff Richmond’s multi-faceted career and offers suggestions for engaging lessons and activities.

The importance of teaching about Jeff Richmond:

1. Musical diversity: As a versatile composer, Jeff Richmond has dabbled in various musical genres. Exploring his diverse body of work allows students to expand their musical understanding and appreciate the art of composition in its many forms.

2. Creative collaboration: Jeff Richmond’s collaborations with his wife, the talented writer and performer Tina Fey, demonstrate that teamwork often produces outstanding results. By analyzing their working relationship, students learn about the power of combining different artistic disciplines.

3. Career inspiration: For students interested in pursuing music production or scoring for film and television, Jeff Richmond’s path acts as an inspiring guide. By studying his successes and challenges along the way, students gain valuable insights into the entertainment industry.

Engaging Lesson Ideas:

1. Analyzing compositions: Select a few pieces from Jeff Richmond’s extensive catalog (e.g., scores from “30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” or the Broadway production of “Mean Girls”) and have your students analyze them as a class or independently. Discuss how he utilizes different instruments or techniques within each piece, comparing and contrasting his choices with other composers’ methods.

2. Group composition project: Divide your students into small groups and present them with a scene from one of Jeff Richmond’s projects (e.g., an episode of “30 Rock”). Instruct each group to compose their musical score for the scene using what they’ve learned from studying Richmond’s style as a starting point.

3. Guest speaker or video interview: If possible, try to arrange a guest speaker session or video conference with Jeff Richmond or someone who has worked with him. It will provide students with firsthand insights into his creative process, work ethic, and collaboration strategies.

4. Study scores alongside their corresponding scenes: Let your students watch clips from “30 Rock” or “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and compare them with their respective scores. This activity helps them understand how Jeff Richmond’s compositions are tailor-made to enhance the visuals, dialogue, and overall storylines.


Incorporating lessons on Jeff Richmond’s accomplished career in your music curriculum imbues it with relevance and offers an engaging way to contextualize contemporary composition techniques. By exploring his musical versatility and creative collaborations, students will not only gain a newfound appreciation for the many facets of composition but also be inspired by his journey through the entertainment industry.

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