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Meet Yamaha Master Educator Dr. David Cutler

Music Business Group
Distinguished Professor of Music Entrepreneurship and Innovation
University of South Carolina

Dr. David Cutler is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center for Music at the University of South Carolina. He is also the author of “The Savvy Musician” and “The Savvy Music Teacher,” as well as an upcoming visual book, “The GAME of Innovation.”

No matter the organization — public or private — a linear path to incremental improvement can actually inhibit large-scale growth. What if that were replaced by “moonshot thinking” to foster groundbreaking exploration? This is where Cutler often lives, creating environments that use innovative, global thinking to launch the present into the future. His dynamic and tactical approaches are as meaningful as the remarkable results generated.

An innovator to his core, Cutler lives by the mantra — “dreams first, then logistics!” Through synergetic consultancies and sought-after seminars, Cutler guides educators and industry leaders to become better problem-solvers. Known for gamifying organizational challenges, he often leads innovation GAMEs (Guidelines, Arena, Materials and Experience), facilitating a carefully orchestrated process. Whether teams design something new or reimagine the old, they cultivate big ideas, stronger community and increased buy-in.

Cutler is widely known for his books, “The Savvy Musician” and “The Savvy Music Teacher.” He explains that successful musicians — whether educators, performers, composers, students, industry employees, — balance building a career with earning a living and making a difference. No matter the profile, it is this personal endeavor that unveils creative solutions for maximizing inspiration and impact.

Whether exploring how innovative practices can transform your organization, career or life, Cutler’s creative, non-traditional approach will leave you transformed and armed with actionable strategies.

A few of Dr. David Cutler’s session titles are:
  • Creative Performance Practice: Same Notes, Same Rhythms, Personalized Statement
  • BIG Ideas in Career and Financial Success: A Life in Music
  • Unlocking Innovation
  • How Music Education Can Change the World (and Why It Often Doesn’t)
  • Shake Up Your Studio
  • Reimagining Music in Higher Education
  • Facilitation for Change Initiatives
  • The Outward Artist: What Success Requires
  • Website/Career Model Master Class
  • How You Can Become the Best in the World
  • Doing the “Wrong” Thing: A Surprising Path to Success
  • Average Student, Savvy Student
  • Innovation GAMEs (Custom-Design Around your Challenge)
To learn more about clinics by Dr. David Cutler, please contact Jalissa Gascho at