Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Get to know Jim McCutcheon

Jim McCutcheonFor 33 years, Jim McCutcheon has been teaching University of Dayton students how to play the guitar and improve their performance skills. McCutcheon has always played the guitar, but not always as a career. Surprisingly, Jim earned his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Dayton. Soon after graduating from college, Jim started his music career playing the flute.

So, how did Jim go from studying physics, to playing flute, to teaching guitar lessons? As a student, Jim had always wanted to see if he could have a career in music. After graduating, he was offered the opportunity to travel with a band. Jim used this opportunity to conduct an experiment. He wanted to see if he would like playing music every day. While traveling with the band, Jim played over 60 hours a week and loved it! Jim knew he could have a career he enjoyed by pursing music.

Now, Jim's life is completely consumed with music. Jim is an Artist-in-Residence in the Music Department. Through this position he teaches guitar classes, private lessons and directs the classical guitar ensemble. Outside of UD, Jim produces and hosts a weekly guitar show on Dayton Public Radio, owns a music store with his wife, and performs both locally and nationally. Jim still uses his background in physics to teach younger children the science behind music. "The Guitar Man," as he is known by schoolchildren, performs at grade schools and uses his electric guitar to show students how physics is a part of the performance.

More about Jim McCutcheon

If Jim did not have to work anymore, he would still want to make music and continue to teach, perform and compose music. Jim has been playing the guitar for 49 years and can't imagine his life without music.

Jim thinks one thing most people don’t know about him is that he actually sleeps! Writing and performing a guitar concerto (showcasing a guitar solo in front of the orchestra) is one thing Jim wishes to cross off his bucket list. Jim likes to collect music and recordings. Everything in Jim's life is related to music.

Every day is exciting for Jim since he lives his life one day at a time. He lives each day to the maximum and never looks back.  However, some days are a little more exciting than others as he was asked to speak at an international convention for the Guitar Foundation of America. Jim is also the first recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Member.