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The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living & Making a Difference Paperback – October 26, 2009


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The Savvy Musician:  Building a Career, Earning a Living & Making a Difference + Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music + The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Helius Press; First Edition edition (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982307500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982307502
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW, SEPTEMBER 2009
Cutler, an independent musician, composer, educator, and consultant, has produced an indispensable guide for the budding performer who wants to take his or her career to the next level. Filled with case histories and relevant interviews with over 165 musicians, Cutler's book focuses on the entrepreneurial side of the music business. Emphasizing the value of creativity, risk, and, yes, branding, Cutler demonstrates that many of the qualities necessary for good musicianship are applicable to the business side of an artist's career as well. Over 1000 links to additional resources—e.g., job listings, blogs, camps, homepages for interviewed musicians, lists of recommended books and magazines, networking sites—are available for free on the companion web site, www.thesavvymusician.com. Verdict: Packed with tools and strategies for funding, marketing, recording, and performing, this is an essential read for aspiring performers who want to remove the word starving from their vocabulary. Highly recommended.—Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR


Small Press Bookwatch: October 2009
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575
 
Doing what you want is hard when that want is playing music. “The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living, & Making a Difference” is a guide to the aspiring musician who wants to make their living doing what they love. A strange blend of music and marketing book, David Cutler encourages musicians to learn how to sell themselves and adapt technology to their approaches, to get themselves out there with a recognizable brand. An honest book about making it in the music industry, “The Savvy Musician” is a read that can’t be missed by music lovers.

About the Author

David Cutler balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, educator, arranger, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur. In all these pursuits, he works to push boundaries while connecting with new audiences. A multidimensional composer who listens to a colossal range of styles, his eclectic output reflects this musical world. His music regularly features interdisciplinary components, and his playing is as wide-ranging as his composing, stretching what it means to be a pianist. Performances regularly incorporate improvisation, humor, audience interaction, choreography, technology, costuming, unique collaborations, and secondary instruments.

More About the Author

DAVID CUTLER is one of the leading voices on music career and entrepreneurship training. His new book THE SAVVY MUSICIAN was heralded by Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet as "Hands down, the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians." Dr. Cutler balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, arranger, educator, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, and speaker. He teaches at Duquesne University, where he also serves as the Coordinator of Music Entrepreneurship Studies. For more information, visit www.SavvyMusician.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Very informative and thorough.
Aaron Fryklund
The Savvy Musician provides invaluable information and personal guidance from David Cutler and dozens of people who have "walked the talk" as music professionals.
Paul D. Bauer
As a music professor, this book has become required reading for all of my students.
James W. Doyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By H. Caspi on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard for me to begin to describe how this book is changing my perception of myself as a musician. This book has helped me develop a more accurate picture of myself, my goals, my achievements, and what lies ahead. We musicians are such perfectionists, that sometimes extreme self-criticism really cripples us into hiding, since we don't feel worthy. This might not be true for everyone, but it is for me. This book has given me not just tools for every aspect of music-doing (see below), but probed me to do a self-analysis I haven't been convinced to do even by close family and friends. What do I want to do as a musician? Why am I here? What are my gifts? How can I make a difference?

Dr. Cutler follows Goethe's principle: "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.
He does an amazing job right up front pointing out common misconceptions and sets the stage for the entrepreneurial musician (You!).
.
When you look at the table of contents, you'll notice this book is so well-rounded. It touches almost any possible field of music business, something I haven't seen in any other book. (Sometimes you find a book that claims to do that, but doesn't do it as thoroughly or in such a way that's so eloquent and easy to read). It answers so many questions, for instance- Are there too many musicians? (Being a flutist, I live in the eternal feeling that if I only chose a less popular instrument....or if I was the one of few....etc') how do you write a business plan (and why should you); it looks at every possible aspect of music business- performance, website building, marketing, recordings, networking, grant, donors, fundraising.... think that if I read this before I started my Bachelor's I would be much more innovative, sure of myself, creative and successful. But it's never too late!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James W. Doyle on January 6, 2011
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As a music professor, this book has become required reading for all of my students. In fact, I recommend this book to everyone- professionals, amateurs, and students alike. The vignettes are fantastic, the writing style is enjoyable, and the content is superb. This book created a starting point for our department's recent creation of a music business emphasis.

As a clinician on the topic of entrepreneurship for college students, this book is a primary resource and top suggestion for each and every workshop I present. The outstanding material in this book hits home.

Since my sophomore year of college in 1994, I've never held a job that wasn't teaching or performing music. I take great pride in this fact, and encourage others to do so as well. Thinking creatively, never making excuses, and reminding one's self on a daily basis just how lucky we are to be musicians has made this possible. This book provides all of the inspiration and substance to guide others to a successful career in music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mountainmango on May 18, 2012
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I originally borrowed this book from the library, but after reading a few chapters, I decided this was a book worth owning. This book has lots of good ideas for people who want to have a career in the music business. There are many great ideas and inspirational stories of people thinking out of the box. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kpenney on March 25, 2011
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This book has a lot of great ideas on how to distinguish yourself as a musician. While there is a lot of great basic information about marketing, there are sections that could be more in-depth. None the less, reading it has given me a lot of new ideas that I'm looking forward to trying out on my next concert!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samuel J. Lawson on July 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
The business of music is every bit as challenging as the practice of music. This book, the Savvy Musician, was used in a music career seminar course I took as a grad student at Ball State University. Unlike most music biz books that focus on how to get your band signed to a record label, this one is useful for building a career as an individual musician (whether or not you play in ensembles), and is relevant to musicians of many echelons and genres. It also has good material on academic music careers as well as practical examples of press releases and other promotional materials... Hey wait, I need to go back and do this stuff, myself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Mantilla on October 29, 2010
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From the last chapter of the book: "As we have seen, many kinds of issues are crucial to the success of a [savvy] musician..." And after reading 300 pages you realize that yes, there many different things to consider besides music if you want to be a musician and succeed in your career. The great thing of this book is that it covers all of those things. Not every musician/reader is going to need or benefit from all of the information, even though that is virtually true of every book, this one because of its characteristics (covering a lot of ground and focusing on great diversity of options in music) is going to make that fact even more obvious. If you are a working musician a lot of the information is not going to be new for you. But one thing is beneficial: your are going to see different points of view and options of subjects that you already know about. And at the end you are going to feel that you really looked at all the options. Besides that, one plus is that the book includes a very good Resources section divided by chapters so you can expand any specific area that you might be interested in pursuing or learning more.

On the other hand, if you are considering about starting a career in music, this should be a required reading for you. It would ground you and show you what it really means to be a "working" musician, what you have to go through and the kind of things that you will need to think about in your career. This are things that music schools usually don't cover, and honestly with all the information that you need to learn to become a musician, this is easy to understand.
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