Division: Scholarly and Professional Studies
Program: Music Education
Expertise: Music Education
Office: MUS 403
Robert Cutietta is dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Since 2002, he has overseen an expansion in endowment, programs, and space while building upon the traditional quality of education that is the school’s trademark.
Under his leadership, the school has introduced innovative new degrees in music education, arts journalism, visual and performing arts studies, choral music, vocal jazz, and the groundbreaking popular music performance program. Other advancements include an “immersive” music education curriculum designed for graduating seniors with the core philosophy that future teachers should be immersed in the culture of public school teaching only after completing a rigorous four-year program as a musician. In the near future, a graduate degree in Music Leadership will be introduced in conjunction with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, further positioning the Thornton School as an innovator in music instruction.
In 2010, the Thornton School will move into a combination of new and newly renovated spaces, constituting a 40% increase in physical size. A new practice room facility, orchestral rehearsal hall, and amplified rehearsal hall will be supported by totally renovated homes for jazz, studio guitar, student services, film scoring, and technology.
During his tenure, the school’s endowment saw a dramatic increase of over 53%, peaking at well over the $125 million goal set for the school’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2009. With the addition of three new endowed chairs and one new professorship, the faculty has grown and continues to attract some of the most renowned musician/educators to supplement the already illustrious faculty.
Since 2006, he has hosted Ask the Dean, a popular weekly segment on Classical KUSC, the largest classical music station in the nation. He continues to perform and compose music for television and movies.
He is a founding member of Montana Public Broadcasting and currently a member of the Advisory Board of Classical KUSC Radio in Los Angeles, The Orange County School of the Arts, The Maestro Foundation, and the GRAMMY Blue Ribbon Adjudication Committee. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and was designated the 2001 Alumni of the Year from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University. In 2007, he received the Amicus Poloniae Award from the Government of the Republic of Poland. Cleveland State University awarded him the 2008 Alumni of the Year from the College of Arts and Letters.
He has published a wide range of articles on many subjects related to Music Education. These have appeared in journals such as The Music Educators Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Psychology Today, The Psychology of Music, The American Music Teacher and many others. He is also author, co-author or editor of four books and has contributed chapters to several others including The Handbook of Research on the Teaching and Learning of Music. He has sat on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education, and Contributions to Music Education. His most recent book, Raising Musical Kids: A Parent’s Guide is published by Oxford University Press.
Prior to his appointment as dean, Dr. Cutietta had a successful career as a musician and researcher. He was director of the School of Music and Dance at the University of Arizona and held faculty positions at Kent State and Montana State Universities. He received his doctorate in music education and psychology from Penn State University and his undergraduate and masters degrees from Cleveland State University.
- Raising Musical Kids: A Parent’s Guide. Oxford University Press, 2001.
- D.Ed., Pennsylvania State University
- Master of Music, Cleveland State University
- Bachelor of Music, Cleveland State University
Other academic experience:
Dr. Cutietta was a faculty member at Montana State University–Bozeman, Kent State University and The University of Arizona prior to coming to the USC Thornton School as dean.