Musician in Residence - Mr. Jim McCutcheon

Students at Springer were wowed by Jim McCutcheon’s demonstrations of the link between music and science during his stay as the Norita Aplin Musician in Residence in December. Jim used tools such as an oscilloscope, a strobe light, and even a 20-foot “guitar string” to illustrate how sound waves make the connection between a musician’s instrument and a listener’s ear.

Eighth-graders Aemon Young and Yann Kemper were impressed with the presentation. “It was cool how electricity was transmitted through my friend’s forehead,” said Aemon. Yann liked that using a strobe light, Jim was able “to make a fan look like it was going backwards.” Seventh-grader Cameron Fischer commented, “It was amazing to watch how strobe lights made things look different from what you normally see.”

During his residency, Jim worked with a small group of Lower School students, teaching them to play the ukulele and developing a program which they performed at a December 20 all-school assembly. Fifth-grader Zoe Jackson owned a ukulele before Jim’s visit. “This was a good way to learn to play the ukulele with your friends,” she said. Korra Zimmer, also in fifth grade, added, “It was surprising how fast we learned, and how many notes we learned.”

“Working with the students at Springer is always a fulfilling experience,” said McCutcheon. “Their excitement about learning, their ability to focus both individually and as a group, their willingness to participate in new and different activities and their sincere appreciation for the experiences each school day offers tells me clearly that they are in a good place, working with a knowledgeable staff who understands and cares for them.”

On the faculty at the University of Dayton, Miami University and Wright State University, Jim was awarded the 2017 Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts in Art Education. He is a published author and composer, and host of the longest-running locally-produced program on Dayton Public Radio, “The Intimate Guitar.”

In its 22th year, the Norita Aplin Musician in Residence program honors Springer’s former Executive Director for her 14 years of leadership.


Musician in Residence Jim McCutcheon (L) with Dr. Norita Aplin and her husband Stanley Ragle.