Professor Presents Research Linking Music Performance to Data Analytics, STEM, Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A series of conference presentations by Associate Professor of Piano Dylan Savage demonstrates the many connections between music performance and the fields of data analytics, STEM, and corporate training and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Savage’s research in the areas of biomechanics at the keyboard and entrepreneurship for musicians has long been presented in conservatory masterclasses and music industry publications and conferences. But in recent years, it has found audiences at national and international conventions and workshops devoted to areas as wide-ranging as architecture, business, technology, and big data.

In April 2012, Dr. Savage presented two workshops, including Creativity and Rhetoric in Music at the TRANSelement Symposium on Innovation and Collaboration hosted by The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning in Washington, D.C. In June of 2014, he presented Innovation and Continuous Improvement from the Perspective of a Concert Pianist to executives of the VF Corporation at their national summit in Lancaster, PA.  And in the fall of 2015, he presented a performance lecture called Using Live Music Performance to Teach Concepts and Ideas in STEM (with UNC Charlotte Professor of Software and Information Systems Mirsad Hadzikadic) at the International Symposium of Performance Science in Kyoto, Japan.

Dr. Savage has most recently brought his expertise to the area of big data, demonstrating skills and processes that the field of data analytics shares with the study and performance of music: pattern recognition, interpretation, predictive modeling, and communication/story-telling. In presentations at the 2016 Analytics for Decision Makers workshop, the 2017 Analytic Frontiers National Conference, held March 29-31 by the Data Science Initiative at UNC Charlotte, and the upcoming AAA Carolina - Informed Decision Making workshops, he discusses topics such as:

  • How might a musician's way of detecting and using patterns be of benefit to a data analyst? 
  • How can interpretation be used to benefit the customer and how can it be miss-used? 
  • How does performance practice in music equate to the same concept in analytics?
  • What do musicians examine in the musical score to allow them to predict? 
  • What correlations exist between bringing musical notes (data) alive in compelling performance and the convincing presentation of interpreted data to customers?

Dr. Savage holds music degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M.) and the Indiana University School of Music (M.M. and D.M.) and is a Bösendorfer Concert Artist. He has been using music to demonstrate and teach skills, concepts, and ideas to businesses and corporations since the early 1990s. For more information, please visit his website at