A former orchestral trombonist and psychotherapist, today I spend most of my time reading, writing, mushroom hunting, surfing, composing, and working at jazz. I have been a professor of psychology at Rutgers University at Newark, New Jersey for the past twenty years. Teaching piano, trombone, & musicianship lessons from my private studio in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania is now my main focus.
I was classically trained in orchestral trombone performance at The Mannes School of Music (The New School) in NYC and at The Royal Conservatory of Brussels in Belgium. My primary teachers have been Paul Schocker (piano & composition), Per Brevig, and Ivan Meylemans (trombone). In my twenties I served as a trombonist with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Lima, in Peru, In my younger years I enjoyed being principal trombonist of Carnegie Hall’s New York Youth Symphony. In 1998 I published my first album Collected Songs. In 2018 I wrote & recorded a collection of contemporary solo piano pieces entitled Ode. In 2021, I released Take on Me, a collection of music from the 1980s reimagined for piano & synthesizers.
As an independent scholar who holds a master’s degree in psychodynamic psychology and a doctorate in Philosophy, Art, & Critical Thought from The New School for Social Research and the EGS in Switzerland, I have lectured in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University at Newark since 2006. I teach undergraduate courses in the history and philosophy of psychology, media psychology, abnormal & advanced abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, human development, critical psychology, and the psychology of religion. My first book, A Postcognitive Negation: The Sadomasochistic Dialectic of American Psychology, was published by Atropos Press in 2010.
I consider my two greatest accomplishments of my time as a professor to be the successful nomination of Newark native, saxophonist, Wayne Shorter being awarded an honorary doctorate from Rutgers University, as well as the design and adoption of the first undergraduate media psychology course to be part of the Rutgers Newark curriculum.
Writing is an important part of my life. I have written five books on psychology, philosophy, and music. I am fortunate to have studied creative process with Helene Cixous, Judith Butler, Antony Gormley, Bracha Ettinger, Peter Greenaway, Claire Denis, and Wolfgang Schirmacher.
Muse & Psyche, LLC is the combination of two worlds: music and psychology. Muse & Psyche is a company providing musical services, books, recordings, videos, articles, and a podcast to foster creativity & well-being through creative music-making. Muse is the Ancient Greek to think, to inspire and refers to the inspiration of music. Psyche (pronounced psy-key) is the animating spirit or the soul. Services include individual instruction, artist’s consultation, & workshops to cultivate self-actualization through creative music-making and psychological principles. I write a monthly expert blog for Psychology Today called Mindfulness & Music.P