Toshi Reagon
Toshi Reagon and myself, rehearsing with Alan Pierson and members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

John Cale
John Cale and the Wordless Music Orchestra, performing with my orchestral arrangements at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music, 2013


I love teaching, especially in private lessons. I’ve taught classes at Harvard, and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division. The classroom can be fun, but I prefer to really focus on what each student needs, and their own style of learning. When I was the composer/mentor for the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s “Outside-In’ program, I was able to teach many professional musicians, including Darcy James Argue, Corey Dargel, Hadi Eldebek and Toshi Reagon. This gave me a lot of experience teaching orchestration to musicians who had no experience in classical music, or did not read music.

In my own studio I have taught Doug Cuomo (composer of the “Sex And The City” theme song), the late tango pianist Octavio Brunetti, Jesse Krakow, and Pip Van Genabeek, an exceptional young violinist/composer/arranger now working with the Pro Era hip hop collective. Pip has also been accepted by the Manhattan School Of Music, Mannes College Of Music, and New England Conservatory for admission this fall.

I am happy to teach composition, but I think I have the most to offer when teaching harmony, counterpoint and orchestration. I was very fortunate to have two truly amazing teachers for those subjects: David Del Tredici for orchestration, and Joe Maneri for counterpoint and harmony.

David is one of the greatest orchestral composers, and has been played by the top orchestras around the world. He has a real gift for explaining this complex subject very simply and clearly. My teaching is closely based on his, and on my own experience: writing for orchestra in combination with electronic tracks, electric guitar and turntables, as well as my work with John Cale. I have arranged over 30 of John’s songs for his band and orchestra.

Joe Maneri, chiefly known for his microtonal jazz, was also trained in the most traditional harmony and counterpoint studies, based on the teaching of Arnold Schoenberg. Joe studied with Josef Schmid, a student of Alban Berg’s. Schmid used the Schoenberg ‘Theory Of Harmony’, supplementing it with a lot of ‘oral tradition’ that he received from Berg and Schoenberg. I studied with him for 3 years, and it changed my musical life. It’s hard to overstate the excellence of Schoenberg’s book…take a look at these Amazon reviews.

If you are interested in taking lessons with me, please drop me a line at