Depth Musicology Project


Combining a quest for musical wisdom with a study of the work of C.G. Jung and James Hillman, depth musicology is a synthesis of depth psychology and music education. Three short papers, “Depth Musicology,” “Feeling-Function Education,” and “The Music Lesson,” combined with the Resources section of this website, serve as an introduction to the discipline of depth psychology. Like interlocking pieces of a puzzle, these essays also map the intersection of creative process and psychological wellbeing—a foundation for my research and practice.

In the first paper, “Depth Musicology,” the idea of the unconscious is introduced with Jungian perspective—multiple figures of psyche, and the prospect of a “general” psychology by which we may dialogue with them. I explore Hillman’s criticism of analysis, and his suggestion to “stay with the image” of our experience, in order to meet soul in its own imaginal way. Finally, the playful, attentive approach of the artist and musician shows itself to be a pathway to this encounter.

Feeling Function Education” looks at Jung’s complex psychology (what grips us), and some of his ideas on psychological types—our unique preferences for thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting. Building on Jung, Hillman offers that if complexes are “feeling-toned,” then a way into neurosis is via our feeling function. Building on Hillman, I show how the arts, particularly the highly-differentiated, expressive language of music, can help open doors through feeling.

In “The Music Lesson” you will find information about my services as a music mentor, and I also show how my path in music led to a study of psyche. Taking a close look at Victor Wooten’s masterpiece, The Music Lesson, we find a Grammy award-winning bassist practicing a form of depth psychology. In dialogue with several characters who cross his path uninvited, our protagonist’s psychological development unfolds alongside musical mastery. Wooten’s story depicts a Jungian model of psyche (Jung’s work with archetypal figures and the collective unconscious), and affirms my interest in depth musicology.

Finally, in the Resources section I include some reflections on each title, how these books have supported my work, and how through them one may find “portals to the source”—important research which recognizes the imaginative process of the artist and musician as integral to the workings of psychotherapy, or “care of Soul.”