After graduating from Goddard in 1973 with a BA in music, Max Highstein continued to study piano privately, write music, and perform professionally in rock bands. In 1984 he earned an MA in Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica (USM) in their first graduating class, and wrote the school song. Shortly afterward he attended Antioch College in Los Angeles, and earned another MA in Counseling Psychology.
While at USM, Max began writing and recording guided imagery audio programs, also scoring the music backgrounds for them. His program, The Healing Waterfall, became a bestseller in bookstores, selling well over 100,000 copies. It still remains popular today, and in 2012 won About dot com’s award for Best Meditation Tool.
Highstein later composed two music albums that were embraced by the New Adult Contemporary radio format of the 1990s. Almost every song from his CDs Touch the Sky and Stars were played in heavy rotation, and NPR also used excerpts in their broadcasts. Max later went on to compose a series of music albums for deep relaxation and healing, still in national distribution on the Serenity Music label.
Today Max Highstein lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he practices intuitive counseling, a unique approach combining traditional techniques with spiritual and intuitive guidance.
He also continues to compose music, and author guided imagery programs. Since first publishing The Healing Waterfall, Max has published over 65 programs on personal growth, spirituality and healing. His book and audio course, Intuition Retreat, became the first online program offered at the popular website, DailyOm. He co-authored the course, Open Your Spiritual Heart With Saint Francis, with Sounds True author Mirabai Starr.
Find all of Max Highstein’s published work, as well as his entire music catalog, at The Healing Waterfall website [www.guidedimagerydownloads.com].
Says Max about his Goddard experience:
"I entered Goddard as an ambitious and very tense 17 year old, determined to become a great jazz musician. In my second trimester I came under the tutelage of a new music teacher at Goddard, Michael Mackenzie. A brilliant jazz and classical pianist, Michael became my mentor and friend, and helped me gain the skills that would carry me forward in music.
"It seemed like I spent most of my time at Goddard at the piano in a tiny practice room, trying to get my hands around the music I desperately wanted to play. But just as important were the walks I took, the concerts I attended in the Haybarn Theatre, and the time spent interacting with my fellow students. I thought I needed to learn how to play the piano, but I also needed to learn how to just play.
"In my student evaluation, Michael wrote: 'I hope that Max is learning that part of the act of becoming is the act of being; part of the act of becoming is making one’s environment suitable to one’s growth; and a frown is a muscular contortion of the face that is not a helpful response for a student.'
"I graduated from Goddard with a BA in jazz improvisation, though I did not become a jazz musician. In fact, the category of music I would come to play, and the kind of work I would later do, had not been invented yet. But I was off to a good start. At Goddard I was given the freedom to explore my creativity, discover more about myself, and learn to lighten up, just a little."