Hailed by the New York Times for having “graceful introspection and an ear for timbrel shading” Andrew Schulman is a versatile musician. He is a solo guitarist, bandleader, medical musician, author, lecturer, and consultant in the field of music and medicine. Mr. Schulman has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and Europe in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center in New York City, to the Royal Albert Hall and the Chelsea Arts Club in London. Over a four-decade long career he has had steady engagements in New York City at The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel and Windows on the World. He developed his engaging stage presence during a three-year stint doing music and comedy in the New York clubs, The Improv and Dangerfield's. Mr. Schulman has recorded CDs for the Centaur label.
He founded the Abaca String Band, a string quintet, in 1991. They appeared on the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series as well as The White House, Newport Music Festival, the Library of Congress, Chautauqua Institution, and Musikfest among others.
A new journey began in July 2009 when on the third day of lying in a coma in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City Mr. Schulman’s life was saved by the music of J.S. Bach (played via his iPod). The power of music to heal was made manifest and inspired him to give back with his guitar. Once recovered he received permission to return to that same ICU as a musician.
Working closely with the doctors and nurses in the unit he developed the specialty called Medical Musician, bringing professional musicians trained in pertinent aspects of critical care medicine into ICUs as members of the medical team. Mr. Schulman was the resident musician in critical care at Beth Israel from 2010-2016 and then at NYU Langone in 2017. He was the Medical Musician in Critical Care at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA from 2016-2020. He is now the Visiting Artist/Medical Musician in the Arts and Humanities Program at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
In September 2017, he became the first musician to be accepted as a professional member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). He was appointed to a three-year term on the SCCM ICU Liberation Committee in 2020. The committee was established to improve the conditions for patients in critical care and Mr. Schulman was included to focus on the use of music to alleviate pain, help patients sleep better, and to prevent ICU Delirium. In May 2019 Andrew Schulman began serving as a consultant to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center-Therapeutic Music in the ICU project for hospitalized patients, a two-year program.
In April 2018 he co-founded the Medical Musician Initiative (MMI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
The Medical Musician Initiative trains professional musicians in pertinent aspects of critical care medicine and related areas in order to incorporate them into ICU medical teams, thereby enhancing the healing process of critically ill patients using music as medicine.
After ten years of dedicating himself to this medical musician work Mr. Schulman has returned to the concert stage. In October 2019 he gave a highly acclaimed solo recital at Carnegie Hall in New York and is currently booking more concerts.
Andrew Schulman and his wife Wendy Sayvetz are the subjects of Josh Aronson's documentary film Andrew & Wendy (2015) that has aired multiple times on PBS-TV. He is the author of Waking The Spirit: A Musician’s Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul (Macmillan:Picador). Since its release in the U.S. in August 2016 Waking the Spirit has been chosen as an Oliver Sacks Foundation Best Book of the Year Selection, Finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award, and a People Magazine Pick in Nonfiction. Its foreign releases include translations into Turkish, Slovakian, and Chinese.
Andrew and Wendy live in New York City with Phoebe, their Yellow Labrador Retriever.