About Steve

steve schneiderSteve Schneider's reputation as a master of the hammered dulcimer is embodied in his technical skill, eclectic repertoire, musical sensitivity, and innovative style. While earning his masters degree in music therapy he heard the hammered dulcimer by chance, and he got his first dulcimer in 1984. Since then, he has used the hammered dulcimer in his recordings, composing, performing, and music therapy work.

Steve has played hammered dulcimer on soundtracks for movies, television, commercials, recorded books, and in a Tony-award-winning Broadway musical. He has taught and performed in numerous festivals from coast to coast, and is a regular columnist for Dulcimer Players News. He is the director and instructor at Northern Lights Hammered Dulcimer Retreat, an intensive week-long workshop
held each summer in Ontario, Canada. Described in MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide as "innovative and talented, combining precision with expressiveness and creativity." Steve’s repertoire explores the musical boundaries of the hammered dulcimer, including classical, Brazilian, Chinese, and Eastern European music.

With a master’s degree in music therapy, independent studies in Dalcroze Eurythmics, and an intuitive sense of the process of learning, Steve is not only a gifted performer but a beloved teacher with more than 20 years' experience. At festivals, in workshops, and as a private teacher, Steve uses his training and instinctive understanding of the learning process to guide his students to deeper aspects of music, performing, and practice. To help students who cannot find a local teacher, he has created Long-Distance-Learning, in which individually tailored hammered dulcimer lessons conducted via audio and visual recordings can help motivated players everywhere improve their musical skills.

As a music therapist, Steve had maintained a private practice in Clinical Piano Improvisation and taught at New York University. He has used the hammered dulcimer in a therapeutic setting during his internship as a music therapist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has also used the dulcimer therapeutically at both Cabrini Hospice in New York, United Hospice of Rockland,
and at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Post-operative Acute Care Unit, and the Oncology Ward. These experiences give Steve an acute awareness of the power and effectiveness of music and the results it can yield when applied consciously.

Steve lives and teaches in southeast Michigan with his wife and son.


  • Tuesday’s Child
  • The Door to Christmas (with Dave Neiman)
  • Momentum (with Paul Oorts)
  • A Place Just Right:  Simple Gifts with Steve Schneider

Steve can also be heard on numerous other recordings, and his musical arrangements are being recorded on a growing folio of new releases.

Books of music:

  • The Music of Tuesday's Child


  • Smoke, 1995
  • Losing Chase, 1996
  • Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996

      Waterman: The Man who Loved Sharks, Discovery Channel 1994
      Passion for Play- ABC Sports

      Ford, American Airlines, American Express, Kodak, Avon, Dr. Pepper, Oil of
Olay, Coca-Cola

Books on Tape
      Instant Zen, 1998

      The Secret Garden, 1991-1993

Compositions for Off-off Broadway
      Tilt (1995)
      Fuze (1996)

Some of the festivals where Steve has taught:

  • Augusta Heritage Center, Elkins, WV
  • Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, Ashley, OH
  • Common Ground On the Hill, Westminster, MD
  • Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, Binghamton, NY
  • Dulcimer Daze Festival, Coshocton, OH
  • Harvest Festival of Dulcimers, Dana Pt., CA
  • Heartland Dulcimer Camp (now Heritage Dulcimer Camp), Parkville, MO
  • Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration (defunct), New Milford CT
  • Ozark Folk Center Dulcimer Jamboree, Mt. View, AR
  • Southwest Dulcimer Southwest Dulcimer &
  • Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance and Storytelling Festival, Calabasas, CA
  • Swannanoa Gathering, Asheville, NC
  • Upper Potomac Dulcimer Festival, fall: Shepherdherdstown, WV


  • hammered dulcimer
  • piano
  • accordion

Home| Biography| Merchandise| Calendar| Teaching | Long Distance Learning | Northern Lights HD Retreat | Music Therapy | Resources | Other links | Contact Steve