Stephen Kleiman – Guitar Teacher

Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, Mandolin
Classical, Jazz, Rock, Dixieland

Kleiman Head ShotI am currently Adjunct Professor of Music at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where I have taught for the past 18 years. Because of my proficiency on many stringed/fretted instruments, (Guitar, Bass, Tenor Banjo, 5 string Banjo, Mandolin and Ukulele) and my comfort with a variety of styles, I am one of the most sought after Musician/Teachers in the tri-state area.

I have performed with Grammy winners Diane Schurr, Al Martino and comedian Rich Little, The Woody Herman Big Band and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra are among some of my many musical credits.

Because of my ability to play music on sight with little preparation, I get many calls for local show work in the Philadelphia area. Cats, Suessical the Musical, Dessa Rose, Pippen, 3 Penny Opera, 52 street, are just a few of the many shows I have worked on.

I studied with legendary guitarist Pat Martino and Maestro Dennis Sandole, who was John Coltrane’s teacher. I have also done recording work in Philly at Morning Star Studios, arranging for many local singers, and written some local jingles.

In the 70’s, I was on the road with the late great Buddy Miles. (Founding member of The Electric Flag in 1967, then as a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies from 1969 through to January 1970) My younger private students end up being placed in many top music Colleges and Universities including Curtis, Temple, Drexel and Duquesne.


When did you begin playing Guitar, and why?
Saw the Beatles in 1964 on Ed Sullivan Show and never looked back.


What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
Guitar all styles/Banjo 4 and 5 string/Mandolin/Ukulele and Sitar – I have been a professional musician close to 40 years. The only way to make a living in the business is to be able to perform proficiently on whatever instrument the job calls for.


What are your personal goals as a musician?
Just to continue what I have been doing: teaching and performing


Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
I was on the road with a Disco band in the 80’s and Tony Bennett was at the club- After much persuasion he got up and sang. I accompanied him on solo guitar to a couple of his big hits. Although we never performed together or rehearsed, I was able to accomplish what was asked of me because of my musical training.


What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
Learn to play with a heavy pick  ( 2.0 mm )


What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
Making sure i finished my routine of 3 octave Major and Harmonic minor scales before my Mom called me down for dinner growing up.


What is your biggest musical achievement?
Cats on Broadway and playing with Buddy Miles; 1 degree of separation to Jimi Hendrix


Favorite thing about teaching?
Seeing students progressing.


What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Chet Atkins tells a story about falling asleep in bed with his guitar and Eddie Van Halen always talks about when he came up with his two hand tapping technique (he was on toilet). In other words, you’ve got to keep the instrument in your hands as often as you can.


Personal music projects:
I am always in the studio writing, performing, and producing along with practicing new material and working as a hired gun in the tri-state area.