Justine D.

Justine D.

4 Reviews
San Diego, CA

About Justine D.

Background Check: Last verified 08/14/2013
Justine passed a background check on 08/14/2013 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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Male Ages Taught: 5 to 99
Female Ages Taught: 5 to 99


I love music and believe in its ability to bring people together. It's been a part of my life since I was 5, practicing piano at home in Michigan.

Music was a big part of every single one of my school years, and I was lucky enough to be able to double major in music and psychology at Kalamazoo College once I graduated from high school.

My passion for music has taken me abroad, to London, where I studied Western & Russian art music and took classes in popular music studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

It spurred my move across the country to New York, where I developed a better understanding of how important creativity is to all of us -- especially musicians! -- at Teachers College, Columbia University.

And, most importantly, it's allowed me to do what I love from my home in San Diego, teaching privately both in-person and online.

I'm excited to get started with you and help you set and reach your musical goals!

*** Lesson Details ***
It's most important to me that you are excited and motivated about your music lessons! I am a flexible instructor and am always open to hearing your ideas for songs. After working together to identify your beginning knowledge of music and your instrument, we'll progress from song to song to develop your musical abilities.

We'll begin your lessons by warming up with a quick exercise, scale, or even an improvisational activity. We'll use the music you love to develop your guitar technique, learn new chords, and sharpen your listening skills.
You'll gain an understanding of what makes the music work and why the notes, rhythms, and harmonies are what they are.

The music we study can also serve as inspiration for creativity. I may ask you to come to the next class with a short composition of your own or we'll finish a lesson by improvising together on related musical themes.

I'll do my best to make my expectations for you clear and at the end of every lesson, we'll go over what we accomplished together and make sure you understand what to work on before our next class.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room with seating for parents, stands. I will have my own instruments present as well. I do not have amplifiers in my studio but do have cables and a tuner. Please note that I have two cats; they'll be in an enclosed room away from where we will have lessons, but if you have cat allergies this may not be a good fit.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect my student to provide an instrument of his/her own to play during the lesson and I will bring my own instrument as well to each lesson. In the case of bass guitar or electric guitar, I expect my student to provide an amplifier. I can provide cables if necessary. I also will bring a tuner.

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, orchestral, pop, rock

Photos and Videos


Music & Music Education; Ed. M. Sep 2009 - Aug 2011
Teachers College, Columbia University
Music & Psychology; B. A. Sep 2005 - Jun 2009
Kalamazoo College

Languages Spoken

English Fluent / Native Proficiency
Spanish Limited Proficiency

Student Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by 4 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by fabulous music teacher When I was looking for a guitar teacher for my 12 year old daughter I wanted someone who had a great background academically and also for that instructor to be approachable and kind and laid back. We gave Justine a try, with a little hesitation knowing that we're in NC and she's in CA, I thought this might be a big hurdle but soon any worries dissipated as Justine, not only has amazing professional and academic credentials but is absolutely the sweetest, most patient and caring teacher. Using skype to view her lessons my daughter is absolutely at ease and has learned the principles of guitar playing and started to play on her own and built enough confidence to the point that she enjoys and plans to continue learning the guitar. Thank you Justine for all your hard work and we highly recommend anyone searching for a guitar instructor to get Justine. Great investment! March 28, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Awesome! Justine is amazingly patient and great at breaking down the process for beginners. I like that she teaches using an app on her iPad - which I can use as a practice tool at home. She's flexible with my changing schedule and communicates in a timely manner with appointments. She makes learning guitar fun! June 7, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Justine is very patient but also careful to ensure that necessary capabilities are established before moving on. My coordination is taking awhile! In the meantime, a family illness has deferred lessons for awhile. March 2, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Justine is a fabulous teacher. In my previous attempts with guitar lessons, teachers would just show me how to play something and I got good at mimicking what the teacher was doing, but left to my own devices, I had no idea. Justine actually knows HOW to teach, in such a way as to create lasting learning and give me the tools to learn more on my own. She has stepped me through learning new chords and notes/scales and how they play out in music and even how a guitar is constructed. It makes so much more sense when you have a full picture of what's going on. I even hear music differently now. Thanks Justine! November 29, 2011