Justine Dolorfino

Justine D.

San Diego, CA

About Justine D.

Background check: Last verified 11/01/2016
Justine passed a background check on 11/01/2016 that included the following:
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Justine teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: September 2008
Last sign in: Today


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've recently moved to private teaching full-time and couldn't be happier!

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

*** Online & In-Person 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.

All of my online and in-person lessons begin 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.

*** Additional Online Information ***

Online lessons can be just as effective as in-person lessons for teaching you the basics of your instrument, developing technique, and achieving your musical goals! I'll use screen sharing to display music, chords, and scale charts during the lessons. Materials will be emailed to you as well for you to use at home. And communication is extra important when it comes to online lessons; because I can't make physical adjustments, I'll often assess how you hold your musical instrument and describe how you can make the adjustments yourself.

Please note that a high-speed internet connection is needed in order to make sure that we can see and hear each other appropriately. In addition, I expect that you will be able to provide your own musical instrument (and amplifier, if you have an electric instrument) to use during the lesson.

*** Additional In-Person Information ***
I teach my in-person lessons from my home office with comfortable seating for both students and parents. I expect that you will be able to provide your own musical instrument to use during the lesson.

I will have music stands available for use during lessons and will accompany and demonstrate on my musical instruments. I will have an amplifier and cables, but if you prefer to bring your own amplifier you can do that, too!

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.

Photos and Videos

Doing what I love in my hometown of San Diego, CA! Taken in 2014.


Private Instructor
Sep 2011 - Present

As Private Lessons Instructor, I am grateful for the opportunity to teach both online and in-person guitar and bass guitar lessons to students of all ages and levels!

Thank you for reading my profile!

Teaching Assistant / Private Instructor
Oct 2011 - Jun 2012
School of Rock Burnsville

As Teaching Assistant, I assisted with early childhood music classes that focused on music appreciation, ear training, singing, and rhythm skills. As Private Instructor, I introduced guitar to students aged 6-7 in one-on-one classes.

Orchestra Teacher
Aug 2011 - Jun 2012
Heritage E-STEM Middle School

As Orchestra Teacher, I worked directly with classes of 5th & 6th graders and 7th & 8th graders to teach basic skills on the orchestral instruments -- violin, viola, cello, and bass -- as well as basic music reading, music theory, active listening skills, and improvisation. I coordinated performances throughout the year with other music faculty in the district and assisted with an extracurricular iPad music technology class and an extracurricular evening performance.

Music & Music Education Teaching Assistant
Sep 2010 - Aug 2011
Teachers College, Columbia University

As Teaching Assistant in the Music & Music Education program, I helped ensure the smooth running of three classes: Comprehensive Musicianship, Creativity and Problem Solving in Music Education, and Creative Arts Laboratory. I made copies of handouts, took notes, and recorded performances during classes, and posted weekly to class blogs. I was involved in in weekly pre-class meetings with the professor and had input on daily lesson plans.

Associate Faculty
Jul 2010 - Jul 2010
Music Improv Camp - Teachers College, Columbia University

As Associate Faculty, I worked directly with a student ensemble to compose their own pieces and develop their jazz and improvisational skills over the course of five intensive camp day sessions.

Music & Music Education Researcher
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Teachers College, Columbia University

As Researcher, I assisted with researching the history of the Music Education department at Teachers College, Columbia University, in conjunction with Dr Harold Abeles. Our research focused on the experiences of students who play gender astereotypical musical instruments.

Music Counselor
Jun 2008 - Aug 2009
Cranbrook Educational Community - Kingswood Day Camp

As Music Counselor, I worked at Kingswood Day Camp from June-August 2007 in charge of 7 year old, June-August 2008 and June-August 2009 teaching music to 6-14 year old. I saw each troop twice weekly and was responsible for coordinating two performance concerns throughout a six week period. Campers gained experience singing, engaging in active listening, improvising, exploring rhythms, and creating their own choreography for performances.


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

Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Jazz Improvisation
Jun 2013

I received this certification after completing a six-week intensive Berklee School of Music course taught by Gary Burton. We studied the foundations of jazz improvisation, submitted recordings of our playing, and engaged in peer review.

20 Reviews on Justine D.

Write a Review
Keilei Jan 8, 2017
· Guitar · In home
We met with Justine for my daughter's first guitar lesson at her home and it went really well. My daughter said that Justine was very helpful with teaching her about the parts of the guitar, string exercises, strumming, and play some chords. My daughter is excited for her next lesson.
Jordan Jan 7, 2017
· Upright Bass · In studio
Justine was great, communicative, prompt and my daughter had a great time!
Addison Dec 29, 2016
· Guitar · Online
She is doing really well with my daughter. She is great at identifying weaknesses and kindly correcting them, and keeping her encouraged and having fun.
Namita S. Mar 29, 2016
· Guitar · Online
First Lesson and I learned a lot about the Guitar; from recognizing the strings, to get familiarize with the chords to reading music for the first time.

Great Experience !!
Nyah W. Jan 14, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Great experience with our little one!
Bethany B. Jul 2, 2015
· Guitar · In home
My granddaughter tells me she easy to listen to very nice, and she believes that justine will teach her quite a bit. Myself I believe we picked a great teacher Experience wise and age compatible Justine I'm so thankful Your teaching Bethany.
Evelyn C. Jun 24, 2015
· Bass Guitar · In home
Justine has been teaching my daughter to play bass, and we could not be more happy. Justine delivers the fundamentals through the songs my daughter wants to play, which makes it more fun for my daughter and results in more practice!
Miguel N. May 14, 2015
· Bass Guitar · Online
Justine is very patient when teaching, and always has great advice to give at the end of a lesson. Her sessions are concise, friendly, and very helpful. She was a great teacher for me, as a beginner.
Kristen O. Jan 13, 2015
· Guitar · Online
Justine was very patient and kind yet offered the right about of constructive criticism. She always picked great songs for my daughter to play as well. Thanks Justine
Jacqueline M. Dec 30, 2014
· Music Theory · In studio
Justine is quite knowledgeable and patient, as she tailors the lessons to the student's ability and interest.
Justine Dolorfino
Justine D.

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