Music Lessons


Justin started playing guitar at the age of eight, taking lessons at a local music studio in Princeton, NJ. Shortly after entering high school, he began studying jazz with internationally renowned guitarist Joe Federico, whom he apprenticed under for four years. After graduating, he spent three years studying with Tom Giacabetti at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Since relocating to New York in 2001, he has studied under Vic Juris and John Patitucci at The City College of New York, from which he received a Bachelors of Music in May 2005.

Teaching Experience

* Private guitar teacher in students homes. (2000 – current)
* Teacher of guitar and electric bass at Princeton Music Studios (2003 – 2004)
* Faculty guitar teacher at the South Jersey Rhythm Collective (2003 – 2004)
* Faculty guitar teacher at The Greenwich School of Music (2005 – 2006)
* Faculty guitar teacher at The Bergen Academy of Music (2007 – 2011)
* Faculty guitar teacher at The Bronx Lab School (2007 – 2010)
* Music teacher at the Smith School. 131 west 86th street (2014-2015)

Teaching Strengths

* Justin is an experienced teacher with a clear understanding of how to teach guitar technique, improvisational skills, and music theory.
* Justin recognizes that every student is unique. Students learn in different ways, require individually-tailored curriculums, and have different goals. He is sensitive to a student’s needs and adjusts his teaching methods to best serve each of his students.
* With years of teaching and playing experience, Justin can teach all levels and styles of guitar, from beginner to advanced.
* Lessons focus on ear training, music theory, guitar technique, music reading skills, repertoire, and improvisation skills. Justin strives to help his students develop a sensitivity to the nuances of playing guitar in different musical styles — crucial for a true understanding of your instrument.
* Justin also teaches Banjo, Mandolin and Ukulele.


Justin is available for private lessons at the students residence or on Zoom

zoom lesson prices

(Rates may change depending on travel time.)

(notes from Justin about his teaching)

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years of teaching guitar it’s that every student is different. Some students learn slow, some fast. Some are good at reading music and some are better by playing by ear. Some better at chords and some better at melodies ect…..
The best teachers adjust to how every student learns and approaches each student as a totally different project. I always try to adjust my teaching style and material to how the student reacts and how they improve.
That being said, one thing is pretty much always the same. Practice makes perfect and with practice success always comes. For some students a song may only take a day to master, others a week, and some people a month. This doesn’t mean that one student is better than the other but only that the particular song and technique has affected them in different ways.

When a new guitar student who has never played the guitar before comes to me for the first time the first thing I always teach is how to pluck the strings with a pick (unless they prefer fingerstyle) and how to fret notes with the other hand. I pretty much always teach it the same way and decided that these two free videos would help people learn that on their own if they want to. It will also give the student a chance to hear my voice and get to know me a little before the lesson.
Enjoy the videos! Keep practicing and most importantly HAVE FUN!”

Beginner guitar instructional video for fretting hand (left)

Beginner guitar instructional video for picking hand (right)

Here is a video I did playing with a saxophone student at the student recitals for the Bergen Academy of Music in 2008.


“I learned a lot from Justin, and I had a great time at our lessons. He was always on time, prepared, and really let my interests in guitar guide his teaching practice. In six months, I learned ten songs and a number of exercises. I improved hugely, and I totally credit Justin for that. He’s a super teacher!”
-Royale Webber

“Justin Rothberg has been a positive influence on Matthew Weisbecker‚Äôs
development as a guitar student and as a musician. He has taught Matthew
conventional techniques and has also introduced him to jazz and blues, which he
now loves and embraces. In addition, Justin cultivates Matthew’s love for classic
rock, helping him fine-tune songs that standard teachers do not support. This past
year has allowed Matthew to develop his musical skills extensively in a short period
of time. Justin‚Äôs dedication is truly remarkable and it shows.”
-Rose Weisbecker