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Work experience



The Guitar Workshop

Teaching music and technology is a passion of mine.  I feel it is a way to give back all that I have received by having music in my life.  I currently give private lessons to students of all ages and levels. The past 15 years of teaching private lessons have been insightful and enriching, helping me to continuously reflect and refine my pedagogy. Recently I have been working on a Guitar Methods book  and a series of educational videos that explain my approach to teaching guitar and music theory.



Freelance Work

For over 20 years, I have balanced the talents of performing, recording, producing and teaching lessons. Traveling the country from New York to New Orleans to San Francisco, I have played music in thousands of venues big and small. It has been a pleasure to be invited to play on and engineer hundreds of recording projects with prominent artists including Jim Brock and Tim Cashion. In addition, I have engineered 5 albums of my own projects, including green Light andAutomatic Chi. In 2002, I was invited to compose 4 songs for the soundtrack to the film Walking the West, which won Best Documentary at the California Independent Film Festival that year. 

I consider myself to be a versatile musician, playing many instruments in a range of styles. I have had the privilege of playing with some of the best musicians of this era, including John ScofieldGrover Washington Jr, Four80East, and Walter Beasley. I have opened for James Brown, Charlie Hunter, Oteil Burbridge, and Robert Walters. Venues of note include the Knitting Factory in NYC, DBA in New Orleans, the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco and SOHO in Santa Barbara. I even played a stint for the Ringling Brothers Circus.

New projects abound in the studio and on the road this year. The first album from my latest Guitar project, Automatic Chi has just been released and the documentary, The Spirit of Sacajawea, whose soundtrack features my work on Guitar and Bass, is soon to be released. House of Fire, a reggae project, and Jazz is Led, modern interpretations of Led Zeppelin tunes, are two of my latest Bass projects. These days I am staying closer to home.  I run a small recording studio at my house  where I have engineered projects for local talents, including singer/songwriter Lindsey Horne, Bellyfull and Bubonik Funk. I recently won the 2012 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council.  I am using this to fund a recording of my original compositions featuring Jim Brock, Lovell Bradford, Adam Snow, and George Porter Jr. of The Meters.

Jan 2011Present

Adjunct Professor of Jazz Guitar

Davidson College

I am very excited to be teaching Jazz guitar at Davidson College.  The Jazz program is growing and getting stronger every semester.  It is fulfilling to see my students learning and applying that knowledge to their ensemble classes as well as their own personal growth.  I currently teach both Jazz Guitar and Jazz Bass to music majors and non-majors.


Studio Musician/Engineer

Sound Choice Studio

I recorded thousands of songs for Sound Choice, the largest producer of Karoke tracks in the world.  I was responsible for recreating the guitar tracks from hit recordings and engineering those tracks to achieve the sounds of that particular recording.


Additional Music Studies

Since studying music at UNC Charlotte while pursuing my degree in Business and Accounting, I have continued to pursue musical training privately with professional musicians, including:

-- Oz Noy (Performed with Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Harry Bellefonte, Toni Braxton, Gavin Degraw, Clay Aiken)

-- Jim Campilongo (Performed with Norah Jones, Cake, Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson)

-- Joel Harrison (Performed with Dave Liebman, Norah Jones, David Binney, Uri Caine, Dan Weiss )


Berklee College of Music

Studied with:

-- Tomo Fujita (Former students include Eric Krasno of Soulive and John Mayer)

-- Norman Zocher (Touring guitarist for John Medeski, Bob Moses, Oliver Lake)

-- Joe Rogers  (Eastern philosophy to develop the guitarist as a whole musician)


Bachelor of Science

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

My background with business and accounting gave me the tools to manage my career as a professional musician for the past 20 years.  Moreover it has allowed me to manage my own creative projects as well as the projects of others.  


Graphic Design


I have working knowledge of both Mac and PC platforms in a variety of programs:

Music Recording and Editing:

ProTools, Logic, GarageBand, Peak, Live

I have recorded many CDs for my projects as well as for clients at my studio.  A partial discography is available at my website.

Web Design:

Dreamweaver, iWeb, Flash, HTML

I have created several websites using a variety of programs.  My most current websites are:

Graphic Design:

Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

I have created posters, flyers, brochures, CD artwork, t-shirts, stickers and various promotional artwork for various projects.  For examples see the graphic design portfolio sidebar on the right.  

Video Editing:


I am currently working on a series of instructional videos for students.

Social Media/Networking:

blogs, podcasts, newsletter builder

I have used social media as a promotional tool from the beginning of that revolution.

Word Processing:

Pages, Word


Numbers, Excel

Website Development

Philosophy of Teaching

My teaching pedagogy has been shaped over the past 15 years, by my attention to the student as an individual, possessing different strengths and styles of learning and communicating.  Each student learns in their own unique way and I take on the challenge of how to present the material to them in a way that they can take ownership of the material and use it long after our lesson is over. Patience, listening and asking questions helps me to make the connection with students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

In the Words of My Students...

I enjoy receiving feedback from my students as it helps me continually refine my teaching practice.  

  • "A teacher and a friend that listens to your spirit and talents to grow and expand the you in you.  Thank you Dustin for the expertise and spirit you helped instill in me.  I use it often to remember such a high standard of playing with spirit and groove!  I continue to be inspired and share the talent of you with everyone I encounter and hope to inspire the listener's that appreciate you.  I thoroughly do." --Pat D
  • "Studying guitar with Dustin was the most important thing I did before the age of 21, learning to read and attending college included.  The love of music Dustin instilled in me forms the basis of many of my friendships and is a large part of who I am, even a decade later."    

    "As a player, I still rely on Dustin's teachings.  Dustin applies music theory to songs students wish to learn, instead of boring students with cold theory and repetitive scales, as is common with other instructors.  The result is students look forward to every session.  I could count on learning a new favorite song and the theory behind it each lesson.  Dustin also saved time each lesson to help me write, arrange, and develop my own musical ideas. This was hugely helpful as I began to play with other musicians."

    "Aside from being a good teacher he is a soulful, graceful person and can play anything that you would ever want to learn.  He was a positive influence on my life and I cannot recommend studying with him strongly enough."--Taylor T

  • "I believe that Dustin Hofsess is one of the most gifted teachers of any kind that I've ever been lucky enough to meet.  He is supportive and always behind the student's desire to learn.  He is intuitive and seems to be able to come up with just the right idea or word of encouragement to help you go beyond where you thought you could go."--Rob W
  • "I learned more in the first year of taking lessons from Dustin than I did in the 15 years prior trying to teach myself with books, video's etc. It's been over four years ago now that I started with him and I continue to make more progress than I ever dreamed possible."  --Mark N
  •  “Dustin is very patient,yet pushes you along in each lesson. He is very keen to have you learn the songs you grew up listening or like to play.  He is not stuck to a certain way of learning, but adjusts to your style.  For me, it is like a new beginning in my life, amazing that I am doing this at 42 instead at 12!!” --Jeevan R
  • "I started taking lessons with Dustin Hofsess in 2000.  He is a brilliant musician and teacher.  I worked with Dustin for more than five years as a student; first learning other people’s music, and then working on my own songs.  I always came away from my lessons inspired and ready to continue playing and learning. A few years ago, he also taught my son.  I was amazed at how quickly my son picked it up with Dustin as his teacher, and mentor as well.  I recommended Dustin to another friend’s son, who also became a student. I can sum up Dustin’s teaching style in a few words:  intuitive, patient, focused, easy going,  extremely talented at what he does and always interested in the student and their goals.  I would  highly recommend Dustin Hofsess to any level of guitar student.” --Casey C