School of Music > Community Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Joseph Spoelstra

Joseph Spoelstra

​Teaching Areas
Suzuki guitar
Classical guitar      

Joseph Spoelstra

MM, University of Southern California
BM, University of Minnesota

A passionate, thoughtful guitarist and teacher, Joseph Spoelstra shares his enthusiasm and love of music with audiences and students. 

Frequently collaborating with other musicians and composers, Joseph has given numerous premieres of new works throughout the US. In addition to championing new works for guitar, he performs solo and chamber works from the guitar's long history. With mezzo soprano Alyssa Anderson, he formed The Dream Songs Project, a group dedicated to enriching and expanding the repertoire for voice and guitar through commissions, recording, performance, and educational outreach. 

As a teacher, Joseph maintains active teaching studios in Chicago, Illinois. He is a trained Suzuki guitar instructor and is committed to the development of young students (ages 3 & up) through the pursuit of music education and the belief that every child is capable of playing music given a nurturing and supportive environment. He has been sought out as a teacher at workshops, universities, and Suzuki institutes across the country. Joseph previously served as the President of the Suzuki Music Association of California, Los Angeles. His students of all ages have received awards and honors in recitals and competitions.

Joseph holds his Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California and his Bachelor of Music from the University of Minnesota. His primary teachers were William Kanengiser, Brian Head, and Jeffrey Van, in addition to classes with Scott Tennant, Pepe Romero, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, Paul O'Dette, and many more. ​