Dorothy Kaplan Roffman

Director of the Thurnauer School of Music
Thurnauer School of Music


Master of Arts at Columbia University

Quick Facts

  • Dorothy loves food and film.
  • Dorothy has been at the JCC since 1984

With over fifty years of teaching expertise specializing in the youngest violinists, Dorothy Roffman has a passionate commitment to each student as an individual and a strong sense of the positive influence an outstanding music school can have on the entire community. Having studied violin with Christine Dethier, Raphael Bronstein and Ivan Galamian, she holds a BA from the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music and an MA in Musicology from Columbia. She was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, a member of the Music Department faculty at SUNY Stony Brook, and faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division for 32 years. Mrs. Roffman studied Suzuki pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki in the United States and Japan and developed Suzuki programs at the Harlem School of the Arts, the Lighthouse School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, where she was a faculty member for over thirty years.

Together with an extraordinary staff and faculty, we have created a community of music lovers and learners of all ages and backgrounds.

Her students have performed at Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, on Sesame Street and in Itzhak Perlman’s Fiddling for the Future, as seen on PBS. Mrs. Roffman received an award for Distinguished Service from the New Jersey chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In 2013, she was a recipient of a Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Mrs. Roffman has been the director of the Thurnauer School of Music since it began in 1984. In 2016, Mrs. Roffman was honored by the Thurnauer School of Music with the Gift of Music Visionary Award in appreciation of her years of service and dedication to the music school. Mrs. Roffman’s former students and graduates from throughout the Thurnauer School are teaching and performing as soloists and in orchestras worldwide, spreading their love of music to people around the globe. Throughout her many years at Thurnauer, her commitment has remained consistent: To provide quality music education for all.

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