Bonnie was born and raised in Atlanta, GA where she started playing the violin in the third grade at E. Rivers Elementary School. Since then, she has earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from Florida State University and a master's degree in music, specializing in violin pedagogy and performance.
In addition to her degrees, she has also done short-term teacher training at Suzuki Institutes, as well as various Young Artist Workshops. She is trained to teach all ten Suzuki Books with Every Child Can and Books 1 and 2 registered with the SAA, as well as the standard violin repertoire and is a member of both the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the Georgia Suzuki Association. She has taught both privately and group classes since 2001.
Bonnie also has a love of performing, in addition to her love of teaching, and regularly performs with groups throughout the state of Georgia and has performed with groups in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin and has also had the chance to perform on stage at Chicago's Symphony Hall.
Bonnie teaches using a combination of two methods: the Suzuki method and Paul Rolland's method. Both methods break down violin technique into small steps to be mastered one at a time. Rolland's method also stresses the importance of tension-free playing or having what we love to call "marshmallow" soft muscles. Because many Suzuki students are relatively young when they start private lessons, we delay note reading for a while and focus on developing their ear by lots of singing and listening.
Group classes are also a very important part of the method because of the emphasis on repetition, so we play a lot of games, review songs, and play some extra songs that help to review old skills. They are a great way to get to work with a teacher twice a week, which helps reinforce the skills learned in private lessons, and the students have a great time playing with other kids their age.