It’s never too late to start playing violin! Vivaldi Music Academy violin teacher, Bonnie Diggs, started her incredible musical journey around age 13 when her grandparents gifted her family with a violin. Most professional violinists begin at a much younger age however Bonnie’s curiosity and love for learning led her to a professional level in an incredible few years. At age 14 she taught herself the basics of how to play the violin and worked through the Essential Elements for Strings book on her own.
As she progressed, she realized private violin lessons would bring her playing abilities to the next level. After 6 months of lessons, her teacher suggested that she audition for the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO). Much to her surprise, she ended up in their top orchestra! Before she could take her place in GNOYO, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina forced Bonnie’s family to move to Florida.
In September of 2005, Bonnie received a letter from GNOYO informing her they were rebuilding the orchestra and invited her to rejoin them! She spent hours practicing every day and by December 2005, Bonnie had conquered multiple songs. After her first concert she was inspired to dedicate her time to mastering the violin. When the famous violinist Midori was not able to make it to a rehearsal Bonnie stepped in to play the soloist’s Mendelssohn violin concerto on short notice – an amazing feat! As she auditioned for three universities to continue her studies, Bonnie received a full scholarship to each university. Bonnie chose to attend Loyola University and for the first two years she was principal second violinist. She pushed herself to practice more until she became concertmistress!
Bonnie loves to mentor beginners as well as teen and adult students who pursue the violin as it reminds her of the age at which she started playing. She encourages her students to never shy away from performing. She believes music teaches students to build character, confidence, and self-esteem, and looks forward to being a part of your very own journey on the violin!