BONNY (Choo) Shirk


Bonny (Choo) Shirk has been teaching music since 1994, and is a lifelong performer. She holds both a BA in Music Performance and a BA in Education from the University of Michigan, is certified to teach music, social studies and language arts in public school, has done graduate studies in education at University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and is working on a Masters in Music.  Bonny has extensive experience teaching private, group and school music to students of all ages and abilities. Her private students range in age from 3 to 80+, and she works with many students who have physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Keeping with her belief that music is universal and that EVERYONE can learn and benefit from the joy of music, Bonny prides herself on individually catering to each student's specific needs, making any necessary accommodations for students, particularly those on the Autism spectrum or other students who have special or limited physical, cognitive, developmental or emotional needs.  Many of Bonny’s students have gone on to successfully audition for college music programs, international orchestras, performing groups, and theater productions, and have been honored with various scholarships and awards. 

An experienced performer herself, Bonny has performed and toured locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on violin, piano, viola, cello, bass, guitar, percussion, voice and handbells, with multiple professional, private, and community orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs and theater groups, and has won several state and national competitions, including first place instrumentalist at the National American Music Teachers Conference competition. A member of the International Thespian Society and a former commercial model, Bonny has also lent her musical and acting talents to the stage and screen, performing recording tracks for independent short films, appearing in television commercials, participating in many levels of theatre both on stage and in the pit orchestra, and serving as the spokesmodel for LePage Fine String Instruments. She lives in New Bern with her family where she is the first violinist and booking manager for the Crystal Coast Musicians; serves as the music director and pianist for the Chapel on MCAS Cherry Point; the music director, accompanist and choir director of Croatan Presbyterian Church; and is honored to be a member of the teaching staff at Fullers Music.

With availability in the morning and during the day for young children, home schooled, college and adult students; as well as teaching in the afternoon, evenings and weekends, Bonny makes every effort to accommodate anyone who is interested in learning music, and welcomes students of all ages, experience levels, abilities and goals. In addition to learning music fundamentals such as note reading, ear training and theory, Bonny encourages her students to explore the styles and genres of music that interest them, including classical, rock, pop, Broadway, Christian, jazz, fiddle and more. She strives to help her students reach their individual goals, while keeping the learning process enjoyable, fun and engaging. She believes that anyone can learn music, and gain a skill and a gift that will last a lifetime.
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(*note: because they are universally considered standard repertoire pieces, most string students use Suzuki repertoire, but they are supplemented with a method book and theory book, as well as music in individual student’s preferred genres).