Meet Michael Lee New
Michael Lee New describes his process of teaching himself to play the guitar as trial and error. In seventh grade, he started playing by ear, listening to and playing through records from his mother's collection of ‘80s music. But, he didn't envision himself pursuing a degree in music performance until a series of roofing jobs led him to reconsider. In 2003, Michael enrolled in the Department of Music at Kennesaw State University, and today he says “there's no better place to get an undergraduate degree in guitar.”
“It's the faculty,” he says. “They're by far the best I've encountered.” Michael has studied guitar under Mary Akerman and theory with David Watkins, both of whom he describes as great teachers. The respect has been mutual. In 2005, Michael was selected to be the recipient of the Robert & Cheryl Moultrie Endowed Arts Scholarship, and was chosen by the faculty to receive a StAR Award from the Music Teachers National Association in Spring 2006. Because of “the momentum” he now has built, he eventually would like to become a college-level teacher.
The Department of Music has the same momentum, says Michael. “I think that in ten years, this school is really going to be respected for how it has developed its programs.”