Mike is Professor Emeritus in the Music Department at Utah State University, and founded the guitar program at USU and was Director of Guitar Studies at USU for 39 years. In 1994, he was selected as “Professor of the Year” at Utah State University.
Mike received the ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Utah Chapter Outstanding Collegiate Educator of the Year Award in 2006. In December of 2012, Mike was selected as one of the U.S. Carnegie Professors of the Year. In that same year, he was selected as the USU Caine College of the Arts Professor of the Year, and in 2013, he was invited to be a TED speaker.
Mike is an in-demand clinician doing dozens of clinics and workshops annually for schools and various conferences. He averages over 130 performances annually as a soloist, with the group Mirage, and with the Lightwood Duo (a clarinet-guitar duo which has released six recordings). He is the author and/or co-author of 44 books. Recently, he has authored three new books (Guitar Fundamentals: Beginning, Intermediate, and Intermediate Level II) that are being used in the guitar blended-learning curriculum produced by Consonus Music. Mike also developed the curriculum and lesson plans for Consonus Music and appears on over 400 videos used with the Consonus program.
He has recorded 31 CDs, and appears on hundreds of instructional videos. He has had articles published in several magazines including Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle, and Soundboard. and has performed with many artists including: Jack Petersen, Glen Frey of The Eagles, Joe Diorio, Tommy Emmanuel, Jose Posadas, Johnny Hilland, Natalie Cole, and Alfie Boe.