Michael Shellabarger

Audio Production

Audio Instructor
The Art Institute of Michigan

Audio Instructor Michael Shellabarger

Learn how to learn. You'll never learn every single thing you'll need for your entire career in the short time you spend here. Michael Shellabarger , Audio Instructor
, The Art Institute of Michigan

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was a kid, trying to record sound-on-sound using an old tape deck, I saw myself doing this for a living.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

Some students come in thinking they have everything already figured out. So when I relate class projects to real-world situations, it’s eye-opening for them. I try to hone the energy they have for their chosen profession without stifling any of the enthusiasm.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

One of my favorite assignments is having students record as many sounds as they can from just one item. They then use these sounds to create a sound collage or musical piece. It’s one of the most surprising and rewarding projects to be a part of.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Adding a fresh perspective is always a good way to expand your outlook on a creative project. And that’s especially the case when you’re working with students from more than just your own discipline.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Learn how to learn. You’ll never learn every single thing you’ll need for your entire career in the short time you spend here. Knowing how to pick up where we leave off is a skill that’s priceless.

Anything else you’d like to share?

It's fun to see how, as everything changes around this school through out the year, the passion of the students stays the same.