Michelle has been playing music since age 5, as soon as her hands were large enough for piano lessons. However, as soon as she heard the sound of a banjo at age 11, the piano was history. She learned how to play the banjo from the Earl Scruggs Banjo Book, Mr. Olin Swaim (who made her first real banjo), and by sitting around pickin' with her Uncle Doug Yonce, who played the guitar and sang. Growing up, she played regularly on the Top of Georgia Jamboree in Dillard (in the old schoolhouse next to the Dillard House) and at the Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee, when it was still under a tent with folding chairs and a dirt floor. She has played with several bands over the years, including with her Uncle Doug, Bulldog Bluegrass and Buzzsaw at the University of Georgia, Paul Pitts & the Porch Pickers in Rome, and regional bands including New Five Cent, Brushfire, and Overdrive. She also did some studio work in Athens while attending UGA. After several years in the newspaper industry, she is a Language Arts teacher at Rehoboth Road Middle School in Spalding County and completed her doctorate in education in 2011. Besides pickin', she enjoys animals, riding and maintaining her road bikes, scootering, tinkering with Web sites, and designing things. She plays a 1979 Stelling Bellflower and a 1974 Gibson RB-250, plus a banjo handmade by Olin Swaim.