Brooke Mickelson Biography

Brooke Mickelson is a violist, music educator, and social entrepreneur with a passion for community arts engagement. Through all of her roles, her mission is to connect people through the arts and provide access to music education. She started playing viola in public school at age 10 because it was “cool” and has never stopped believing it. She holds a Master of Music Performance (Performance Pedagogy) from Arizona State University (ASU) and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Boise State University. She has studied with Nancy Buck, Dr. Linda Kline, and Jennifer Drake. She is currently based in the Bay Area of Silicon Valley.

Ms. Mickelson has 10 years of experience teaching private music lessons. Her students have earned seats in youth orchestras and high school chamber orchestras and have been accepted to study music at university. She runs a private music studio business, Brooke Mickelson Music, LLC, which is quickly growing in the South Bay Area. Additionally, she is on faculty for the Community School of Music and Arts, a nonprofit organization with the mission Arts4All. During her Master’s program, she taught a scale and technique class and private lessons for undergraduate viola students as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the ASU viola studio. She has taught for multiple nonprofits providing lessons for underserved students: ASU String Project, SOUNDS Academy, and Subsidized Music Lessons Program. This is reflected in all her teaching as she fosters an inclusive community for violists and violinists.

Ms. Mickelson works in program coordination and community engagement for nonprofit arts organizations. She created a Subsidized Music Lesson Program at Boise State University which helped 21 low-income students take over 200 affordable private music lessons in 3 years under her leadership. As a result, she was awarded the 2020 Martin Luther King & Meredyth Burns Scholarship, recognizing her “contribut[ion] to the growth of diversity and inclusion… in the community”. Continuing her mission and expanding her outreach during her graduate degree, Ms. Mickelson served over 100 low-income students as an Administrative Assistant for the Arizona State University String Project. After graduate school, she worked with the California Youth Symphony as Executive Assistant, supporting fundraising and administrative operations in the 22-23 season. She advocates for financial accessibility for all music education organizations, and particularly encourages private music teachers to make their studios accessible to low-income families. Sharing her passion and experience, she offered practical advice to teachers in presentations at the 2021 Music Teachers National Association conference and the 2019 Idaho Music Teachers Association conference.

Ms. Mickelson has played in orchestras at prestigious music festivals from Brevard Music Institute to FOOSA Festival. In 2018, she performed in Los Angeles’ Disney Hall with the FOOSA Philharmonic. She was a leading player in her university symphony and chamber orchestras and has enjoyed playing in community orchestras. Since 2022, she has played with the Palo Alto Philharmonic community orchestra. She plays in a Viola Quartet formed with members of Palo Alto, and the group performed Romanza by Christopher Lowry in November 2023. She has played in chamber music masterclasses with the Borodin, Borromeo, Cremona, Shanghai, and Saint Lawrence string quartets. Ms. Mickelson loves collaborating with composers and has played in premieres for 4 new chamber music pieces. Her specialty lies in 20th-century works. At Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska, she performed Hindemith’s Trauermusick viola concerto with a professional orchestra in 2016 and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei in 2018.

Ms. Mickelson has been recognized in several solo competitions. Lauded for “exceptional tone colors and range of intensity”, she won 2nd place in the 2018 Music Teachers National Association Idaho State Competition and received honorable mentions in 2017 and 2019. Most impressively, she placed in the finals for the 2019 Boise State University Concerto-Aria Competition performing the first movement of Hindemith’s “Der Schwanendreher” viola concerto from memory. She has played in solo masterclasses for renowned viola soloists and pedagogues Jeffery Irvine, Mai Motobuchi, and Karen Dreyfus.

Hailing from the state of Idaho, Brooke enjoys exploring the outdoors, cooking and baking, and watching critically-acclaimed shows and films. Pottery is her newest creative hobby!