James Mick, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Ithaca College in upstate New York. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in string pedagogy, orchestral rehearsal techniques, instrumental conducting, and the psychology of music teaching and learning. In 2020, Dr. Mick was awarded Ithaca College’s Faculty Excellence Award.
A passionate music educator and ardent supporter of public-school music programs, Dr. Mick regularly works with public school students of all ages and abilities. He frequently conducts students in a variety of settings ranging from individual school and all-district events to all-county and all-state honor festivals. Recent All-State orchestra appearances include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, and Wyoming. Internationally, he has worked with student ensembles in the United Kingdom and Belgium.
In addition to his guest conducting appearances, Dr. Mick served as music director and conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2015 to 2023. Throughout his tenure, the RPYO performed several concerts per year in various locations across the Rochester community including an annual side-by-side performance with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Eastman Theatre’s Kodak Hall. He has also led the RPYO in concert at the esteemed Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In 2021, the RPYO was selected for Midori’s Orchestra Residency Program. The project culminated with a virtual concert featuring Midori performing a new violin concerto composed by Derek Bermel. Prior to his involvement with the RPYO, Dr. Mick was the music director of the Ithaca Community Orchestra where he proudly worked with a diverse group of musicians representing a wide range of ages and experiences. His primary conducting mentors are Alexander Jiménez and Germán Gutiérrez.
A popular clinician, Dr. Mick has presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences including the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference and The Midwest Clinic: An International Band & Orchestra Conference. He has been invited as the featured orchestra/strings clinician at music education conferences in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and an invited guest speaker at a variety of higher education institutions.
Dr. Mick’s research interests include adjudication reliability, performance perceptions, school string program viability, and string instrument vibrato characteristics. His scholarly work has been published in various journals including Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, Music Educators Journal, and String Research Journal in addition to regional and state music education journals. Dr. Mick has also contributed pedagogical book chapters to The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States and to Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra, Volume 4, for which he served as lead co-editor and compiler. In addition to his scholarly writing, Dr. Mick serves on the editorial board of the String Research Journal and is a past-President of the New York State chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
Originally a native of Kansas, Dr. Mick previously taught elementary and middle school orchestra in Texas, and high school orchestra and jazz in New York. He holds degrees from Florida State University, Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education; Ithaca College, Master of Music in Music Education; and, Texas Christian University, Bachelor of Music Education. Outside of his academic pursuits, Dr. Mick is an avid bicyclist who enjoys spending time with his wife, Elizabeth Moore, DVM, PhD, and their son, Silas, exploring the beautiful Fingerlakes region.