City Voices is a nonprofit organization that provides free, high quality, individualized music instruction to underserved students in the Des Moines Public Schools. It is our belief that helping students build these skills allows them to more effectively participate in music opportunities around them, including their school and community programs. We also believe that, in doing so, we are mitigating inequalities, allowing students access to experiences that are frequently out of reach due to a lack of financial resources.
The City Voices program includes voice lessons and basic music theory. Small group instruction may also be available. No previous musical experience or training is required and there is no charge for instruction for students with need. Students can expect to study works in a variety of genres, and will be prepared to participate in contests, festivals and auditions. Each semester-long session will culminate in a public performance, and other neighborhood performances may be scheduled.
The City Voices pilot program was launched in summer 2013, serving students at North and Roosevelt High Schools in Des Moines. With the completion of a successful pilot program and additional funding, City Voices has now expanded the program to reach throughout the city, and we have served over 170 students since our inception. We now have a dedicated facility at 4001 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, easily accessible by bus, and have added lessons on keyboard and guitar, as well as periodic enrichment classes in a variety of music study areas.
Students attending the Des Moines Public Schools, with financial need, are eligible to apply. When selected, all participants are expected to maintain good attendance both in school and in the City Voices program.
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