Summer Music Academy 2018

Greetings! Welcome to the 2018 City Voices Summer Music Academy! You can find everything you need to know here!

SIGN UP HERE: Summer Music Academy 2018

We are located at 4001 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA.

The DART #60 bus stop is one block away. DART Bus Routes

City Voices is a scholarship program. If selected, students are expected to attend every lesson and/or class, unless arranged in advance. Make up lessons may be available, but are at the discretion of the Teaching Artist and Executive Director. Consistent unexcused absences will result in dismissal from the program.

City Voices is a 501(c)(3) created to give underserved, low-income students access to musical training and enrichment. There is no cost for lessons or classes for eligible students. If you have a question about eligibility, please email

Questions? or call 515-681-6234.



  • PRIVATE VOICE LESSONS: Ongoing. 30 minutes weekly. Scheduled by mutual agreement between student and teaching artist.
    • A 30-minute individual lesson with a highly qualified, experienced professional Teaching  Artist.

  • PRIVATE GUITAR LESSONS: Ongoing. Scheduled by mutual agreement between student and teaching artist.
    • A 30-minute individual lesson with a highly qualified, experienced professional Teaching  Artist.

  • KEYBOARD THEORY: Ongoing. Scheduled after initial assessment by teaching artist, by mutual agreement. Instructor: Chris Powell.

    • Want to play piano? Accompany yourself? Jam out with friends or in a band? This is your class! Start making music NOW! Classes grouped by ability level. No experience necessary!

  • BEGINNING GROUP GUITAR: Ongoing. Mon/Wed 1 PM-1:45 PM. Instructor: Daniela Ortiz.
    • Want to play guitar? Never learned how? Now you can – just the basics, but enough to get you strumming on your own! Perfect for beginners
  • COLLEGE PREP MUSIC THEORY: Ongoing. Mon/Wed 11am-noon. Instructors: Mary Anne Sims & Daniela Ortiz.
    • For students who are considering college study or music careers, or if you want a little more when it comes to studying music! Including part-writing, scales, aural skills. Suitable for  those taking the Music Theory AP test.


  • A CAPPELLA CAMP – June 4-8. 9 am-noon daily. Instructor: Chris Powell.
    • Learn the basics of a cappella in a comfortable small group setting. Work on your harmony and beatboxing too! Combine with other City Voices students to make a small ensemble.

  • SONGWRITING CAMP – June 11-15, 9 am-noon daily. Performance June 16, time TBA.  Instructor: Courtney Krause.
    • Learn how to turn your ideas into a song! Have the opportunity to record. Led by Courtney Krause, whom the Des Moines Register called an “Iowa Artist to Watch in 2018.” All levels welcome, instrument proficiency helpful.

  • HIPHOP CAMP – June 18-28, 9 am-noon Mon-Thurs daily, NO FRIDAY CLASSES. Instructor: DatDude Biggz.
    • Learn how to make a beat, rap it, and perform! Taught by local hiphop artist DatDude Biggz.

  • MUSIC PRODUCTION – July 9-13, 9 am-noon  Instructor: Dartanyan Brown.
    • Activities range from songwriting to sound design using both sample-based and field-recorded audio sources. Students will create final recorded projects reflecting their interest and goals.

  • MUSIC THEATER – July 16-27, 9 am-noon daily. Instructor: Napoleon M. Douglas.
    • Practice and refine your music theater skills with New York-based Equity Actor Napoleon Douglas, including dance styles, vocal  technique, voice care, and repertoire choice. No experience necessary!


  • HOW TO COLLEGE. The professionals at Iowa College Aid will take you through the process of planning for, and following through with college plans! A series of 3 Tuesday late afternoon classes will address common questions and concerns. Appropriate for students AND parents! At City Voices studio, downstairs.
    • Tuesday, June 12, 5:30 p.m. GETTING TO COLLEGE. College fit, college visits, college selection, and application tips.
    • Tuesday, June 26, 5:30 p.m. AFFORDING COLLEGE. Applying for financial aid (FAFSA), finding a job, being a smart borrower, finding private scholarships.
    • Tuesday, July 17, 5:30 p.m. SUCCEEDING IN COLLEGE. Organizing your time, taking on more responsibility, getting involved, and using campus resources.
  • MICROPHONE TECHNIQUE FOR SINGERS. Microphone use for every kind of singer including how to set one up so you can run your own sound. Wednesday, June 6, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
    • Do you know how to plug in a mic? How best to hold one? How a live PA system works and how to set one up? What about studio recording microphones? How are recording microphones different than live performance microphones? This event will give you a crash course to microphone technique and more importantly a chance to hear it all for yourselves! Hosted by long-time performing singer/keyboardist/songwriter and Berklee ’07 graduate Natalie Lowe.
  • YOGA FOR SINGERS. Great for posture, breath support, belting, and releasing tension – no experience necessary!
    • Wednesday, June 20, 4-4:45 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 11, 4-4:45 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 25, 4-4:45 p.m.