Intensive, after-school choir program will serve 50 children and put on public concerts

The Atlanta Music Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides intense music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood, has partnered with Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood to launch AMPlify, its new choral program.

Starting February 5, 2013, 50 Ivy Prep Kirkwood scholars will take part in AMPlify, the Atlanta Music Project’s new, intensive after-school choral program, where they will learn to sing in choruses, read and write music, develop vocal technique and perform public concerts.  AMPlify IvyPrepKirkwood will feature two co-ed choral ensembles serving grades 1-3 and grades 4-7, respectively.

Photo by Gideon Malitskie. L to R: Dr. A Clifton Myles and Ms. Kendra Shipmon, Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood Principals, Ivy Prep AMPlify students, Ms. Aisha Bowden, AMPlify Co-Founder & Director, Mr. James Dekle, AMPlify Teaching Artist

AMPlify’s holistic approach to music education will increase school-readiness skills through daily reading, memorization, speaking and singing of written music. To promote community building, AMPlify will build a network of musicians and music advocates through ensemble-based instruction, parental involvement, outreach events and collaborations with Atlanta-based artists and institutions. In promoting civic responsibility, AMPlify aims to develop not just exceptional musicians, but exceptional human beings.

There are no participation fees for AMPlify. Major funding has been provided by the individual donors of the Atlanta Music Project, who last fall raised over $21,000 in support of AMPlify’s launch. Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood is providing partial funding, space and students. The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs is also providing partial funding.

We are excited to have AMPlify at Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood as we are certain that both our boys and girls will benefit from the high quality choral instruction,” says Kendra Shipmon, the Ivy Prep Girls Principal. “We are looking forward to the partnership with AMPlify as a means to encourage the arts in our students while offering high quality after school programming.  We are extremely selective about the programming we put in place at our schools as it must be high quality and reinforce the culture and achievement for which we strive on a daily basis.  Both [Ivy Prep Boys Principal] Dr. Myles and I are confident that AMPlify is that type of programming and we couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity for our scholars.”

“We are thrilled about the Atlanta Music Project’s launch of AMPlify.” says Aisha Bowden, the Acting Executive Director of the Atlanta Music Project and Co-Founder/Director of AMPlify. “Partnering with Ivy Preparatory Academy is an incredible honor and opportunity and we look forward to working with their talented scholars. By inspiring social change through the pursuit of  musical excellence, together we are destined to accomplish great things for our youth”. 

Ivy Preparatory Academy operates tuition-free, public charter schools in the metropolitan Atlanta area. In 2011, Ivy Preparatory Academy (IPA) opened two schools in DeKalb County – a boys and girls school now serving scholars grades K through 7 known as Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood. These two single gender academies are modeled after the original “big sister” school, Ivy Preparatory Academy at Gwinnett.  For more information visit


Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides intense music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood. Now in its third year of programming and serving 150 students at four sites, AMP provides all its students with an instrument, teaching artists, classes and numerous public performance opportunities. AMP does not hold entrance auditions – the only requirement is commitment. AMP’s programs include AMP Orchestra, AMPlify and the AMP Academy. The Atlanta Music Project is inspired by El Sistema, the national youth orchestra and choir system of Venezuela. For more information visit

AMPlify is  partially supported in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.