Dean Southern, DMA, is Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs & Dean of the Institute at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is also a member of the voice faculty and has a diverse musical background as a singer, pianist, and stage director.

Southern was a Master Teacher at the 2020 NATS Intern Program, where he mentored early career professional voice teachers. He serves as executive director of the Art Song Festival at CIM, which was founded in 1985 to promote art song and cultivate its performance by hosting international artists in recitals and master classes. He spent eleven years on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, and he has since taught at summer programs in Italy, China, California and Massachusetts. Southern was a jury member of the Bologna International Vocal Competition in Italy and he has served as an adjudicator for competitions in Austria, China, and across the US.


  • Luther College in Decorah, Iowa
  • MM in piano performance, University of Missouri 
  • MM in voice performance, University of Akron 
  • DMA in voice performance, Cleveland Institute of Music 
  • Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist Program

Teaching Experience

  • Cleveland Institute of Music
    • 2006-2008, 2012-present
  • University of Miami Frost School of Music in Coral Gables, Florida
    • 2005-2006, 2008-2012
  • National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
    • Master Teacher, 2020 NATS Intern Program
    • Chair, NATS International Advisory Committee
    • Governor, Ohio District of NATS