Jubilation Foundation Teaching Artist Fellow Fabio Santana de Souza

Fabio Santana de Souza

Burbank CA
Fellowship: 2019

“I believe in the potential for learning and change. The impact music and dance can have is great.”

Fabio is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and Teaching Artist born in Brazil. He is a highly skilled trombone player, working with musicians such as Ziggy Marley and Lady Antebellum. He is also one of the founders of Forró in L.A, a group that helps spread the Brazilian culture by promoting dance classes, events, and artists.

As a member of the Viver Brasil teaching staff, he has been teaching music and dance residencies for LA’s BEST since 2015, educating kids in after school programs that develop creativity, confidence, and principles of music math.

What led you to be a teaching artist?
I have always enjoyed teaching kids. I have been told I have a lot of patience to be teaching music and dance to kids, but I don’t see it as having patience, I see it as having passion. When I am teaching kids, I feel great joy seeing them engaged and interested, especially when it is those kids who have the reputation of causing the most trouble. I strive to teach them everything I’ve learned – a variety of instruments and dances, as well as life lessons. This comes from the great teachers I’ve had. They’ve been patient with me and eager to share their knowledge, so that is how I learned one should be taught.

Teaching philosophy:
“It is the understanding and the spirit of the individual teacher that sparks the potential to transform others” – Anonymous. That describes how I view my position as a teaching artist. I have the opportunity to transform some of these kids, even slightly, towards something good and positive.

I want to make sure the kids have fun and feel confident. I like to create an environment without judgement since it can be discouraging at times when learning a new skill.

One kid would get up in the middle of class, he was disrespectful, but I said, leave him free, let him be comfortable. And by the end of the program he was the most engaged kid in the program, he had such confidence – he danced so perfectly, and was so quiet and respectful during the performance. He had the most focus, he danced really well with the other kids.

Describe a good day teaching:
When I arrived, all my instruments were locked up, because the coordinator forgot to open it. What am I going to do? So I sat at the piano and we all composed a song together. I had paper and pens, and recorded it too, about parties, the jumping house, piñata, singing, rapping. A good day.

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