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September 19, 2016

From Brazil to Cleveland, CIM Student Builds Confidence Through Music


Felipe Brito Teaching at Euclid High School

Cleveland Institute of Music student Felipe Brito (trombone, La Rosa) spends his Wednesday afternoons 10 miles down the road at Euclid High School where he teaches a group of teenagers in the school’s marching band. As Brito snaps his fingers along with a metronome, the brass students work through each of their parts, Brito leading the way. He’s a natural, having been teaching since 2006 in a similar community outreach program in his hometown of Itu, Brazil.

Brito started studying music when he was 13, but didn’t start playing trombone until he was 16, which he describes as a “late start.” Brito is in his second year at CIM, participating in the Artist Diploma program, studying with Massimo La Rosa. He went from playing in the marching band at his school to playing in a community band, then to teaching in the community. “I wanted to give back to the community and to share what I was learning with the community,” he says. He even decided to apply for a grant to do research on community bands in Brazil, which he won, allowing him to dive into this passion for two more years.

When Brito came to CIM he wanted to continue that charge, explaining that kids who participate in programs like these can gain confidence. “It’s definitely going to change the way they see themselves,” he explains. “When you see yourself doing something well, and you’re in control, your level of confidence, how you solve problems, how you achieve something, changes completely. And you can apply that to any aspect of your life. That’s what I’ve been doing.”