Bira Santos, percussion professor in Salvador, Bahia
Bira Santos, percussion professor in Salvador, Bahia

As a music professor for more than 20 years, Bira Santos has worked with a variety of individuals with a wide range of abilities from all over the world. Whether you are a total beginner that has never played a drum or an accomplished musician in your own right, you will learn a lot in your time with Bira, and have fun doing it.

Bira teaches classes and workshops on a wide variety of percussive instruments, including: atabaque, conga, agogô, surdo, pandeiro, xequerê, repique, afoxé, bacurinha, marcação, tambor de maracatu, tamborim, reco-reco, timbau, timbales, djembe, cajón, bango, and ganzá.

He offers rhythm and technique classes and workshops for both beginners and advanced students in private, semi-private, and group formats.

Group Classes

As the Music Director at the Diaspora Art Center in the Pelourinho, the historic center of Salvador, Bira teaches small group classes there most nights of the week. Payment is in cash only. Contact Bira directly for his current schedule.

Every class is tailored specifically to the students in the room. These classes are perfect for the tourist or beginner musician with little to no background in conga, atabaque, surdo, or the rhythms of the region.

Don’t speak Portuguese? No problem. Well-practiced in communicating with foreigners, Bira speaks basic English as well as a various words and phrases in a number of other languages. And a lot in percussion can be learned just by watching, imitating, and listening.

Private Classes and Workshops

If the small group format doesn’t seem quite right, then a workshop or private class might be a better fit.


For groups of five or more, a custom workshop is a great solution. These workshops can be organized at a date, time, and location that is mutually convenient with a curriculum that is agreed upon ahead of time.

Some of Bira’s more popular workshop topics are:

Read more about Bira’s specialty workshops.

Price varies depending upon the number of workshop attendees, workshop length, location, and topic. Email or WhatsApp Bira at +55-71-98669-2147 to discuss.

Private Classes

If you are looking for something not offered in the group classes, Bira also keeps a full private class schedule — teaching everything from introductory pandeiro (which he loves teaching) to advanced Candomblé techniques (specifically the Rum).

Whether you are a beginner looking for some individualized instruction or a musician looking to go deep in your knowledge of Afro-Brazilian music and its rhythms, then a package of intensive classes with Bira will get you there. Between having been born and raised in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, in the traditions of candomblé, as well as being a music professor, Bira has the depth of knowledge and ability to teach that few others do.

Click here to read more about Bira’s background and why you should study with Bira.

Class packages are available. Price varies depending upon the number and duration of the classes. Email or WhatsApp Bira at +55-71-98669-2147 to arrange your class package.

Buy an album (physical or digital)

Tocando para os Orixás is an album Bira created specifically for his students to take their practice further. It contains 13 different popular candomblé rhythms.

Available in both a physical format from Bira in Salvador or as an instant digital download right here on the site.

What Students Are Saying