Laura Santoni

4 Aug

Social Artist & Founder of Sing the Change & The Singing Hearts Club.


“I was born in Hong Kong to Italian parents, educated in Australia and moved to South Africa over 20 years ago. I started out as a primary school teacher and left Australia in the late 80’s to work as an international model, actress and singer with music being my number one passion. When I moved to South Africa I began an inward journey that led me to studying Kinesiology with a focus on emotional healing and intelligence. I started my first project, "A Sound Education", at Qingqa Mntwana in Crossroads and taught life skills via music and creative arts. I co-wrote text books for the South African music curriculum of 2005 for learners and teachers, but have never formally studied music. I also worked for CPUT assessing foundation phase student teachers. After becoming a mom, I wrote and recorded my first children's CD, “Dizzy Love “ and launched the Singing Hearts Club in 2010 to teach life skills to young children though contemporary personalized songs. In 2014 I developed Sing the Change, this time working with teenagers, using music to develop and encourage the use of their voice and inner resources such as empathy, vulnerability creativity , authenticity, compassion. I give workshops and create platforms for unique intergenerational experiences for youth to use their voice for social change, by addressing universal issues with song writing, spoken word poetry, recording and public performance with professional artists. Both music and my experience with different cultures has taught me a simple yet fundamental truth that inspires much of what I do.”


Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts?
“I love how Upstarts inspires creativity and connection through experiential learning. Empathy and imagination not productivity are the priority points. Sustainable education for todays world!”

How would you ‘Re-educate Education’?
“I believe in giving youth an effective voice in whats going on into today's world. I believe in optimizing their natural desire to be heard and belong, and use them as opportunities to develop inner resources needed to bring about positive social change. When people feel they belong, they are inspired to join forces for the greater good. Music is the ideal tool, a universal language that surpasses diversity and can lead us to our heart felt common ground.”


Laura Santoni