illa-Lobos was concerned with the neglect with which music was treated in Brazilian schools, and presented a revolutionary plan for Music Education to the Department of Education of the State of São Paulo. The approval of his plan led him to move back to Brazil for good.
In 1931, he organized a choral group, called "Civic Exhortation" from among representatives of all of São Paulo’s social classes, nearly twelve thousand voices strong.
After two years’ work in São Paulo, Villa-Lobos was officially invited by the Secretary of Education of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Anísio Teixeira, to organize and direct the SEMA (Superintendency of Artistic and Musical Education), which introduced the study of Music and Choral Singing into the school curriculum.
As a consequence of his educational work, he traveled to Europe in 1936, representing Brazil at the Congress of Musical Education in Prague. On returning to Brazil that same year, he forms a liaison with his secretary, Arminda Neves d’Almeida.
With the support of then-president Getúlio Vargas, he organized grandiose choral groups, some with as many as 40,000 school children, and in 1942, he founded the Conservatório Nacional de Canto Orfeônico (National Conservatory for Choral Singing), whose objectives were to train candidates for choral teaching in primary and secondary schools, to study and draw up policies for teaching Choral Singing in Brazil, to promote Brazilian musicology, to make phonographic records, etc.