Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

Verena Abufaiad

Ms. Abufaiad received a DMA in Piano Pedagogy from the University of South

Carolina. She completed her dissertation on the Guia Prático for Piano by Heitor Villa-Lobos, a

collection of fifty-nine solo pieces with pedagogical value, ranging from early intermediate to early

advanced levels. Her previous degrees are from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the

Universidade do Estado do Pará, in her native country, Brazil. Her former piano and piano

pedagogy teachers include Marina Lomazov, Scott Price, Sara Ernst, Paola Savvidou, Peter

Miyamoto, and Gloria Caputo.

During her doctoral studies, Verena Abufaiad taught four levels of class piano as a graduate

assistant, music appreciation for non-music majors, and piano in both private and group settings

for pre-college students through the Center for Piano Studies, for which she organized recitals,

group classes, and piano examinations as the Events Coordinator. In 2019 she was selected to

present her dissertation research at the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy and the State

Conference for the South Carolina Music Teachers Association in the format of lecture recitals,

eager to make this concert and pedagogical repertoire of Brazil better known among pianists and

pedagogues. Her accomplishments also include her students’ achievements, which encompass top

prizes in state and nation-wide auditions in both the U.S. and Brazil, in the Steinway Junior Piano

Competition, and first-class honors with distinction in the examinations for the Royal

Conservatory of Music.

While in college, Ms. Abufaiad won state and national piano competitions and was the

recipient of two research scholarships, one devoted to piano technique and the other to study the

transmission process of oral tradition music in a specific community in the Amazon. The book

“Folias de São Sebastião: Um Estudo sobre a Transmissão Musical” [Folias of Saint Sebastian: A

Study of their Musical Transmission”], written by ethnomusicologist Dr. Liliam Barros and Dr.

Abufaiad, was funded and published by the Brazilian federal government and was the product of

the study on oral tradition music.

In Brazil, Verena Abufaiad held teaching positions at the Consevatório Carlos Gomes,

Fundação Amazônica de Música, an outreach program for underprivileged students, and the Pará

State University, where she taught applied piano for undergraduate piano majors.

I truly believe in the power of music to change lives and the impact we can have as music teachers.

Verena currently teaches on Mondays at Freeway Music Downtown Columbia , Tuesdays at Freeway Music Lexington and Wednesday through Friday at Freeway Music Northeast.


DMA, Piano Pedagogy/Recital Track with a Minor in Music Theory, University of South Carolina

MM, Piano Pedagogy, University of Missouri

MM, Piano Performance, University of Missouri

BM, Piano Performance, Universidade do Estado do Para, Brazil


The Guia Prático, Álbuns Para Piano by Heitor Villa-Lobos: A List of Piano Pieces by Level of Difficulty with

Stylistic Annotations (Doctoral dissertation), 2019.

Folias de São Sebastião: Um Estudo da Transmissão Musical, co-authored with faculty of the Universidade Federal

do Pará, Brazil, 2008.

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