Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

Verena Abufaiad

Verena Abufaiad Bio

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 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, Verena had the honor of presenting 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 the pedagogical repertoire of Brazil better known among pianists and pedagogues. Some additional achievements include her students’ top prizes in state and nationwide auditions in both the U.S. and Brazil, the Steinway Junior Piano Competition, and first-class honors with distinction in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.

While in college, Ms. Abufaiad won state and national piano competitions. She received 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, as a teacher of applied piano for undergraduate piano majors.

I genuinely believe in music’s power to change lives and the impact we can have as music teachers.

Verena teaches on Mondays at Freeway Music Downtown Columbia, Tuesdays at Freeway Music Lexington, and Wednesdays through Fridays 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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