Verena Abufaiad is a current Doctoral student in Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. She holds Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Missouri as well as a BM in Piano Performance from the Universidade to Estado do Para, in her native country, Brazil.
While in college, Ms. Abufaiad won state and national piano competitions and was 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 product of the study on oral tradition music was the book “Folias de São Sebastião: Um Estudo sobre a Transmissão Musical” [Folias of Saint Sebastian: A Study of its Musical Transmission”], written by the ethnomusicologist Dr. Liliam Barros and Ms. Abufaiad, funded and published by the Brazilian federal government. In Brazil, Ms. Abufaiad held teaching positions at Consevatório Carlos Gomes, at Fundação Amazônica de Música, an outreach program for underprivileged students, and at the State University, where she taught applied piano for undergraduate piano majors.
During her graduate studies at University of Missouri, Ms. Abufaiad was recognized in piano competitions besides giving solo and collaborative recitals. She taught piano lessons through the Community Music Program and general music classes through an outreach project for underprivileged children at the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia.
Currently, Ms. Abufaiad serves as a class piano graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina and as piano instructor for the Center of Piano Studies at USC and Freeway Music in Columbia, South Carolina.
I truly believe in the power of music in someone’s life and in the role we model as music teachers play in encouraging that.