Elizabeth Varela

Elizabeth V.

Minneapolis, MN

Lesson Details

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Elizabeth teaches



Elizabeth delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 7 to 80

Teaching since:
October 2005

Beth specializes in teaching improvisation/composition. Students typically study the music of Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, Film, TV, as well as Classical styles. In general, younger students study from one method book (usually either American Popular Piano or Piano Adventures). Additional material is given to supplement. Adult students take an active role in selecting repertoire to study. All students learn technical exercises and music theory.

About 50% of Beth's private students are adult learners. Beth herself is an adult music student, studying cello from a local cello instructor.

Fun Note: I also love baseball, road biking, and wine.

*** Lesson Details ***
Together we will discuss your musical strengths and use them to target areas that need improvement. In addition to suggesting repertoire that I feel is a good fit for you, I'm excited to tackle your favorite popular songs that you suggest we learn. Together, we will come up with a goal for what you'd like to accomplish and we will hold each other accountable for reaching those goals.

Most importantly, playing the piano is a lot of fun. I'm not your traditional piano lady. Although I'll consider wearing spectacles by request ;)

*** Studio Equipment ***
A cat lives at the studio. Electronic MIDI keyboard with weighted keys & sustain pedal, Macintosh OS X computer, SmartMusic Practice Software, Finale Notation Software, Apple's Logic Studio, microphones, PA system, 2 Drum Sets, Hand Percussion, Guitars, Ukulele, music stands. Couch & waiting area w/music and magazines for parents/siblings.

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Show Director | Show Director Trainer | Private Instructor
Apr 2009 - Present
School of Rock | Private Instructor

I am a private instructor and show director at the School of Rock, where students study Rock in an ensemble setting. Students at the School of Rock also preform live shows at local rock venues.

I teach keyboard, drums, composition, and am the Show Director Trainer at the School of Rock.

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Digital Marketing Manager
Apr 2009 - Present
MakeMusic Inc.

I am a certified Search Engine Marketer, responsible for PPC, Google Analytics.

Film Composer
May 2005 - Present

I produce music for independent films and commercials. The productions are typically local productions, but I have on occasion worked remotely with independent film makers around the country.


Jan 2008 - Mar 2009
Minnesota School of Business
BM Film Composing
Sep 2001 - May 2005
Berklee College of Music
Music: Film Composing
Sep 2001 - May 2005
Berklee College of Music


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Search Engine Marketer
Jun 2012
SEO College

I am a certified Search Engine Marketer. I am responsible for maintaining SEO, SEM, and PPC for MakeMusic Inc. (makers of Finale, SmartMusic, Garritan, MusicXML technology).


Excellence in Film Scoring Award
Jan 2005
Berklee College of Music
Berklee Achievement Scholarship
Sep 2003
Berklee College of Music
Berklee Entering Student Tallent Scholarship
Jan 2000
Berklee College of Music

Photos & Videos

Short film entered in a local film contest in Minneapolis, MN. I composed, performed, and mixed the music
View one of beth's young piano students playing the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" with classmates.
Parent waiting room in the teaching studio

Drums in teaching studio

keyboard, laptop, and printer in studio

A view of the parents waiting room from the keyboard station in studio

University of MN Doctoral graduation ceremony.

Ticket to Brasil. Beth on drum set.

A thank you card from a student


13 Reviews

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Giovanni G. May 1, 2014
Piano ·

Outstanding skills

Beth is simply, a natural genius when it comes to music.
Her ability to match tones and key notes by ear is truly an advanced skill of hers, and she has a natural ability to listen, play, compile, and teach in a way any student can understand, no matter what skill level or learning style they possess, or are at.
I have had many piano instructors in the past, but Beth is by far the best one, and has skills and abilities well beyond your average musician.
Her natural talent is truly inspiring, and her enthusiasm when teaching adds further to the inspiration of the student desiring to learn.
She is friendly, outgoing, and very skilled at identifying both strengths and weaknesses of her students, and knows how to train the student to capitalize on their strengths, and overcome their weaknesses to meet their goals.
Hands down, she is the best musician personally I have ever met and trained under.

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DanielleM Jul 17, 2012

We are very happy with how our lessons are going. Beth has a way of connecting with Harry that inspires him to want to learn more.Thank you!

JimH Jul 13, 2012

As an adult student, I find Beth to be very patient and responsive to my specific learning needs in areas of focus, applied theory, progress, etc. In addition to the piano, Beth has a broad and very helpful knowledge of musicianship. I recommend her highly.

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MarkM Jun 12, 2012

Beth is an excellent teacher!

My 8 yr-old daughter is taking lessons from Beth, and she is learning a LOT and loving it. Beth tailors the lessons to fit my daughter's interests while still ensuring that the fundamentals are well covered.

ElisabethH May 9, 2012

Patient and creative

Beth teaches my 6-year-old son with incredible patience, creativity, and enthusiasm. I couldn't be happier and neither could my son!

NancyK Mar 11, 2012

Patient and intelligent teacher

Elizabeth has great ideas to help me learn in ways that work for the way my brain takes in new information. I'm in my early 40's and Elizabeth has great teaching skills for all ages.

ChelseaM Dec 20, 2011


Elizabeth is great! Not only is she a good teacher I love how she connects with my daughter!

AmyB2 Aug 5, 2011

Beth's viewpoint is wide ranging. Great teacher.

My 13 your son has been taking Jazz piano from Beth this summer. She seems a perfect fit. She brings up theory, points where jazz and world history cross and keeps him in line about practicing piano as well. Has been a really great addition to his love of music.

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HeideR Jul 13, 2011

Beth is a terrific teacher, understanding, compassionate, patient, knowledgeable, fun. She makes learning interesting and user friendly. She is personally approachable so lessons more like hanging with a friend doing something fun. I have over 40 years of teaching experience so I am well able to recognize a terrific teacher and Beth is certainly one. I also appreciate that Beth is an excellent role model for my 12 year old granddaughter.

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CharlotteF Aug 16, 2010

Beth is an excellent instructor. She challenges and encourages me to learn.

KristyT Jun 24, 2010

My daughtor has not brought home any study material or music. So it has been difficult to practice during the week. Otherwise good teacher!!

ReneeB Jan 23, 2010

Very attentive teacher. Has creative ideas.

JeffO Dec 5, 2009

She is a terrific teacher, 100% understandable and extremely informative!!

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