San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 8th, 2009
SMBA teacher receives coveted certification

Dr. Karen Munson sits at the piano with some of her students at San Marcos Academy.


Dr. Karen Lyle Munson of San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA) recently received her permanent national certification from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in the areas of piano, theory, and composition.

The recognition comes after 15 years of acquiring the requisite number of points for in-service education, public performance, leadership, and professional involvement in the organization. Her specific accomplishments include judging for state festivals and auditions throughout the country and entering students in festivals. Points were also acquired through attending master classes, workshops and conventions, presenting workshops, publishing textbooks, and much more.

Munson has taught piano at SMBA for 17 years, using a series of her own textbooks she entitled “KavierKraft” (Piano Power). In addition to piano instruction, Dr. Munson also teaches beginning band, music appreciation and music theory at the Academy and is the pianist for school musicals and competitions. Dr. Munson maintains a studio for private music students, as well.

Munson engaged her students in a collaborative effort to write two songs for SMBA. The first song, “The Centennial March,” was written for the academy’s centennial celebration in 2007.

The second song, “Fanfare for the Dawn (of the New Century),” commemorated SMBA’s second century of operation and was performed at this year’s commencement.

“Both were pieces originating from opening melodic material that I asked for in my advisory classes in those years,” Munson said. “Each student contributed a pitch and rhythmic value. From that I built the pieces, working into the march motives from the Alma Mater and the Fight Song, and in the fanfare referring to a Medieval carol tune which is currently an Easter hymn.”

Munson is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Music Educators National Conference, Austin District Music Teachers Association and Texas Federation of Music Clubs.

“Karen Munson is an inspiring colleague and an example,” said Arlis Hiebert, chairman of the SMBA Fine Arts Department.

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