Degrees and Certifications:
BME, Summa Cum Laude - Baylor University MM - Southwest Texas State University OAKE Kodaly Certification, Level III - Southwest Texas State University
Mr. Don Piper
The 2020-2021 school year marks Don Piper’s 36th year as the general music teacher at Boerne ISD’s Fabra Elementary. Mr. Piper also serves as the director of the Elementary’s after-school choir program, the Fabra Falconeers. He currently holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University, a Master of Music degree from Southwest Texas State University, and is a member of several professional and honorary organizations, including Alpha Chi and Pi Kappa Lambda. Though initially trained as a vocalist, Mr. Piper is skilled in performing many styles of music on a wide variety of keyboard, stringed, and wind instruments, and was involved in the formative stages of the Boerne ISD orchestra program, having taught both group and private lessons on violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Mr. Piper has a great interest in music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras and continues to perform music in these styles as director of the San Antonio Recorder Society. As a Level 3 OAKE-certified Kodaly music teacher, Mr. Piper is committed to preserving and creating an appreciation for America’s rich and historic musical culture among his students. Toward this effort, he has collected and digitized a large, three-volume set of American folk songs, singing games, and dances, which he has organized by teaching use and integrated into Fabra music lessons. Mr. Piper has extended this work into rhythmic, melodic, and formal connections with composed music, allowing children to see relationships between the music of their mother tongue and music of the masters. These innovations also extend into his building of curriculum for recorder, guitar, piano, violin, and barred instruments, and his development of interactive digital music listening maps. Mr. Piper’s compositions and choral arrangements of folk music have been chosen for performance by the Boerne I.S.D. Combined Elementary Choir, the OAKE-Approved Kodaly program at Southwest Texas State University, and other venues. Selected as a representative of Boerne ISD for teaching music at the Shang Hai International Studies University Bilingual School in China, Piper taught students there about musical links between Chinese and American folk songs, and gave public performances of American folk songs accompanied by American folk instruments. He has served as a professional vocal coach and music theory teacher for The Haygoods, the award-winning popular vocal and instrumental group who currently perform in Branson, Missouri. Numerous music teachers (including one currently employed by Boerne ISD), choral directors, symphony musicians, church musicians, music historians, performers, and composers are among his former students. Mr. Piper has performed internationally as a soloist with the Texas Bach Choir, and continues to serve as a church musician.