President’s Message – 10/5/18

Dear MTAC San Diego Members,

It was wonderful seeing all of you at the Fall Breakfast Meeting. For those who missed it, please try to come next year. It was a time of connecting and reconnecting with other members, and a time of gathering loads of information for the upcoming year, not to mention the partaking of a delicious breakfast.

By now, order has come to your studios, the dust caused by the activities of the new school year has settled. So we look forward to another year of events to “whip” your students into shape. Our first event, Popular Music Festival, is on November 3 (deadline: October 13). We hope to see your students participate in the light and fun-filled music recitals. After the last recital, our very own 1st Vice President Yuko Maruyama will do a workshop on Jazz Improvisation. Make use of this great opportunity for your students.

I need to mention the change of venue and dates for the 2019 Certificate of Merit. You will note that there are six different dates, (three weekends in March,) for the piano performance evaluations. The CM Committee will try hard to accommodate your schedule needs BUT they would also need your cooperation and understanding. There are about 1,200 students to schedule, so that is a daunting task as it is. As for the CM piano venue, Cuyamaca College is a newer institution. The buildings are clean and new, and most important of all, the rooms are spacious and the College’s grand and upright Steinway pianos are in great condition. So driving more miles for a better CM experience is worth it. Please read carefully the schedule and venue changes and inform the parents as soon as you can.

One of the “perks” of our MTAC membership is a subscription to the state MTAC magazine, California Music Teacher. Our very own member Eileen Wingard wrote an article entitled, “Karl Moldrem: Violin Teacher of Toddlers,” (p.32-33, Fall 2018 edition.) It is an account of Mr. Moldrem’s teaching practices and influence on certain musical giants. Congratulations, Eileen, for your article!

Hats off to all of you for this new school year!

Miriam Cole
MTAC San Diego

2018 Fall Breakfast Meeting Report

Fall season in our MTAC San Diego Branch got off to a glorious start. The atmosphere was joyful – we all enjoy reconnecting with our friends and making new acquaintances and I really want to say “Thank you” to the MTACSD Board of Directors for their excellent preparation for all of us.

Brian Goral, 2ndV.P. made the room very inviting with the beautiful bouquets which some lucky teachers got to take home! Yuko Maruyama put together a very helpful and well-written brochure, as well as a handy bookmark, both of which we can use as we organize our annual teaching calendars.

The chairs who spoke about their events gave precise details and updates and there wasn’t a wasted minute as Eleanor Hum took us through the entire CM guideline booklet which she had put together.

President Miriam Cole brought more excitement to the proceedings as she honored volunteers for their service, withholding the first “Harmony Award” until the very last announcement. The first recipient of that new award is Sun Yung Cho who was an ever-present figure at our events, always willing to give time and energy to help make events run smoothly. Of special interest in the honoring of volunteers was the award that went to Risa S. who is a music student and who was present and volunteering at almost every event in our 2017-2018 year.

Another special thank you goes to each teacher who brought books for the Music Exchange Table and to those who took some books and left a donation. The amount collected this year was $299. That amount will be added to the KIM fund, allowing a low-income, gifted child to have music lessons.

We are truly a blessed branch. The thoughtful plans that our Board of Directors put into action are meant to provide paths to professionalism. The wonderful aspect of their planning is that our Board makes the whole proceedings enjoyable!

Submitted by:
Jaclyn Summers
H. B. Goodlin Foundation Chair

2018 Fall Breakfast Meeting – RSVP Required

All MTACSD members are invited to this breakfast meeting on September 17, 2018. An email invitation has been sent to all members with a link to the RSVP Form. If you have missed the email invitation, you may login to the website and find the RSVP Form under the Member Area. You only need to submit this form once. We hope to see you in September!

President’s Message – 8/6/18

We are halfway through the summer and some of the students will be starting their school year soon. The big question is: ARE YOU READY?

To enhance your readiness, our branch celebrates the new school year by gathering together for our Annual Fall Breakfast. It is a time of acquaintance and “touching base” with colleagues and also a time of information for the upcoming year. We will highlight the event chairs so you may approach them to thank them and ask questions about their event. This wonderful Breakfast is mandatory for teachers of students who participate in Certificate of Merit.* Attendance is vital because there are many changes to CM this year. We are also going to honor a teacher who will be receiving our branch “Harmony Award.” This award is given to the teacher who gave the most volunteer hours of his/her time to help out with events. These are a few items we have for you.

I would like to welcome Rachel Mendoza, our new Corresponding Secretary. When you have questions about the website or would like to send relevant informational email to the membership, she is the one to contact. We are so happy to have her join the Board!

We hope to see you there on September 17, 2018.


Miriam Cole
MTAC San Diego Branch

*CM Teachers who could not attend the Fall Breakfast have alternative sessions to go to.

2018 State Convention Photos

The 2018 MTAC convention featured many San Diego musicians and a big contingent of teachers. Two YAG winners, Cameron L. and Zackery E., the VOCE string quartet, and Panel winners. Congratulations to teachers and students.

Thank you to all the teachers and parents for sending in the photos!

MTAC Membership Renewal Reminder

MTACSD Teachers can now renew their membership by logging in to the Teacher Portal on the state MTAC website at

Membership renewals must be postmarked by July 31, 2018, in order to keep your membership current, to be eligible to enroll students in the state programs (2018-19 Certificate of Merit® or VOCE), and to be listed in the printed State Membership Directory. For questions about the MTAC San Diego branch membership, contact Chutaphin Yeager, MTACSD Membership Secretary, at

Remembering Jane Smisor Bastien (1936-2018)

We are all saddened by the passing of Jane Bastien, who was a long-time member of the MTAC San Diego Branch. We are dedicating this page to honor her, by sharing thoughts, memories and photos, that are contributed by the members of our branch who knew her. If you would like to share your thoughts on this page, please contact

Emi Clements
“Teach each student as if he or she were your best one.” Jane Bastien’s words have always encouraged me and inspired me with my own piano students. My daughter was fortunate to be one of the last students Mrs. Bastien taught. In spite of the early hour of a weekly lesson at 5:45 am, Chelsea always had a smile on her face when she came out of Jane’s studio. Jane had a magical quality about her that made all students respond and want to learn. And all of Jane’s students became very good at playing the piano! Jane never compromised with her teaching methods and expected much from her students but she always showed much love to each and every one. The unmatched energy she brought to her love of the piano will remain in her published works and with her students forever. Her teaching ability and vibrant personality will continue to enrich all of our lives. Thank you Jane. We will always love you!

Dan Yu
Jane Bastien was a major inspiration for me on music. I came to America in 1997 when I was 16 years old, and studied with her for three years during my high school years. Many piano lessons and musical activities with her made me decide to pursue the path of music. I always remember her encouraging words, colorful smile and her positive personality. When I heard the sad news about her passing, I even stopped all entertainments and practiced the piano more and recalled memories, to be a little more spiritual with her. I know that I will carry on Mrs. Bastien’s love for music when I teach my students, when I practice the piano, and when I perform, and strive to excel in all of these things that were passed on to me by Mrs. Bastien.

Leslie Olson
I first met Jane Bastien 30 years ago at a welcome new member MTAC gathering in her home. With her warm, friendly personality, I quickly recognized her dedication and love for her family and her students. Over the years her presence at meetings, branch events, and conventions or giving master classes inspired many students and teachers, I was no exception. She started the San Diego Branch Sonata Contest and chaired it every year. Being a guest in a castle home in Norway, I recall seeing the Primer Level Bastien books on the grand piano. Realizing her presence around the world became real to me. I was so proud to say, I know her and she lives nearby. All the Bastien materials have been very helpful in teaching my students. I will miss her and am grateful for all she did for all teachers and students around the world. One quote I will never forget her saying, “Teach every student as if they were your very best one.” Her gifts continue.

Tim Broadway
Jane was an unforgettable person who loved music and life in general. We can all remember Jane as someone who truly loved to teach piano. She nurtured her students in an extraordinary way which became contagious for the love of music. Her warm personality was enjoyed by all. In addition, Jane exuded excellence in all areas of her life. She created a life that was filled with beauty. Her home, her flowers, and of course her music was enjoyed by all who knew her.

Angelina Hardy
She was very kind to my son and even signed his book one time at CM (2016). I was always impressed how encouraging she was to all the piano students at CM and Sonata Contest. I really enjoyed working at the check in table with her at CM. She was a true inspiration to me!

George Katz
Despite the demands of her involvement in teaching and creative projects, Jane was deeply committed to the
organizations which promote the excellence of musical life in San Diego. During the ten years in which I served
as treasurer for the Musical Merit Foundation, Jane’s generous support and the use of her home as a venue for
Board meetings were important contributions. On a personal level, Julia and I are most grateful for Jane’s friendship
before and after our move to San Diego. We and many others will sorely miss her presence.

Jane Smisor Bastien (1936-2018) was an internationally renowned piano teacher, pedagogue and musician. Jane and her husband James Bastien wrote the best-selling piano methods, the Bastien Piano Basics, which are enjoyed by millions of students and teachers worldwide. Jane was first accepted as an MTAC member in 1975, the year she moved to La Jolla, CA. She started the San Diego Branch Sonata Contest in 1976 with her husband James, and served on the Board of Directors of the MTAC San Diego Branch from 1989 to 2003. Among the honors Jane Bastien received were the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), as well as the MTNA Citation for Leadership, in recognition of her significant leadership contributions as a teacher, pedagogue and author to the music teaching profession throughout the world.

A memorial service was held at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 4pm, where several of Jane’s former students performed. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: UCSD Foundation for the Jane Bastien ADRC Fund (F-2352) to benefit the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, 9500 Gilman Drive #0937, La Jolla, CA, 92093; The Musical Merit Foundation of Great San Diego C/O John Peterson Treasurer, 3030 Curlew Street, San Diego, CA 92103.

President’s Message – 5/4/18

Dear MTACSD Teachers,

A few more weeks and the school year is over. I would like to congratulate every teacher for a job well done. I trust that your students have learned and improved their skills and musicality. And a big THANK YOU to all the teachers for your participation and help in all our events. It has been a very busy and rewarding year that it flew rather fast.

The annual state MTAC Convention is going to be held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County from June 29 to July 3. It will be full of information from renowned lecturers and high quality performances you would not want to miss.

So we look forward to summer. Let me make a few suggestions regarding your summer teaching activities, if I may.

  • Use this time to have your students learn easier pieces i.e., jazzy, popular-ish. In this way, they will be prepared for our first event next year, the Popular Music Festival. You will find resources in the CM Syllabus. And, voila, one CM piece will have been learned.
  • Another is to pair up your students for 4-hand music. There is a vast literature on this genre. Some of them are arrangements and/or transcriptions, which is always fun for the students. Sibling pairing is ideal for this, which would make all parents proud. Later on, they can enter in the Piano Duo Festival.
  • For String, Wind, Brass and Voice teachers, muster up your young prodigies for VOCE. This is a state MTAC event which involves concertos for orchestral instruments and arias or art songs for vocalists. This event is usually held around January or February so learning that literature early would be useful. (You will find necessary information on the State MTAC website. There is a link below.)
  • Take a 2-week break from teaching to rejuvenate and formulate ideas or goals.

Have a great summer.

Miriam Cole