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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.