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 new.mtac.org.

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 chutaphin@icloud.com.

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 info@mtacsd.org.

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

2018 Chopin Festival Results

On April 14-15, we celebrated Chopin’s music triumphantly together during the inauguration of the first MTACSD Chopin Festival at the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego. Our three accomplished judges from Los Angeles, Dr. Andrew Park, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, and Dr. Sarkis Baltaian, commented that they were “very inspired with the level of performance and very impressed with the teaching in our branch.” We had 36 contestants represented by 18 studios. There were definitely magical moments and artistic excellence present throughout the Festival. Congratulations to all the performers for their outstanding demonstration of musicianship! Thank you to all the teachers for your exemplary guidance, and please continue to inspire your students to make beautiful music.

My goal for Chopin Festival is to showcase not only some of the strongest music ever written for pianists, but also to feature the many talented musicians we have in our community. This festival encourages young musicians to express themselves with piano, connect with one another through their music-making, and uplift spirits through Chopin’s music. The highlight of the festival was, of course, the Winners’ Recital on Sunday evening, where the attendees benefited from a wonderful showcase of the magnificent artistry of the top two winners and the engaging fellowship at the reception time. I appreciate tremendously for the much enthusiastic support from many of you leading up to and during the two-day weekend. A special shout-out to incredible individuals: Dr. Ed Basilio, Jane Klofkorn, Nimpa Akana, Quynh Nguyen, Sarah Lincoln, Marilyn Carnes, Yuko Maruyama, Miriam Cole, Brian Goral, Lee Galloway, and Jaclyn Summers. I’m most grateful to the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego for hosting us with a fine Steinway concert grand and many cheerful volunteers. Partnering with them has been a real blessing for us all.

Below, please find the winners’ list that the judges have deliberated. Congratulations!

CATEGORY 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Waltz/Mazurka Malvyn Lai Stephanie Ling Amaia Schmitigal
Etude Claire Lewis Priscilla Ling Risa Schapiro
Scherzo Joelle Jeon Ian Llacer Justin Lee
Nocturne Sarah Deng Jason Li Alexis Wu
Ballade Andrew Vu Luke Kim Cameron Lincoln 

2018 CM Results Now Posted

The 2018 San Diego Branch Certificate of Merit was held on March 24-25 and March 31 at the San Diego State University. This annual event is sponsored by the state MTAC, and organized by the MTAC San Diego Branch. This year, our branch received over 1,200 student applications from 139 teachers. The results are now available on both the teacher and the parent portals of the state MTAC website. (Link is below.)

Running the three days of CM was a concerted effort by all of our CM volunteers, some of whom worked very long hours. The outstanding CM team of our branch planned the entire three-day operation in great details months in advance; our CM teachers fulfilled various tasks of testing, grading and recording on the CM days; and our student runners escorted the CM students safely to and from the evaluation rooms on strict schedule.

Our CM students were evaluated on their level-appropriate repertoire performance, technique, sight-reading, theory and ear training skills. Students who scored high in all areas receive branch honors and are offered additional performance opportunities at the state MTAC Convention in June.

Here are some photos from our CM days. A million “Bravos” to the CM team members, teachers, runners, and our CM students!