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Welcoming Marcela Bastida

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

At the Boston Music Project, we are proud to have an exceptional team with a diverse background of teaching and performance experiences. When our Teaching Artists are not teaching music lessons, they are pursuing their own professional careers as active performers, composers, music producers, dancers, and more!

This year we are excited to welcome Marcela Bastida to the BMP Team as a Special Education Teaching Artist!

Marcela Bastida is a jazz composer, arranger, pianist and teacher. Her great passion for music is what makes her constantly evolve and innovate. She received her bachelor's degree in Jazz Composition and Performance from Berklee College of Music in 2020.

Growing up in Mexico, she began her music studies in a Mexico City College and soon started to get familiar with jazz artists who would inspire her to later pursue a career in both composition and piano performance in the United States.

In 2016 she Moved to Boston and soon after starting her studies at Berklee, she started working in an assistive music technology program at the school which provides adapted music software instruction and assistance with projects to students who are blind and visually impaired. This soon became an extremely important step in her career because she’s been able to beta test software, provide feedback in accessibility and accomplish various tasks using music software as a blind musician.

Currently she continues to expand her music journey by teaching, composing and performing.

We asked Marcela to share more about her musical background and her life in and around music.

Can you talk about some of the work that you do with the students in the general music class with Ms. Mui-White?

“I usually start with a hello song where we mention everyone’s name, then we go to another fun song containing new concepts that I want to introduce to them, for example animal names or food items. The next couple of minutes involve movement and the use of instruments like shakers for them to also learn how to keep a rhythm and finally we close with a goodbye song. I try to play the piano throughout the activities and I also sing a lot with them.”

Special Education Teaching Artist Marcela Bastida playing piano for students in the classroom
Special Education Teaching Artist Marcela Bastida leading students through an activity with egg shakers

What makes Boston Music Project’s programming different or unique from other programs you’ve worked with, and can you share more about Boston Music Project’s Special Education programming?

“This program is very unique because it allows us to work with people from the mainstream public schools directly, they don’t need to be at a specific music school to be exposed to very high level

music learning and in my case special education learning. We teach them great stuff and the special education students are not separated from the rest of the students, they just have a dedicated classroom where they can have the attention they need.”

Can you share a little bit about the students you currently get to work with?

“I currently work with five students ages three to five. Some of them are more outgoing than others but I have found it fascinating that music really makes them happy and it connects them to each other in a really good way.”

What energizes or excites you most as a teacher and working with the students at Boston Music Project?

“This was my first group lesson experience and I love to see them sing more every time and also the changes throughout the semester from almost not talking at all or responding to my questions to being really excited to sing or get the shakers. I strongly believe that nothing has the power that music does to get us out of our shell and be more socially active.”

BMP Special Education Teaching Artist Marcela Bastida leading students through a song activity from the piano.
Marcela playing piano for a group of students in the classroom

Who were some of your inspirations, musical or otherwise, growing up?

“Itzhak Perlman, Ennio Morricone, and Herbie Hancock.”

Can you share a favorite moment or memory from your time so far working with the students in your classroom?

“The second or third time that I got to the classroom, we started as usual with our hello song and as we were doing the round of names so that we sing the whole song with each name, one of them screamed Ruffles, which is my guide dog’s name, and we now always include her in the round of names.”

Outside of music and your work, what are some things you do that bring you joy and inspire you?

“I really like going to the beach, cooking and everything related to coffee.”


BMP's programming at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School was supported in part by EdVestors and BPS Arts Expansion.

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