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About Us

Meisner in Music is a New York City-based studio that nurtures artists to find trust in themselves and their instruments through the Meisner technique.

Our Team

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Jillian Paige

Creator & Teacher

Jillian (she/her) is a classically-trained singer and passionate teacher of the Meisner technique. She was trained by Sanford Meisner's direct pupil, Terry Martin, and studied the Meisner technique for over 5 years in New York City with the late and great Ted Wold. Jillian holds a Masters in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University and a Bachelors in Vocal Performance from Belmont University and loves sharing this freeing technique with other singers who need to get out of their heads after years of vocal training.

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Jonathan Heller

Teacher

Jonathan Heller (he/him) holds a Masters in Musical Theatre Vocal Performance and an Advanced Pedagogy Certificate from NYU Steinhardt and a Bachelors in Vocal Performance from Eastman School of Music. He has been a semifinalist and finalist in the Lotte Lenya competition & is a Vocal Mentor with the National Children's chorus. A Meisner student of the Ted Wold Studio for several years, Jonathan loves sharing his love of Meisner and expertise with classical voice and dance with other singers.

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Adam White

 Teacher

Adam White (he/him) has a Bachelors of Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University and is a graduate of the MiM Teacher Training program. As an academic artist, Adam applies his research on the psychology of emotions, embodiment practices, and trauma-informed leadership in his teaching. He believes that his role as a teacher is not only to aid students in finding freedom in their work, but to find greater freedom and worthiness within themselves.

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Equity & Inclusion

Our Commitment to

Commitment to Equity& Inclusion

We at Meisner in Music acknowledge that artists of marginalized identities have helped to build and contribute to our society culturally, socially, and artistically while continuously being systematically silenced and denied the opportunities that they deserve.

 

We care about making sure that these groups experience an overwhelming amount of generosity and kindness to share a fraction of the opportunities that they need to be repaid. We hope that even the small contributions that we can make can be a pathway to opportunity, acceptance, and self-actualization.

 

We therefore believe that diversity, inclusion, and equity belong at Meisner in Music. This requires that we offer diversity, equity, and inclusion scholarships, consistently implement trauma-informed practices into our studios and work spaces, and offer affordable options for all artists to encourage that all musicians have access to and feel welcome in our spaces.

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How

Came To Be

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As told by founder Jillian Paige

Our Story

Choose your own adventure

Grief & Loss

 

Growing up, I got labelled as “a lot.” I was told I was too rough, that my feelings were too much, & that my thoughts were too dark.

 

so I started to push those parts of myself away, clinging to positivity.

 

In grad school, I began dating Michael Schafer, a handsome, joy-filled tenor. After a year of dating, he developed a nagging canker sore on his tongue. When Michael saw an ENT, they immediately said, “We need to biopsy it but I’m almost positive that that's cancer.” It felt like my greatest nightmare coming true.

 

I pushed that part of myself away, clinging to positivity.

 

Michael’s diagnosis was confirmed. Stunned, we moved to Dallas to be with his family and begin treatment. Many were concerned for Michael, and rightfully so - the prognosis wasn’t good. But I was so resentful of how people would look at him like he was already dead. I think a deep part of me knew why.

 

I pushed that part of myself away, clinging to positivity.

 

We held out hope and clung to a belief in miracles. In January, Michael proposed. In May, we signed a lease and got married, and in June, he passed away, relatively unexpectedly.

 

I now lived in a city far from my family and friends with no idea how I was going to live the rest of my life without Michael, let alone get up every morning. The grief threatened to consume me.

 

I pushed that part of myself away, clinging to positivity.

 

To get my mind off of the loss, I decided to get involved in a new venture. I’d heard a little bit about the Meisner technique so...

Classical Vocal Training

 

I got my MM in Music Theatre and BM in Vocal Performance. Throughout both music degrees, I gained the belief that

 

I could only prioritize singing or acting, but not both.

A Type A student to the core, I loved learning about the voice. Technique thrilled me, pedagogy fascinated me, and I frequented the practice rooms, eager to make my instrument “better.”I believed that the answer to all of my voice’s problems was understanding them technically, so much so that

 

I could only prioritize singing or acting, but not both.

 

On the flip side, I adored acting. It was what had gotten me into a performance track in the first place and when I was speaking lines instead of singing them, I felt incredibly free. But not matter how free my acting felt, when I'd sing, I'd go right back into “singer-mode,” trying to control and navigate my voice.

 

I could only prioritize singing or acting, but not both.

 

Sometimes I would try it. I would say to myself, “This is the day I’m going to give over to the storytelling and just trust my voice!”

 

But after too many experiences cracking notes, choking up to the point of not being able to sing, or letting my voice go so much that I almost hurt myself, I resigned myself to the belief that

 

I could only prioritize singing or acting, but not both.

 

After college, I did a play entirely with Meisner-trained artists. As a result of their in-the-moment freedom, the play was different every single night. I was intrigued by this mysterious technique and...

then, I stepped into my first Meisner class.

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My teacher, Terry Martin, had studied directly with Sandford Meisner and his thoughtful, expert teaching of the Meisner technique allowed me to do three things:

safely tap into the darkness and grief

that I had been holding in and find acceptance for all aspects of myself and allow them come into my work,

get out my analytical head

like never before,

leaving no room for my technical self to judge a move before making it,

and, most importantly,

 

sing not only with the emotional, but the vocal freedom

that I’d been trying to drill into myself for so many years.

I was hooked and eager to share Meisner with other singers. After a year in Dallas, I moved to New York and in September of 2017, I workshopped the idea of Meisner in Music with a few friends over a month in a sweaty studio in Ripley-Grier. I had no idea what we were getting into but the idea took flight. We are now in our 9th season of classes, residing in our new space in the theatre district, and have gotten to help singers ranging from Broadway professionals to recent college grads to find both an acting technique and a path to falling in love with singing again.

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the Meisner magic,

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