VIRTUAL VISITS AND RESIDENCIES
For the past 10 years, I have led many workshops in person around the world for The Juilliard School, and all around the country for the Moab Music Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Carnegie Hall, the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, and for various music schools and universities.
In April of 2020, I redesigned these workshops into engaging Zoom experiences for students at the Berkeley Caroll and North Broward Preparatory schools, for the NEXT Festival of Emerging Artists, and on Virtuosity Online.
Pivot and Persist: Entrepreneurship
I am passionate about presenting workshops and coaching that empower fellow musicians with networking, communication, teaching, and entrepreneurial skills so they can be the best advocates for their own careers.
Throughout the Spring/Summer 2020 I have been facilitating Zoom workshops where participants are exploring these issues virtually in an interactive experiential format versus a seminar.
Awaken Your Inner Artist: Virtual Creativity Kickstart
I am a far better performer since I started improvising regularly and composing again, and I was lucky to have explored this well before I entered college.
“Making stuff up” in response to what was happening in my life and the world around me helped me survive Middle and High School (and what had basically gotten me through the early stages of the pandemic).
Now I regularly employ these strategies as a professional composer, and I am passionate about giving other performers the opportunity to explore their own artistic voice before the filter becomes affixed too tightly.
Options include a stand alone visit, a series of workshops that can serve as a unit of study that end with the presentation of pieces that students have written, and a commissioning project where younger students can submit ideas that I can use to compose with.
REMOTE COMMISSIONING PROJECT AT NORTH BROWARD
Whenever I am in Miami, I usually spend a day working at North Broward Preparatory School as part of an ongoing composition residency I have there.
When my last April trip was cancelled due to the pandemic, we retooled my final assignment so that I would work with first graders over Zoom to build on their lessons with their teacher on motives. They all sent videos of them singing “healing” motives which I transcribed, then made a looper piece out of them.
Here is a little documentary of “A Wish to Heal the World” made by the 1st grade teacher with clips of the kids singing:
Here is me performing the final piece presented by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s:
“I took Meyer’s improvisation class online last week and found it to be very helpful in getting my head out of the printed page and into a more creative place (a common Classical musician’s need, I imagine). The instructor makes it much more engaging and personal than your typical webinar.”
– Gregory Dubay, Professional Cellist
“Improv in our own practice can help us get to the root of what a composer is trying to express when we are playing others’ ideas. Improv is to channel joy, gratitude, frustration…as catharsis. Asking the question, how to express my feelings through sound? How do I express the composer’s feelings through sound?”
– Angela Jane Yantorno, Professional Violinist
“Practicing unfiltered improvisation has been such a freeing experience. As a violin student I am constantly editing and critiquing myself as I practice. While the inner critic is helpful at times, it can also be limiting. Working with Jessica allowed me to turn that off, and to explore new musical ideas and sounds without limitations.”
– College Student, Music Major
“The ability to express oneself freely without the ‘usual anxiety’ is the big draw for me to improvisation in a general sense. To get in one’s own zone even ‘every now and again’ would be a dream come true. From her own words, Jessica Meyer has been there too ….. she can help others get past this barrier in creativity through her own experience. Wow! who wouldn’t want to try this out!”
– Adult student
“At a time when all Sophia’s regular school work has shifted to an asynchronous on-line format that’s solitary and difficult to engage with, the virtual real-time connections with Virtuosity.online teachers and students is like a learning oasis! The classes boost her mood (she beams after each one) and invigorate her practice. How wonderful that at a time when much of the world is “on hold” Sophia can plug-in to Virtuosity.online and continue to grow in her musicianship.
Sophia has loved being connected with teachers and students from around the world and recognizes how unique and fantastic it is to be a part of an international learning experience. The “Awakening your inner composer” course sequence in particular has most certainly fed Sophia’s spirit and identity as a young musician.”
– Mom of 13 year old student