All three MacDonald daughters were provided with singing and dancing lessons. “Mother and Dad were simply wonderful,” Jeanette said later. “They always helped and never stood in my way.”
Soon the fledgling prima donna graduated from tap dancing in front of the mirror to dancing lessons with Al White, and from imitating her mother’s opera records to singing lessons with Wassil Leps. She eagerly performed at church and school functions, and began touring in kiddie shows. When she made the jump to Broadway, she studied with Ned Wayburn.
For most of her professional life, Jeanette’s singing teacher was Grace Adele Newell. Jeanette was tremendously self-disciplined, and legendary for making her way through storm and flood for her daily lesson with Miss Newell.