What do you love about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is getting to watch my students finally grasp a vocal concept (or a piece of music etc) that they had previously never thought they’d be able to grasp or master. I love getting to bear witness to the moment when something that a student had previously thought was impossible for them becomes not only possible, but consistently repeatable and easy.
Where did your receive your Degrees in Vocal Education and Performance?
Kayla majored in Voice Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
How would you describe your unique approach to teaching?
I strive to be exceedingly approachable, positive, upbeat, and to have a unique and trusting rapport and relationship with each one of my students. I encourage mistakes during lessons, and I tailor my curriculum, exercises, repertoire, and teaching style to each individual student’s needs: I never impose or force “my way” onto my students. It’s my goal and my job to help my students to achieve their goals with singing, and to mentor them on their journeys to becoming independent artists and competent musicians.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Myriad?
The community of teachers and the abundance of resources for pedagogy. It really is one of the best music academies in the Bay Area for helping to foster quality music education, quality teachers, and a high level of pedagogy.
How old were you, when you began studying voice?
I began singing in choirs when I was 8 years old, and started taking private voice lessons when I was 12 or 13.
Besides Music, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I’m obsessed with plants. I have about 40 houseplants, a flower garden, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, and several potted fruit trees in my yard. I also really like books/reading, hanging out and singing in informal liederabends with singer friends, playing with my cats, walking around the beach and the various vibrant neighborhoods near my home in San Francisco, and attending or hosting parties, seeing concerts, and checking out new restaurants with friends. I’m fascinated with History (world history), Languages, News, New Music, and recently contemporary Poetry. One of my favorite activities lately has been hunting through several books of new poetry in order to find a set of poems that a composer friend of mine will use for a new song cycle he’s writing, which we will premiere next year. I also really like grocery shopping, relaxing on the couch, listening to podcasts, and I spend a lot of time both practicing and trying to motivate myself to practice at any given hour.
More info about Teacher Kayla
Kayla Wilfong is a lyric coloratura soprano, an internationally award-winning voice teacher, a conductor, actress, and Bay Area native. Kayla has appeared in operas, symphonies, plays, a movie, and on stages throughout the Bay Area and abroad, including the War Memorial Opera House and Davies Symphony Hall. Her most recent engagements include participating as the featured soprano soloist in Carmel, CA in Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem under maestro Leroy Kromm, being the featured soprano soloist in the San Jose Symphonic Choir’s recorded production of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with the Cal Arte Ensemble, and being featured in a recent edition of the Royal Academy of Music-affiliated magazine Vantage Music for performing the role of “Annina” in the world’s first virtual & international production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata. Kayla has been featured as a solo artist in recent years with the Nova Vista Symphony, the Cambrian Symphony, The Prospect Theater Project, members of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Winchester Symphony, the Cal Arte Ensemble, and in roles varying from “Susanna” in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, to “Sophie” in Terrence McNeilley’s Masterclass. She is committed to premiering solo works from modern composers as well, most recently having sung the world-premiere of composer Stefan Cwik’s “Songs For Beyond” at the Bowes Center in San Francisco. In addition to singing, Kayla is a choral clinician and choral director with both the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College program, and her private voice students consistently place within the top 3 slots of both national and international vocal competitions. She holds a “Best Teacher” award from the 8th Hong Kong International Youth Performing Arts Festival, and was recognized by the American Protege International Vocal Competition in New York City in 2020 and 2021 for “extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music and presenting students to perform at Carnegie Hall”.