Violinist, Contralto, Composer
"Creative pursuit at its most profound is conversation with Creator."
Laya Challice Field studied music at Humboldt State University in Northern California with a double major in voice and violin. Her private studies in violin included teachers Helen Payne, Floyd Glende, Roy Mann, Louis Krasner, and Kato Havas. Her operatic studies were primarily spent with Mezzo Soprano, Blanche Thebom, in San Francisco.
Laya sang community opera and oratorio in the 1980s. Some of her favorite roles at that time were: Baba in “The Medium” by Menotti; Dinah in “Trouble in Tahiti” by Bernstein; The Mother Superior in “Dialogue of the Carmelites” by Poulenc; Suzuki in “Madame Butterfly” by Puccini; and Zita in “Gianni Schicci” by Puccini.
Her vocal instruction included the art of teaching as well as singing the Bel Canto method taught by Blanche Thebom which comes from the line of teachers through Pauline Viardot, daughter of the Bel Canto Master Manuel Garcia the Elder and his wife, Josephine Garcia. This technique is very different from the method described and instructed by their son, Manuel Garcia II, who developed the laryngoscope and focused on a more scientific approach to singing. As the focal point is very high and forward in this technique, it is safe for young voices.
Laya's foundation as a voice teacher rests in her belief that anyone can sing. “Unless there is a serious impairment in a person’s hearing, they can be taught to both sing in tune, and sing with expression.” Laya has instructed privately, in schools and in churches and found that this is absolutely true in her experience.
Laya’s approach to teaching strings primarily stems from the teachings of Kato Havas, her main influence for violin. This approach emphasizes both psychological and physical freedom. It is a method of teaching brought forward by Kato Havas, and has its roots in Hungarian gypsy violin, combined with the instruction Kato received at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest.
When teaching violin, viola, or cello, Laya’s approach rests in the understanding that the language of music is an expression of joy. "When a student loves their instrument, is at ease with their classmates, and is not concerned about impressing others, they can effectively grow and mature and become a peaceful, competent musician. This means that they will be able to look forward to a lifelong experience of creating joyful music with others, which is our main goal at Jubilate Conservatory of Music."