Erik Chalfant
San Francisco, CA
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Erik Chalfant

Erik C.

San Francisco, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
With a Master Of Music degree in Voice Performance from Boston University, I am passionate about helping each student discover his/her unique voice. A student of the esteemed operatic soprano, Phyllis Curtin, my pedagogy is founded on the principles of classical bel canto technique. With strong emphasis on maintenance of a coordinated singing posture and fully supported diaphragmatic breathing, my teaching allows most students to see improvements in ease and beauty of tone within two lessons.

I do believe that time spent outside of one's lessons applying the technique in private practice is THE MOST important building block to mastery of one's voice. I encourage all students to record their lessons for use in their private practice. Objectively listening to yourself and developing a discriminating ear for your sound is essential to successful development.

In addition to teaching, I am a busy performer in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing the singing voice for celebrated drag chanteuse, Vanessa Bousay.

About Erik C.

Let's make some joyful noise together! Singing beautifully is one of the most freeing and gratifying experiences one can have. I grew up singing in church, my local high school music program and community choral organizations. So singing is a fundamental part of my personal history and experience. My education in music resulted in my earning the Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Boston University College of Fine Arts, where I was a private student of the esteemed operatic soprano, Phyllis Curtin. As a teacher, I continue Phyllis' legacy of instruction with her "Five Basic Exercises for Singing" - a tried and true, disciplined approach to discovering one's own unique singing voice.

My pedagogy embraces the fundamental tenets of classical bel canto technique. With strong emphasis on maintaining a well-coordinated singing posture and fully-supported diaphragmatic breathing, my students see initial results immediately in terms of ease of production and beauty of sound. The significance of word /text conception as a frontally-placed sensation is the ultimate goal of singing in my studio. We sing "outside ourselves", with our imagination governing all of the physical demands we ask of the voice.

As a classically trained pianist as well, I am able to teach students in any genre of music. From beginner to advanced, the language of music is all the same. An understanding of rhythm, intonation and legato as it relates to what is on the printed page is of utmost priority in my instruction. As singers we are "re-creative" artists, charged with the task of realizing the composer's creation. And so integrity to the score and to the composer's intentions are lessons consistently taught in my studio.

The thing I love most about teaching voice is seeing the "break-through" moments happen for a student. Our voices are intangible instruments, and so we must discover them through imagery and sensation. Once a particular combination of ideas really makes practical sense to a student, the voice then begins to become their own.

As a busy performer myself, I provide the singing voice for celebrated San Francisco drag chanteuse, Vanessa Bousay. The opportunity to sing and live in this theatrical character is for me the ultimate expression of freedom in singing. My teaching definitely embraces this important aspect of being "in character" in any music one sings.


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6 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Erik was a warm, engaging, intelligent, and FUN vocal instructor. My husband and I took lessons for our wedding performance and continued afterward as well because it was so fun! Erik has a bounty of knowledge, an incredibly precise ear, helpful tips, and a lot of patience! Highly recommend him for any style of vocal signing as he has a broad range of technical talent and is very precise in his feedback. Erik you rock!!

Posted Dec 20, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Erik is a fantastic voice teacher and is a wonderful person. I cannot recommend him highly enough. I have recently started voice lessons with Erik after a 10+ year break from singing opera and choral music, and I have learned so much from him already in the two moths we have been working together - posture, breathing techniques, analysis of the text and score, ....
Our lessons are well organized, very helpful, and a lot of fun. I look forward to my weekly lessons with Erik and hope to study with him for a long time.

Posted Dec 11, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had the good fortune of participating in two master classes led by Erik Chalfant. Erik is very knowledgable about the mechanics of vocal production, but what’s more is that he inspires as he teaches. He is engaging and energetic, and also very effective. He connects with his students, regardless of their level of expertise or experience. I have recommended Erik to several fellow musicians, and would again without hesitation.

Posted Jul 11, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Erik is an amazing singer, performer, entertainer, and teacher. As a pianist and accompanist, I have had the honor and delight to share the stage with Erik on many, many occasions. He enthralls his audience every time. I have also been witness to his teaching prowess as I have accompanied many of his vocal lessons. He instills his own sense of discipline and commitment in his students and I have seen firsthand the astounding - and rapid - results.

Posted Jul 10, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Erik is exactly what I've been looking for in a voice teacher. I came to him with fifteen years of training and practice in theatrical stage performance, but not knowing how to get over my blocks, and harness my vocal power as a singer. Through deceptively simple exercises he's taught me how to use my voice in ways I never have before.

His understanding of music is expert, and as we work through musical notation I learn more about the art. The songs he chooses for me to work on are often the perfect challenge, classical arias, which I never thought I could do before we started training together. He has a sharp eye and ear for detail, keeping me from slipping into old habits, and he is as gentle as a lamb as he teaches me to be the Diva I've always wanted to be.

Fantastic teacher, and lovely human!

Posted Jul 9, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Erik is a gifted teacher. A true gem in the bay area - a bona fide master of voice and sound and his direction is spot on. He is precise and intuitive and FUN to boot. I have had so many 'a-ha' moments working with Erik - that I have found him to be nothing short of a treasure. And it's not just taking a class with him - it's the practice and music he gives you to take home. I am inspired to practice what he teaches because I see and hear the results. If you are serious about having fun while learning - his training and experience is GOLD. I am so grateful to have found him. Five stars and then some!

Posted Jul 9, 2019

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos


Master Of Music Voice Performance
Sep 1993 - May 1996

Boston University College of Fine Arts

Bachelor Of Arts Voice Performance
Sep 1988 - Jun 1993

Olivet Nazarene University

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