It is not an overstatement to say that Emily Anna Bridges completely transformed my singing and, along with it, my vocal health. She is a consummately prepared instructor whose lessons (and taste) run far outside of just classical for every standard exercise we did we spent as much time dissecting songs by Muse, more-than part-time singer and songwriter, actively rehearsing and gigging with two bands where I sing lead and backing vocals. (I also have a full-time career, by day). I'm not a perfect singer, or even great singer, but I'm a measurably better singer than I was PJ Harvey, and me.
Thanks to Ms. Bridges I am now living my lifelong dream of being a before according to my friends, my bands, my wife, and myself.
I strongly endorse Emily Anna Bridges and her business!
That's my recommendation in short. However, I have a lot more to say on the topic, if you're interested.
I studied with Ms. Bridges for about eight months in 2007 and 2008. I found her randomly via my wife, who had been searching for semi-pro choirs on CraigsList.
When I first met Ms. Bridges I was a longtime singer-songwriter, but just starting out with my band. I wanted the bells and whistles that many rock singers seek... primarily, higher belting and vibrato. Basically, I had rock tenor jealousy (I am a baritone with a performance range of E2 to G4 in chest/head through E5 in falsetto). Despite some prior training, I also had problems. I lost my voice constantly. I couldn't hold notes for a long time. I didn't blend very well with other singers.
Ms. Bridges was straight-forward that voice lessons were not about bells and whistles (in fact, NO voice teacher should EVER promise those things on day one). What she did instead was interview me and sing with me to get to the root of the things I wanted and needed from my voice. She taught me how to breathe correctly and deeply, how to choose and shape my vowels, and how to deliver phrases with consistent support and intent.
Prior to receiving her PhD in composition Ms. Bridges earned an undergrad degree in biology, and she applies that scientific approach to her lessons. Before I did any significant singing I worked on posture and breathing plus exercises for my tongue and throat. Warming up my body before singing made a huge difference, as did filling it with enough air! These were things I could do every day before work, or even while waiting for an elevator. Three years later and I still do them.
At the same time, Ms. Bridges ranged my voice and recorded a custom set of warmup exercises for me. She taught these to me live, singing with me, adding to them in every lesson, and coaching me on the best vowels to use for each. This took longer to do, but I still found time to do it three or more times a week. Again, without exaggeration, I still practice her warmups regularly for every show.
Finally, as we got into singing exercises, Ms. Bridges was incredibly open to working on my original music and cover songs. Yes, there is a core of classically influenced music to sing as exercises, and it was important to work on that. But as long as I was well-prepared, Ms. Bridges also took the time to dissect MY songs. She went through them word by word not only for shapes and sounds, but for tone and meaning.
If it's not apparent from my comments, to make your lessons valuable you need to be willing to put in time on your own if not daily, then certainly several times a week. Just like personal training or studying a language, you can't get everything you need in class. If you're already a singer, then this will come naturally. If you aren't, then be ready to become one! The more time I spent between lessons working on what Ms. Bridges taught me, the further we'd get in our next time together.
Now I rehearse twice a week with full-scale, very loud rock bands, singing with control without getting hoarse. I sound better on recordings (especially of the same songs) more in tune, and more professional because I'm singing more cleanly. I can hold notes much longer, and blend in better on harmony.
Oh, and though she never promised it, I can also belt higher as a result and I have much surer falsetto that I can actually use in performance. (Alas, vibrato was not for me, but I only wanted it so I could hold notes longer and in tune, which I can do now. Take that, vibrato.)
Essentially, my time with Emily Anna Bridges was worth every penny and second I spent. I look forward to when I have time between rehearsals and shows to work with her again!
In the three years I've worked with Anna, she has completely changed my life. I hadn't tried to sing - at all - in something like fifteen years; everyone always told me I couldn't. At the urging of my then-boyfriend, I decided to try to get over that, and discovered that I really loved singing. Now I can sing operatic arias, and I've had random people compliment me on my voice. This would never have happened without Anna. She was always patient and encouraging, but she also never hesitated to tell me what I needed to change. Also, I could tell that she genuinely cared and wanted me to do well - and that she thought I could. That's a very powerful combination.
One of the really great things about Anna is that she has a method, and it's a good one, but she doesn't just follow a particular set of steps. She tailors her teaching towards her student's voice and what it needs at any particular moment in training; she would tell me, 'Okay, I think you need to do this particular thing now for this reason.' She doesn't stay with what she already knows, either; she's always thinking about new techniques to try, and reading new articles. Everything she has told me to do has worked.