Meet Dr. Bridges

Emily Anna Bridges, Ph.D.

I have been singing since before I can remember. It has always been an exquisite joy to use my voice. I began my own vocal training in high school, and had very positive experiences, including the opportunity to sing several times with New Hampshire’s All State Choir and to travel abroad to perform with a US choir in Western Europe.

As an freshman undergraduate at Colby College in Waterville, ME, I wanted so badly to take singing lessons that I majored in music as well as biology to take advantage of a special scholarship for music majors. Little did I know that this decision would send me down a long and windy road toward my life’s purpose.  I studied voice with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Patches, a renowned singer and voice teacher, and abroad in London with Ms. Sylvia Eaves.  Much of the heart of my teaching philosophy was transmitted to me by these amazing musicians and vocal educators.

IMG_9459In 2002, after performing solo and with professional groups for a few years in front of Boston audiences, I went to Philadelphia to do graduate work in music composition at the University of Pennsylvania. There I became a graduate teaching instructor of voice in the College House Music Program.  Loving my work as a vocal coach with Penn students, I soon began taking a private students as well.  My students  performed many recitals, at Penn and off campus. I found that I loved teaching voice, that I was good at it, that my students were growing in very tangible ways, and were happy with my work. One of the reasons for their success in my studio came from the training regimen I created for them. As a composer, I’ve used my skills  writing for instruments to custom-fit my students with vocal training exercises that are tailored to the vocal profile of  each individual voice. My students continued to tell others about their success, and my practice continued to expand.

Nine years later, after a Ph.D., many public performances as a soprano in Philadelphia, and teaching hundreds of students, I opened La Voce Mia Voice Studio in Philadelphia. I’ve had the honor to hear many voices benefit from my work, including those of classical and many various popular genres, as well as speaking voices. From beginners to experts, regular people to celebrities, I have spent years working with people to improve their voices. I’ve helped  singers successfully prepare for auditions, get their voices in shape, and take their songwriting to the next level. I’ve helped vocal artists lay down tracks in the studio, write harmonies, and get their songs ready for tour. I’ve helped beginners find their voices for the first time, grapple with rehabbing their voices after sickness, and tackle extreme stage fright. I’ve helped lawyers strengthen their court voices, voiceover actors hone their work, and transgender individuals find newer more authentic voices. I’ve worked with so many people and each of their voices and personal journeys have taught me that voices are made to grow with training. Voices will get stronger like the rest of the body does when you train it.

As my studio grew, so did the demand for lessons. Even as I helped hundreds of people, it became clear that there were many more who reached out that I couldn’t help, simply because it was expensive to run a voice studio, and many students did not have the resources to afford lessons, or were located far away. I knew there had to be a way to bring solid classical voice training to these motivated, passionate singers around the world.

So… I spent the past 5 years creating the Academy of Voice and my new online course, Foundations in Vocal Training. This video-based course is more than just voice lessons; it’s going to change everything about the way that voice is taught online.

Yes, I wanted my online students to learn just as much about vocal anatomy and how the voice works as my local students do in their lessons. But I wanted to go beyond that. I wanted to bring actual vocal training – scales and arpeggios – solid vocal exercises like those done in conservatories by opera singers – to my online students. But each voice is different. Each range is different, each singer needs exercises that are custom-fit to his or her voice to make long-lasting, significant progress. As far as I knew this had never before been attempted online, or in any kind of large scale project. So I created a way for my students to self-assess their own voices, and crafted the logic that would help a program custom-fit exercises to my students’ voices based on that information. I also created 12 hours worth of high quality video voice lessons to teach my students how to train using those exercises, the same that I teach in my studio to my local students.

Beta testers are loving the course and the exercises are a huge success! I am looking forward to being the first vocal coach to bring this next generation of online vocal training to singers in every genre. Whether you sing pop, R&B, rock, indie, punk, rap, or opera… whether you are a beginner or expert, regular person or star… I can help you take your voice to the next level and now it can be done from anywhere at any time. You have total control over how and when you do your lessons and you have access to training that has not been possible before this moment.

I look forward to seeing you at the Academy of Voice forum, where I’ll be working hard to bring you the best vocal training and education available online. See you there!