Living in West Orange, NJ, Emily is a graduate of Illinois State University with degrees in Theatre Studies and English Education.
Ms. Brutton’s experience includes 8 years of providing private piano instruction as well as 3 years of classroom teaching K-12. Her vocal experience includes service as Musical Theater Director for 2 high schools, a middle school and a community theater group.
Emily focuses on individualized learning plans for each student by determining their natural aptitudes and interests. She focuses the bulk of the lesson on what excites her students and supplements that with challenges which help them round out their other skill sets.
We are proud to have Emily with us.
Getting to Know Emily…
What brought on your interest in music?
My parents met in the jazz band at St. Louis University, and they carried that love of music throughout my childhood. The soundtrack of my upbringing ranged from David Sanborn to Dire Straits, Tone Loc to Patsy Cline, and everything in between. I couldn’t help but see music as part of the necessary fabric of life. Nothing could make a summer morning feel more alive than a Janis Joplin record, and nothing could play up the drama of a gray day like Miles Davis.
When did you start your studies?
At age 6, my parents started me in piano lessons and I continued those lessons through high school. I participated in every school band and choir I could throughout middle and high school.
Was your family involved in music?
Of course my parents were the main source of my early musical tastes, but it’s my younger sister who most frequently joined me at the piano to sing or play. Anytime I’m home in St. Louis, we try to find time to make music together.
Have you participated in any extra-curricular organizations or music clubs?
When I reached high school, I found a second home in theatre and discovered it to be my favorite kind of music to play. After graduating, I became the music director for my high school’s theatre program, then the middle school, then two neighboring Catholic schools and a nonprofit theatre organization called The Actors’ Attic. When I moved here, I just completed my 10th summer music directing and those 10 years populated my life with some of the most talented, creative, and humble students, coworkers, and friends. They have filled me up with unforgettable experiences testing the powers of music and the human voice.
What are other types of instruments in your repertoire?
I played alto saxophone in band and jazz band growing up, sang in choir and theatre, and lately have been picking up guitar.
Have you played at other venues?
Aside from accompanying choirs and individual singers, I have played in the orchestra for many shows in the St. Louis area, including Amélie, Hello Dolly, and Forbidden Broadway. I also enjoyed playing for local churches, especially weddings and remembrance services. It’s always nice to be allowed into some of the most moving experiences of people’s lives, bringing music to score their memories.
Any favorite hobbies other than music?
When not playing, most of my time seems to be consumed with cooking, reading, and NYT crossword puzzles. I live with two of my dearest friends and their sweet dog, so I’m also apt to be found sitting idly on the porch or being dragged around the block.