Testimonials from the children at Northlight Performing Arts Camp, Summer 2013

A rising music and theatre artist hailing from Homewood, Illinois, Emi Nakamura works primarily as a teacher, composer, vocal and instrumental coach, and musician located in Chicago.  

Emi graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2013, where she received her degree in Music with a certificate in Theater. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has composed and music directed for over a dozen theatrical productions both on and off campus, her most notable projects in writing the score for IT TAKES A VILLAGE, her senior thesis musical (book by Sandra Fong ’13), and her involvement as composer and music director at the Northlight Performing Arts Camp in Skokie, Illinois.

During the summers between 2011 and 2013, Emi has been a critical agent of promoting excellence in musicianship and musical creativity in the Northlight Performing Arts Camp, held each year for incoming 3rd through 10th graders.  Her role as music director covered a wide breadth of projects: composing and teaching original music to be premiered by the campers; helping campers to devise their own musical pieces by leading original exercises to first generate musical ideas, and then facilitating both conversation and play to help stitch those individual ideas into a coherent work; and developed two popular elective classes for the campers: Jam Band, a songwriting workshop with an emphasis on developing collaborative creative processes; and The Northlight Project, a spinoff of the hit television show The Glee Project, focusing on developing vocal skills and showcasing performative interpretation through filming a music video as a class.  Her capstone work of 2013 was a through-composed musical score for Northlight's premiere of Grow Wise by Jenny Rachel Weiner, an adaptation of Heinrich Hoffmann's Slovenly Kate and Other Stories​.

For a year after earning her Bachelor's degree, Emi worked towards her teaching certification in Music through Princeton University's Program in Teacher Preparation. She completed her student teaching with the orchestral and choral ensembles at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in 2014. She spent the summer in Seattle serving as the premier music directing intern with Seattle Children's Theatre before embarking on her first full-time partnership with The Lewis School of Princeton.

At The Lewis School of Princeton, Emi individually developed a music program from the ground up. In three years she designed a diverse, multisensory and interdisciplinary curriculum for K-12 general music, implemented extracurricular opportunities in choir, collaborative songwriting and electronic music, and taught co-curricular and extracurricular private voice, guitar, piano, violin, music theory and composition lessons.​ Working with a small student body with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences, Emi's curricula targeted language acquisition and retention, sequencing and working memory, directionality in fine and gross motor movements, and the development of executive functioning skills.

Emi will be spending the next few years grounding herself in pedagogical training in music and pursuing a Master's degree in Music Education while serving as a teaching artist and musician in area Chicago schools, theatres, and dance centers.

General Music

I teach general music classes that cover a diverse range of topics that include music theory, history, subculture, songwriting and composition, and current events.


Music Ensembles

I have experience coaching the following: 

  • Small to large choruses
  • Chamber ensembles
  • String orchestra
  • Vocal and instrumental soloists
Emi Nakamura

Teacher. conductor. Composer. Musician. Theatre artist.


I have worked as an actor, musician, and music director on dozens of productions at Princeton University, Northlight Theatre (Skokie, IL) and Seattle Children's Theatre.