Andrea Emberly

Dr, BMus Alberta, MMus Ill.State, MA PhD Wash.

  • The University of Western Australia (M413), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Ph.D. (Ethnomusicology), University of Washington
M.A. (Ethnomusicology), University of Washington
MMus, Illinois State University
BMus, University of Alberta

Andrea Emberly recently completed her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Washington in 2009 where she focused on the musical cultures of childhood in Venda and Pedi cultures in Limpopo, South Africa. Her dissertation explores the intersections of local, national and global influences on children’s musical cultures including community music making, handclapping games, school music curriculums and television programs. She conducted field research in South Africa from 2005-2007 and recently returned to South Africa in 2009 to collect additional research as a part of the Communicative Human Musicality Project at the University of Western Australia.

Andrea is from Alberta, Canada and came to the University of Western Australia in September 2009. In her former life she studied classical trumpet performance at the University of Alberta and Illinois State University. She was inspired to shift her focus to ethnomusicology and now enjoys learning new handclapping games from the around the world and watching Bert and Ernie sing songs in different languages.

Current projects

Andrea is working as a part of the Communicative Human Musicality Project focusing on Venda children’s music and revisiting the work of John Blacking.


Andrea’s research interests include the study of children’s music with special regard to children’s musical cultures in South Africa. Her work explores the study of children’s cultures and the role children can take as researchers and participants in academic research projects. Andrea is interested in children’s ethnographies and teaching children to use video and photographic equipment to record and document their own musical histories. In addition, Andrea has also conducted research on the use of music in children’s “edutainment”, specifically the program Sesame Street and its South African version Takalani Sesame.


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