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Emmett O'Leary

Emmett O'Leary, Assistant Professor of Music Education

Emmett O'Leary, Assistant Professor of Music Education
Emmett O'Leary, Assistant Professor of Music Education

School of Performing Arts
242-H Squires Student Center,
290 College Avenue, Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5335 |

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Emmett O’Leary is an assistant professor of music education in the School of Performing Arts at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to his work in Virginia, he served as associate professor of music education at the Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam. O'Leary has specialized and led courses in instrumental music education, secondary general music, and music technology. Prior to his work in teacher education, he served as an Assistant Band Director at the University of Notre Dame where he worked with ensembles such as the Notre Dame Symphonic Winds, Brass Ensemble, Tuba-Euphonium Choir, and the Band of the Fighting Irish (Notre Dame's marching band).

O'Leary's public-school music teaching experience includes work as a high school band director in the Lake Havasu City (AZ) and Meridian (ID) school districts.

His research interests include competition in music education, instrumental music pedagogy, popular music pedagogy, phenomenology, technology in music instruction, and creativity. His research has appeared in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Journal of Band Research, Journal of Popular Music Education, and College Music Society Symposium. He has presented at the American Educational Research Association National Meeting, New Directions in Music Education Conference, Desert Skies Symposium, Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium, Technology Institute for Music Educators National Conference, Texas Music Educators Association Conference, Arizona Music Educators Association Conference, and the Instrumental Music Teacher Educators Symposium.

  • Instrumental Music Education
  • Teacher Education
  • Music Technology
  • Curriculum Development
  • Popular Music Pedagogy
  • PhD in Music Education, Arizona State University, 2016
  • MS in Music Technology, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, 2011
  • MA in Music, Washington State University, 2004
  • BM in Music Education, University of Idaho, 2000
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction
  • National Advisory Board Member, Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Education
  • Member, National Association for Music Education
  • Member, Society for Music Teacher Education
  • Member, Association for Popular Music Education
  • Member, College Music Society

Journal Articles

  • Bannerman, J. K. & O’Leary, E. J. (In Press). Digital natives unplugged: Challenging assumptions of preservice music educators’ technological skills. ​Journal of Music Teacher Education​.
  • O’Leary, E. J. (2020). The ukulele and YouTube: A content analysis of seven prominent YouTube ukulele channels. ​Journal of Popular Music Education 4(2), 175-191.
  • O’Leary, E. J. (2019) A phenomenological study of competition in high school bands. ​Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education,​ (220), 43-61.
  • O’Leary, E. J. (2017). The virtual tuba quartet: Facilitating asynchronous musical collaboration in a chamber ensemble setting. ​The College Music Symposium, 57.
  • O’Leary, E. J. (2016). Economic and demographic characteristics of schools and communities with Bands of America Grand National Championship finalists: 2001-2013. ​Journal of Band Research,​ ​51(​ 2), 56-66.

Book Chapters

  • O’Leary, E.J. (In Press). More than words: Analyzing a song through lyric annotation. In Bell, A. P. (Ed.), ​The Music Production Cookbook.​ New York: Oxford University Press.