Verhey commenced her studies of the violin at the age of seven with her father and was instantly recognized as a child prodigy. A year later, she became a student of Oskar Back and Herman Krebbers, then went on to study with Wolfgang Scheiderhan in Lucerne and David Oistrakh in Moscow. At the age of 17, she was the youngest prize-winning finalist at the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
From 1983 to 2002, she was on the violin faculty at Utrecht's Conservatory. In 1991, she co-founded the Camerata Antonio Lucio, a string ensemble whose repertoire includes works spanning from the 18th-21st century. She also founded the Emmy Verhey Festival, an annual three-day festival held in her hometown, Zaltbommel.