Ear Training Faculty

Catherine Bent

Assistant Professor, Ear Training
cbent@berklee.edu | 617 747-8063

"In my classes we move fast. I love to animate the concepts with musical examples from all over, and to relate the techniques as much as possible to the situations you'll encounter." 

Corinne Sloan Chase

Assistant Professor, Ear Training
cchase@berklee.edu | 617 747-8588

"I found yoga 15 years ago, which had a profound effect on me as a performer. Whatever has helped me in my music career, I try to bring into the classroom. We do a lot of singing with warm-ups and drilling to develop vocal skill and confidence. In this business, time is money, and if you're not struggling with the notes and intervals, you can work on the delivery and 'feel' of a piece of music, which saves a lot of time. Although mature and dedicated practice regimes are a key to successful performances, I try to have fun with it as well. My mission is to help the students find a comfort zone within themselves so the sharing of their music is a blissful experience."

Allan Chase

Also affiliated with: Berklee Online
aschase@berklee.edu | 617 747-2853

"Ear training is a tool that allows you to express what you hear, what you want to play, and what you want to sound like. It allows you to interact with other musicians. If you're in a group that has any element of improvisation or surprise in it—which most popular contemporary music, jazz, and all sorts of world music have—ear training is what allows you to hear what somebody else is doing and respond to it with something that fits and isn't an accident, but is intentional and meaningful, and has feeling and confidence behind it. When you have a good ear it makes your rhythm better, because you're not hesitant, you're confident."

Paul Del Nero

Associate Professor, Ear Training
pdelnero@berklee.edu | 617 747-8403

"I want students to come away with an understanding and an appreciation of why the basics are so important. Because at 18, 19, 20 years old, I had certain ideas of what music I wanted to play. But life changes and takes you in different places, and you're an artist, but you're also a craftsman. You have to be able to do a variety of things to make a living in music. It's important to get those basic things in place so that when you leave school you'll have options. What you do now may not be what you're doing in ten years. If you don't have the groundwork in place you're going to fall short somewhere along the line."

Scott deOgburn

Professor, Ear Training
sdeogburn@berklee.edu | 617 747-8155

"The listening aspect of music is probably the most important part. Ear training is all about comprehending what you are listening to and knowing how to analyze it. The goal is to be able to look at a piece of music and know what it sounds like without having to listen to it; or conversely, to listen to a piece of music and be able to notate it."

Jorrit Dijkstra

Associate Professor, Ear Training
jdijkstra@berklee.edu | 617 747-6005

"The genius of the Ear Training curriculum is that it's incredibly well designed, while not biased towards a particular style of music. And the rigorousness of it is impressive, as well, pulling in a general freshman population and bringing them up to a really high standard after four semesters. In my classes I try to give my own twist to the curriculum and always make sure the students create music, rather than drill exercises."

Rick DiMuzio

Professor, Ear Training
rdimuzio@berklee.edu | 617 747-8589

"I like to bring a lot of supplemental material into the ear training classroom. I feel responsible for exposing the students' ears to great music that they may not have heard before and for educating them to become better critical listeners. It's not uncommon for the class to learn a North Indian raga or to dissect the harmonies of a piece by Stravinsky or Ellington."

John Funkhouser

Associate Professor, Ear Training

"Ear training is such a fundamental thing. It's a feedback system involving several factors: reading, writing, and listening to and imagining music. As any one of these abilities improves, the others improve as well, so I always try to come at ear training from all those angles. You get these gradual, incremental realizations: 'Oh, now I understand that song I've been listening to all these years!'"

Robin Ginenthal

Professor, Ear Training
rginenthal@berklee.edu | 617 747-8191

"I think that Berklee is way ahead in terms of how students are learning ear training. When you're learning solfege at most conservatories, there's a system called the fixed do system. If you're in the key of C, C is do (do re mi…). And if you're in the key of F, C is still do. Which means that the relationship of the pitches is going to change all the time according to the key signature. Berklee uses the movable do system. With the movable do system, once students learn the scale, that can be applied to any scale. Once you know how to sing in C major, you know how to sing in F major. Once the students learn the pitch relationships in one key, they can do them in any key."

Richard Greenblatt

Associate Professor, Ear Training

"Ear training gives a broad foundation of musical skills that adds to one's musicianship. I want my students to be able to figure out rhythms accurately, sing pitches clearly, and hear common chords and harmonic movement in different instrumental and stylistic contexts. These are the skills we work with, regardless of our instrument or the style of music we play."

Nick Grondin

Assistant Professor, Ear Training
ngrondin@berklee.edu | 617 747-6434

"I want students to be able to recognize the relationship between the skills in the class and then the real-world skills that they’ll need when they go out and play with real people, or record people, or use music therapy."

Gaye Tolan Hatfield

Associate Professor, Ear Training

"Ear training is an integral piece of the puzzle for the professional musician. Having a good ear means better communication in any musical setting, including stage, recording studio, and teaching studio. If a note, chord, or rhythm is heard that elicits a response (whether good or bad), how cool is it to know exactly what the sound was and why it worked—or didn't! In those circumstances, I feel as if I'm in on a little secret that nonmusicians never get to experience."

Kaye Kelly

Associate Professor, Ear Training
kkelly@berklee.edu | 617 747-8513

"The concepts we study in ear training classes teach students to recognize, interpret, and notate musical sounds and ideas. These skills are invaluable to developing musicianship and completely necessary to succeed in a competitive field. I try as much as possible to make my classes relate to what students might be doing when they graduate from Berklee. We listen and analyze all styles of music and discuss real life musical situations they might find themselves in."

Rosey Lee

Professor, Ear Training
rlee@berklee.edu | 617 747-2847

"I hope my students understand that music is like a spoken language, and musical events are just like daily life. For example, counterpoint. This term may be scary for a lot of people, so I tell my students, 'You're listening to me, and you're sitting there with your heart beating, and you're still breathing. You have at least three things going on together simultaneously, and they all cooperate by themselves naturally. That's three- or four-part counterpoint.' If Bach can do it without a laptop, you can as well."

Brian Lewis

Professor, Ear Training
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online
blewis@berklee.edu | 617 747-8257

"Ear training is all about becoming a literate musician—mastering the fundamentals, covering everything musicians might encounter in their career. Acquiring a good ear doesn't happen by turning a magic key. It happens through performing experience or a systematic progressive approach that slowly builds and reinforces musical concepts through performance-related and recognition activities."

Daryl Lowery

Professor, Ear Training
dlowery@berklee.edu | 617 747-8263

"My playing is rooted in African American styles: jazz, r&b, and funk. But for fun I listen to classical music and rock, including stuff I grew up on, like Led Zeppelin and the Who. I also have a graduate degree in software engineering, but in my computer applications class I teach that technology is not an end in itself—it's a tool to make our life easier when we make music."

Yumiko Matsuoka

Professor, Ear Training
ymatsuoka@berklee.edu | 617 747-8415

"If people want to continue as professional musicians in any way, ear training will be essential for their growth. People who write have to be able to express what they hear in their heads in an efficient way. Sometimes it takes time for students to find out what ear training can do for them and their career. But once they do, they go, 'Oh, wow—this is what I have to do to achieve my goals.' It might be a long road, but I'm hoping that it's a fascinating discovery. I'm still learning myself. I learn as I teach. And I love it."

Berke McKelvey

Associate Professor, Ear Training
bmckelvey@berklee.edu | 617 747-3041

"It may be a little sacrilegious, but I don’t really care if students never use solfège again after they get out of here. But I do care that they have an increased depth of understanding about the music-making process and are sensitive enough to be able to hear details in music that they’re listening to. Although, at a party it’s nice every now and then to be able to scat Donna Lee in solfège. That’s always fun. To really impress the person you’re trying to go home with, play a few pop solos in solfège; you’ll knock ’em right off their feet."

 

Cercie Miller

Assistant Professor, Ear Training
cmiller@berklee.edu | 617 747-6237

"In my ear training classes, I like to keep the focus moving around the room, doing relays of rhythms and solfège, for example. I want everyone to participate and contribute. I don’t like to stand in front of the class and lecture; I like to keep the energy flowing and mix things up, to get performance and listening and analysis all going in the same session. Ear training in particular is something that involves a lot of interaction, a lot of back and forth."

Giovanni Moltoni

Professor, Ear Training
gmoltoni@berklee.edu | 617 747-8594

"We are very visually oriented as a society. If you study harmony, you read a book, you learn some notions, then you repeat these notions, and you feel like you are good. In ear training that's not necessarily the case, because you can listen to something and still not recognize it. It takes a much longer time. Sometimes students who are successful in notion-based classes like harmony are not able to successfully reproduce a melodic shape. I've always thought that when students are able to successfully engage their mind this way, that's when they actually become musicians. Before that they are not musicians—they are students."

Lydia Okumura

Associate Professor, Ear Training
lokumura@berklee.edu | 617 747-8298

"I teach solfège, and wrote the two solfège books that the Ear Training Department uses. It's essentially learning how to look at a piece of paper and know in your head what it sounds like, or hear something and know how to write it down. When my daughter was in kindergarten, she read little booklets with 10 words that told the story. Ear Training 1 is like kindergarten. You repeat those little elements a lot. You work on intervals, you work on chords, you work on little rhythms, and eventually you put them all together. When students reach their four required semesters of ear training or solfège, they're ready to read major compositions."

Robert Patton

Associate Professor, Ear Training
bpatton@berklee.edu | 617 747-8309

"It's really hard for any of us to judge students' talent. Judging talent is very difficult. What you judge is growth, and whether it seems appropriate or above average. If students are so entrenched in music and it's a part of life they can't do without, then they're the right people for it, because whichever way the chips fall, they'll be OK."

Phil Person

Assistant Professor, Ear Training
pperson@berklee.edu | 617 747-8735

"Students' reading skills are sharpened in ear training because you do a lot of reading. They'll increase their vocabulary of melodies, intervals, harmonies, and rhythms, and it all goes hand in hand. It helps a person in a groove or ensemble setting be able to deal with whatever is thrown at them, be it complicated rhythms or harmonies—not only being able to perform them but actually hearing it in their head, hearing it and understanding what it is, recognizing it. Everything is intertwined."

Jane Potter

Associate Professor, Ear Training
jpotter@berklee.edu | 617 747-8596

"In order to grow as a musician, you have to transcribe to see how it's done. It's probably the oldest tried-and-true method of advancing as a musician. It's not just singing a Marvin Gaye song; it's learning what Marvin Gaye did, copying it, and then making it your own. It's like having a private lesson with Marvin Gaye."

Roberta Radley

Assistant Chair, Ear Training
Also affiliated with: Berklee Online
rradley@berklee.edu | 617 747-8326

"Ear training is not magic. And it's not something you're either born with or not. It's a lot of dedicated hard work, and it takes time. But the value of it is that, like a language, once you own it, you own it."

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