Julia Werntz

Associate Professor
617 747-6240

"In ear training classes, we’re trying to master something very technical and very specific, with no real grey areas in terms of what’s expected, and that is the mastery of the pitches of the scales and how to recognize them and produce them with the voice. There’s no point in mastering music theory if you can’t recall the pitches in your mind, which is what ear training is all about. It’s definitely fundamental. It’s basic musicianship, to be in control of the 12 pitches."

"I want students to understand why a certain note—the highest, lowest, or longest note in a melodic line—moves them in a certain way. To be conscious and in control of this is central to anyone’s musicianship, not an addition to instrumental training in the studio, but a necessary extension of it. I can see in my students’ facial expressions that they know this. When you get it, then it’s like you have 12 actors at your disposal, each with his or her own general traits, but also chameleon-like, able to change character according to the setting. Master this, and then you’ll really start to be in control of your own art."

"The warm, supportive climate and the great sense of community in the Berklee Ear Training Department are wonderful, and rare to see. At Berklee, the openness and the diversity of music styles are really valuable. I see that students here get really excellent training in both their skills as musicians and in their career skills. All of these things combined in one school are not that common."

Career Highlights
  • B.M., New England Conservatory
  • Ph.D., Brandeis University