Roberta Radley is assistant chair in the Ear Training Department at Berklee College of Music. A Berklee graduate with a degree in composition, she joined the faculty in 1976. Since then, Radley has taught a wide range of ear training classes, using innovative methods to help students hear music more analytically, and earning recognition for outstanding achievement in music education from Berklee.
Coauthor of the department core curriculum Ear Training 1–4 books, as well as author of the Harmonic Ear Training DVD, Radley has traveled widely on behalf of Berklee, holding scholarship auditions, working with affiliated schools, and presenting seminars across the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, Radley is an active performer as a pianist and vocalist, and is an experienced private piano and voice instructor.
"Ear training is a way to translate the sound of the music into meaningful language. When reading music, it's the 'inner hearing' of what that music is going to sound like. Or, if you're listening to a recording, it's being able to notate it or directly transfer it onto your instrument."
"When I graduated from Berklee, I had all 'A's on my singing tests and flunked all the dictation tests. It wasn't until I graduated and started transcribing jazz solos—because I wanted to know how to improvise—that I started to do some serious ear training. So I'm kind of the guinea pig of my own processes."
"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."
"I want students to have the 'joy of ear training'—to see it as something that has personal rewards. And I'm constantly reminding students to make it real. If you don't take what we do in the classroom into your own musical daily activities, it's just not going to click."