Ada Richter began studying piano at the age of five and became a class accompanist in grade school. After graduating from high school at 15, she attended Camden Normal School in New Jersey. For the next nine years, she worked as an elementary school teacher in a poor area of N.J., and also studied piano at the Zeckwer-Hahn Musical Academy in Philadelphia. In 1921, she married her first husband, with whom she had two children. She studied composition with Alfred Richter, whom she married in 1932. He encouraged her to compose and to get her music published. Her first publication was for Schirmer and her first songbook was published by Presser. She was so prolific a composer that she took on pseudonyms, including Hugh Arnold, Wilma Moore, and Eileen Gail, and even wrote words to her own music under her pen names. In the early 1940s, she began to give public lectures, at first solo, and then as part of a duo with Richter. Together, they made five transcontinental tours. In addition to music, she also wrote instructional books about playing the piano.