Volume 3 / Chapter 99
Pianist Go Sae Won and Yoon Kwang Hun spread out a list of music schools and discussed it for days. Yoon Kwang Hun wanted new and innovative music over classical, and was already leaning towards America. Go Sae Won had consistently pushed for Europe, but had to give up at Jun Hyuk’s input.
“I can barely speak English, so when do I learn French, German, or Italian? Let’s just go with America.”
After the study abroad location was decided, Jun Hyuk’s hardships began.
“Sir… Ah. English.”
Jun Hyuk started with a sigh again. After they decided on studying abroad, Yoon Kwang Hun made a rule that they could only speak in English, and glared without responding if he spoke in Korean.
He had learned English from Yoon Kwang Hun every day for 2 years and had practiced free speech for an hour each day. He realized, however, that the English he had studied over 2 years were just eye-level classes. When Yoon Kwang Hun spoke proper English quickly, Jun Hyuk could not understand a single word.
“American or western kids will speak much faster and their pronunciation will be more exact. I’m pretty sure you’ll have to at least be able to listen to me to barely understand them.”
Jun Hyuk buried himself in English for 24 hours a day at Yoon Kwang Hun’s threat. Studying English was harder and more boring than studying for his license exam. But it had to be done.
While Jo Hyung Joong and Yoon Jung Su were busy working on the album, Jun Hyuk was so excited he could not sleep. He would be going to America for a month. Because of the nerves he had from going abroad for the first time, he stayed up all night packing and unpacking his bag before going to the airport early in the morning.
When they arrived at the airport, there were already a lot of reporters waiting for them. Jo Hyung Joong had let his trip to America slip because it would become great marketing.
“Have you decided on a school?”
“How many years will you be abroad for?”
“Are you completely folding your activities in Korea now?”
“Piano or composition – which major have you chosen?”
In the midst of flashes and questions, Lawyer Baek Seung Ho stepped forward.
“There are a lot of questions, but we only have one answer. All we are doing is looking into schools. He will be interviewing with various schools and we do not yet know the result. Wherever he goes, it will be the best choice for Jun Hyuk.”
Yoon Kwang Hun and Jun Hyuk completed a simple interview and rushed their departure procedures.
“Sir, we’re not standing in line?”
“No, we’re in first class.”
As it was Jun Hyuk’s first time going abroad and being at an airport, his eyes kept flitting back and forth and Baek Seung Ho laughed while saying,
“It’s the area with the best seats on the plane. It’s my gift to you. Can a top star be uncomfortable in economy?”
Baek Seung Ho watched the two disappear through the gates and turned around.
Once they retrieved their boarding passes and got through immigration, many people were taking peeks at Jun Hyuk and gathered to ask for signatures and photographs.
“Let’s hurry up and go. There’s a separate lounge for first class, so we can wait there.”
Yoon Kwang Hun led Jun Hyuk by the hand and quietly ran to the lounge where they could wait until their departure time. The lounge for first class passengers was full of various drinks and snacks, so Jun Hyuk did not sit for a moment and was busy filling his stomach.
Jun Hyuk’s jaw dropped at the sight of the first class area, which he had only ever heard of. It looked like there was a small room screened off inside the plane.
“Don’t look around like that like it’s a different world. From now on, you’ll only ride first class. You might even be able to buy a private plane.”
Yoon Kwang Hun believed that the day would come.
After looking around for a while, Jun Hyuk fell asleep quickly because he had spent the previous night awake.
When Jun Hyuk took his first step in America, the sudden change in scenery and environment made him look on in wonder like when he had first seen the Ducati.
For one month, Yoon Kwang Hun took Jun Hyuk to all of the schools he had received acceptance letters from. Jun Hyuk was more excited because it felt like he was on vacation with Yoon Kwang Hun for the first time than he was that they were looking into schools.
Music schools in America are generally divided to the conservatory, geared towards practicality, and university which includes the liberal arts. The audition process for the two schools is similar, but because there is a great difference in the subjects that must be completed after entering, students dreaming of becoming professional performers prefer conservatories.
Julliard is a ‘conservatory’ where world-renowned Korean musicians like Jung Kyung Hwa, Jung Myung Hwa, Jung Myung Hun, Sara Jang, Kang Dong Suk, and Shin Young Ok passed through.
On the other hand, universities like Yale University, USC, and UCLA are basically schools of music.
The two started in Boston at Berkley and traveled to Pia Curtis in Philadelphia and Cleveland University School of Music in Ohio. Before going to their last destination, New York, Yoon Kwang Hun went to New Orleans, the hometown of jazz.
They went to clubs every night to enjoy the zest of improv performances and even rented a car to ride Highway 61, the so-called road of rock and roll.
This highway running through the middle of America goes to Beale Street in Memphis . The studio that Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis stood in. They touched on places like Stax Records, the Holy Land of soul music, and visited various places that gave birth to the music Jun Hyuk had heard in albums. And lastly, they went to New York which is basically Yoon Kwang Hun’s second home.
Proving that New York is the center for American culture, it holds Julliard, the Manhattan Conservatory, Mannes School of Music, and Eastman School of Music.[TN: Sorry for the interruption but my translations are being stolen by a certain website. I wanted to put this in here to see if those idiots will catch this or copy paste this exactly. All you readers, this novel translation is from lightnovelcafe.com just fyi]
When Yoon Kwang Hun came out of the airport in New York, he quickly caught a taxi into Manhattan.
New York may as well have been his 2nd hometown. He organized his luggage at the hotel in Manhattan and took Jun Hyuk out to start sightseeing. Recalling his 3 years as an MBA and 5 years on Wall Street, he told Jun Hyuk about his memories.
They ended their travels while admiring a Broadway musical and visited the final school of music.
Clayton-Hoffman Institute of Music is the representative school of music in New York and New Jersey. It is usually called the CH School of Music.
When Clayton founded the school in 1929, its doors opened in Philadelphia. After World War II however, conglomerate Hoffman took over and moved it to New York with his belief that New York is the center for American culture.
Clayton-Hoffman in New York is far from the image people think of when imagining an American university of a beautiful campus and old buildings. CH School of Music is a 21-floor luxury building in the middle of New Jersey.
If it were not for the two piano statues decorating the building entrance, people would think that it is just a regular office building.
However, there was no damage to Clayton’s pursuit of creating only the best music. There were only 240 undergraduates, 70 graduate students, and the student-professor ratio was 5:1. In other words, there were over 60 professors.
Anyone who wanted to could reside in the dormitories renovated like a hotel on the top floors of the building, and there were 5 theaters just for orchestra performances. Beyond that, there were over 10 large and small music halls and studios capable of recording.
With the motto ‘Learn as you perform’, there were concerts every night in these music halls with professors and students. These were also lessons reflected in the students’ grades.
Students majoring in claviers, commanding, and composition could each receive a Steinway grand piano.
The greatest perk was that there is no tuition. They just received a small fee from the students living in the dormitories. Instead, they went through the applicants and only accepted the people who have been called a genius once or twice, so the acceptance ratio exceeded 170:1. It was so difficult that even runner-ups in famous competitions were not guaranteed entry.
It was a place where all of the geniuses of the world were gathered.