Kim Soom played with her braids out of habit. She was giving keyboard lessons to earn money for the band’s album. She was also in charge of composing for the band, so she could teach him if she wanted to, but determined for herself that she wasn’t good enough to do that yet.
“You want to learn composition too? I don’t have the skills to teach anybody. There’s a lot of other good teachers if you look around.”
“But I want to learn from you, teacher.”
It was a voice with a firm will. Kim Soom slightly averted her eyes.
Kim Soom was dubious. She wasn’t famous for composing, so it was natural to be taken aback that a student who came in after seeing the bulletin was asking her to teach him composition, which she wasn’t even in charge of.
Bo Myung also noticed Kim Soom was flustered. He quickly racked his brain.
“You’re the keyboardist for the band Rainbow .. aren’t you?”
“Oh my goodness, you know Rainbow?”
“Yes. I like Rainbow. To think that I’d meet you here! To my understanding, you also write the songs for Rainbow.”
Immediately Kim Soom’s embarrassment changed into delight and she blushed.
“I like all of Rainbow’s songs. Is there any way I can learn from you?”
“It’s fascinating that a young student would know our songs. You must really have a lot of interest in music!”
What Bo Myung actually liked were Kim Soom’s ballads, not the tracks on the indie band Rainbow’s album. He never even listened to it properly. However, the ballads Kim Soom composed were not released to the world yet. He decided it was more convincing to say he likes Rainbow’s songs.
It was the right decision. Rainbow was starting to grow a fan base, and Kim Soom was excited that a high school student liked Rainbow’s songs.
He had an extremely likable appearance and was even polite, unlike high school students these days. His tone was like he just came out of a business meeting.
Although she was worried whether she would be able to teach him well, Kim Soom started to get excited about giving it a try.
“Have you learned the piano before?”
“Yes. But it was when I was little so my fingers are stiff.”
He attended piano academy until his first year of middle school. It was the only academy he attended for his dream due to financial hardship. He could probably still play the piano if it were Bo Myung’s body, but his current body was Kang Do Wook. He remembers in his head, but he wasn’t used to it in this body.
‘Would I be able to play the piano with Kang Do Wook’s hands?’
Kim Soom nodded her head.
“Then you must know how to read sheet music. How well do you know chords? If you want to compose you need to at least know chords.
“Yes, I know all the chords.”
“That’s a relief!”
At that moment a man in his early 30’s entered. A man with unkempt hair, looking drab with his shirt collar popped.
‘It’s Kim Woo Yeon!’
Bo Myung quickly got up from his seat. It was Kim Woo Yeon, who he had run into a couple times in the hallway while working at Q Entertainment. He never imagined he’d meet Kim Woo Yeon’s past self like this.
‘Then again, I couldn’t have imagined any of the things that have happened since yesterday.’
Once Kim Woo Yeon came in, Kim Soom quickly introduced Bo Myung to him.
“Here, he’s a student who wants vocal lessons.”
“Ah, is that so?”
Kim Woo Yeon looked at Bo Myung up and down with an uninterested expression.
“You’re handsome. Why do you want to learn singing? To attract girls?”
“Or to become a singer?”
“To become a singer.”
“Ok, People who want to become singers are a dime a dozen, being young doesn’t mean you can’t give it a shot.”
If this were the first impression, Kim Woo Yeon would be a cynical and irritating person. Bo Myung was speechless for a second. He knew that he was filled with disappointment since his first album, but he didn’t know it was this bad. It was even more shocking since whenever he had met him in the hallway, he would politely reciprocate Bo Myung’s greetings even though he was just a low level employee.
“Oh, take a seat first. Please sit down and talk.”
Kim Soom nervously pulled up a chair between Bo Myung and Kim Woo Yeon.
“I have an audition at an agency in a month.”
Bo Myung told him frankly as soon as Kim Woo Yeon sat down.
“What? In one month? You don’t expect me to be able to do anything within a month do you?”
Understandably, Kim Woo Yeon had a bewildered reaction.
“No, I don’t. I want to learn properly, starting with the basics. Even if I pass the audition, I want to continue learning from you until the end, teacher, regardless of the agency.”
Kim Woo Yeon blankly looked at Bo Myung, who was looking at him without wavering. He thought he was just someone handsome who was told to be a celebrity and thought becoming a singer would be easy. But that didn’t necessarily seem to be the case either. He had seen countless kids like that when he was a singer and as a vocal trainer. There was something different about this boy in front of him compared to the riffraff he had seen.
“I never even met you before, who are you calling teacher? Who said I’ll be your teacher?”
The Director would have been appalled at the tone he was taking to a student that came on his own accord. It was as if Kim Woo Yeon was saying, “Are you still going to learn from me even though my tone is like this?” Bo Myung was testing something too.
Of course that was true. Regardless of his personality, Kim Woo Yeon was worthy of the title Korea’s best vocalist. In Bo Myung’s opinion, a better vocal coach than Kim Woo Yeon didn’t exist.
“Isn’t this an academy? A place where you teach people. And you’re an instructor employed at the academy.”
Kim Woo Yeon snickered at Bo Myung’s straightforward tone. He wasn’t backing down no matter what he said. You could already tell from his appearance, but he was no ordinary kid.
“Ok. Then sing.”
“I need to know how skilled you are if I’m going to teach you. Go ahead and sing!”
Bo Myung hesitated, unlike the confident tone he had just a second ago. The drum lesson must have ended, because the drum instructor and student were coming out of the practice room. Kim Woo Yeon paid no attention to them and pressed Bo Myung.
It was logical to check basic skills, but it was before even registering for classes. Furthermore, it wasn’t in a practice room but the academy hallway. Including Kim Soom, that was already two pairs of eyes.
Bo Myung could feel the cold sweat running down his back. He had sung in this body before so he knew what a mess his singing skills were. He was definitely going to get ridiculed. Bo Myung had an extreme dread of getting ridiculed, more than most people, because of his past. That’s how he ended up with a timid and passive personality.
“Aren’t you going to sing? Are you a barley sack?”
“….Here I go.”
Bo Myung closed his eyes tightly then opened them, and he began to sing.
It was Kim Woo Yeon’s first album title song ‘If It Were a Dream’.
Kim Woo Yeon made him stop singing when he was 3 verses in. Bo Myung shut his mouth.
Kim Woo Yeon let out something like an agonized groan.
Kim Woo Yeon muttered to himself. Rather than being surprised that he knew his song, his tone had a hint of frustration, like “How can you sing this song so poorly.”
Bo Myung was frozen solid, waiting for Kim Woo Yeon’s harsh criticism. Bo Myung’s insides were frozen solid, but Kang Do Wook’s exterior had his unique indifferent expression.
“Lessons start tomorrow. Twice a week, one hour at a time. That’s usually my curriculum. You should come at least three times. If you don’t do the tasks I assign, it’ll take you ten years to get to the level where you won’t harm someone’s eardrum. Even if you do them diligently, maybe a year?”
Bo Myung quickly came to his senses and nodded at Kim Woo Yeon who was spouting on and on. He thought he would say give up if he was going to sing like that, but that wasn’t the case.
Bo Myung looked at the people around him one by one. Nobody was laughing at him or grinning at his ridiculous singing skills.
Even if it were sugar coated, Bo Myung’s singing couldn’t be called good. Still, it had sincerity in it. It had a real passion to become a singer. Everyone there, including Kim Woo Yeon, were passionate enough about music to recognize that passion.
Also, everybody knew that nobody was good from the start. That’s why it was called ‘learning’.
“Are you going to be rude and just nod your head?”
“N…no! I look forward to working with you!”
Bo Myung exclaimed with a loud voice. Kim Woo Yeon let out a chuckle without realizing it and stood up from his chair.
It seemed like Kim Woo Yeon had already approved of Bo Myung from the moment he started singing despite suddenly being forced to sing in front of people. Listening to Bo Myung’s sincere singing reinvigorated his own passion for singing.
Additionally, the pitch and tempo lacked innate sense, but the tone was good. It was a baritone voice that anyone would like regardless of one’s preference. He also had a hidden distinct characteristic that could shine like a jewel if it were polished.
It’s not easy to strengthen basic skills and develop a sense, but it also wasn’t impossible.
Afterwards, Kim Soom also informed him about the schedule for composition lessons. Kim Soom asked if it wouldn’t be too much to do both at the same time, but Bo Myung shook his head.
He had to do it even if it was hard, and he was going to get through it.
“I didn’t even properly get your name. Your name is … Kang Do Wook?”
Kim Soom looked at the name tag around his neck and asked. Bo Myung nodded his head.
“Yes, it’s Kang Do Wook. Once again, I look forward to working with you.”
He bowed. He said goodbye to Kim Soom and Kim Woo Yeon. Now, for real, his life as Kang Do Wook began.
“Hey, Do Wook! Wake up!”
Do Wook, who was lying down and sleeping, sluggishly opened his eyes. It was Yoon Jin Sung who shook Do Wook’s shoulders and woke him up.
“It’s lunch time, man. You usually sleep all the time anyway, but isn’t it too severe lately?”
Do Wook stretched and yawned lazily. Normally it should look ugly since he didn’t even try to cover his mouth and yawned lazily, but the way he stretched his long arms looked like a scene out of a drama. It wasn’t for nothing that the girls were fawning over Kang Do Wook. He was his close friend, but at times like this he was irritating so Yoon Jin Sung clicked his tongue louder.
“Hurry~! The cafeteria line will get longer.”
Do Wook, who was getting up from his seat, grasped his stomach and crouched over.
“Ow, my stomach hurts.”
It was because he had a rough vocal lesson with Kim Woo Yeon yesterday too. Kim Woo Yeon said you have to properly learn how to make a sound first and oversaw every little thing, from how he breathes to his posture when standing and sitting.
Kim Woo Yeon said you have to sing from your stomach and every time Do Wook tried to sing from his neck, he ruthlessly applied pressure to Do Wook’s stomach. His stomach tugged and ached after lessons because he was using abdominal muscles he hadn’t used before. It was a relief that Kim Soom told him it’ll become natural and won’t hurt with time.
He wasn’t only practicing on days he had lessons. Do Wook set aside time every day and did his best to improve his vocal skills and build up his composing skills. His progress was slow at first, but they were gradually getting faster.
Yoon Jin Sung asked as they went down the hallway stairs towards the infirmary.
“What are you doing that you’ve been disappearing as soon as school’s over?”
“Yeah. You don’t want to come when we invite you to drink, and you won’t play games either. Did you get a girl?”
“There’s no girl.”
“I’ll feel betrayed if you got a girl and didn’t tell me, seriously.”
“I told you that’s not it.”
Do Wook looked at Jin Sung and wondered if telling him that he was preparing for an audition was the right thing to do. He looks carefree but he was truly Kang Do Wook’s good friend.
“Your vibe changed lately. It feels like you’re being serious.”
Jin Sung wasn’t overreacting, Do Wook’s vibe really did change a lot. The original Do Wook seemed unmotivated and carelessly did the bare-minimum for everything. His good looks made it look cool, but you didn’t have to talk to him long to know Do Wook was a delinquent who only cared about playing.
However, these days, he was still sleeping during class like usual, but something was different.
Once in a while, the things he said were so serious to the point it was shocking. The sincere and mature vibe made Do Wook even cooler. The girls who already liked Do Wook went even crazier.
Adult-like. Jin Sung contemplated what those words meant while looking at Do Wook recently.
“Yoon Jin Sung, actually tomorrow I audition…”
At that moment, one of the 3rd year upperclassmen headed towards Do Wook from the end of the hallway with a scowl.
“Hey, you two over there.”