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Genius of a Performing Arts High
Chapter 1.5 - As if Singing 5

Chapter 1: As if Singing 5

The homeroom teacher of the 10th class of Freshmen, Kang Heewon looked forward with a hand supporting her chin.


A soothing melody echoed through the classroom, with thirty or so students taking music dictation tests on their seats.

The noise of pencils scribbling away, and papers being flipped, and unbothered by these sounds, the students were fully immersed in taking their tests. Watching them fill in the notes without stopping was commendable.

‘So far is easy enough, it seems.’

She immediately gave a nod. This was Future Arts High after all.

A hall of performing arts where the nation’s best performing arts’ prodigies would gather. Simple SRMDs had already been dealt with during the admission tests – there was no way they would be stuck at simple tones.

More like, the freshmen of this year were too highly skilled, enough to be of some trouble.

‘I’m getting sleepy’

Ding dong.

The music dictation test proceeded onto the next question along with a ring. After glancing at the ringing speakers, Kang Heewon made a large yawn. It was still on the second stage, so it would take ages until it would finish.

A waste of time, she thought as she fidgeted with the ends of her skirt.

Usually, the first semester’s SRMD classes were decided by the results they got during the admission test.

Indeed, the test results – instead of this sudden test on the day of the entrance ceremony. To put it into words, the current situation wasn’t ‘normal’, because it was having a similar test twice.

Naturally, there was a reason for even bothering to have the test repeated.

‘Lee Suh-ah, Kim Wuju and Jun Shihyuk’

Her eyes quickly scanned the three.

She remembered seeing them in the interview. They had easily passed the SRMD section provided during the admission test with flying colours. In this grade, there were twenty or so more students apart from them who had gotten full marks. It was usually not to this level, but...

She heard such things happened sometimes.

‘When geniuses appear.’

A genius would lead their grade’s level up with their talents. Just by being able to compete with geniuses, the same-grade students’ skills as well as their motivations would be sparked.

That effect was now evident.

‘A second test...’

Kang Heewon frowned as she tapped on the desk.

Whatever the case, the school had to separate them into classes. As the admission test had lost its differentiating ability, there was a need for another test.

With harder questions.

A second test.

It was a bothersome thing from both the student’s and the teacher’s perspective.

‘In any case...’

Her eyes that had been slowly scanning through the students stuck on one male student and stayed there. A short, thin boy.

Jo Yunjae was it? His hands flying across the staves appeared light. A student who had scored the 6th level on the sight-reading – no, if the tone wasn’t that high, he could’ve reached even higher.

The 6th level was close enough to full marks so there wasn’t much meaning for that, but if she had let him continue, how far could he have gone?

She soon left her trance and continued her observation.


Jo Yunjae. He was decent at music dictation as well. When the melody ends, he would put his pen down before anyone else, and after that, he would dig his nose into the paper as he double-checked.

A standard appearance of a high-achieving student – there appeared to be no problems.

However, there indeed were problems.

‘It’s strange that he’s doing so well.’

She hazily remembered seeing him during the interview. Once again, she went through the students’ admission scores inside her head.

‘Jo Yunjae... Jo Yunjae... I don’t remember such a student from the high achievers.’

Maybe it was on the lower side... Ah, indeed. She suddenly remembered due to the terrible marks she had seen before.

The admission score was low, and from what she saw during the sight-reading, his basics weren’t there at all. Even from her perspective as a piano major, his vocal range, breathe and everything were below standard.

‘And yet, he still made it in, huh...’

The first stage, the second and the third.

The simple melody from the speaker eventually got more complex. An off-beat, quickening, and slowing of beats, a fancy array of melodies and an increase in the tempo of the music.

From here on, it was an area unreachable for the unpractised, and soon, more and more students began to give up.

The fourth, the fifth and the sixth.

A melody divides into two. They sometimes appeared together in harmony, and would sometimes appear in turns as if dancing one by one. After adding a quirk to the rhythm on top of this, and changing the tone in a vibration, drop outs appeared in a flash.

Now it would be quicker to count the ones left alive.

‘Let’s see.’

The ones left were Lee Suh-ah, Jun Shihyuk, Kim Wuju who was receiving the help of a helper and...

‘Jo Yunjae.’

The last question’s timer reached its end, and soon.

Ding dong

An alarm resounded and various sighs from the students echoed in harmony. Kang Heewon who had been smiling at that scene clapped with her hand.

“Now, with this, the music dictation test is over. Can you please hand over the staves to the front?”


“With this the official schedules are over, and it is now lunch time. You know you have to gather at the hall after lunch right? Then, see you guys later!”


The students flooded out at the news of a meal. Kang Heewon looked away from them onto the gathered papers, evened the edges out on the table and headed to the staff room.

As she greeted the staff members and placed the test papers down, a teacher appeared showing interest.

The teacher in charge of opera, Ku Mingi.

“Oh? They took a test?”

“Yes. Remember we were told to repeat the SRMD tests? They told us to do it today~. Sigh, I don’t know why we have to do the same thing twice.”

Ku Mingi formed a nice smile in response to Kang Heewon’s rumbling.

“It can’t be helped – it’s because they were too good. SRMD is a basic skill so it’s easy to tell anyway.”

“That’s true.” 𝘪𝑛𝒏r𝘦𝚊𝐝. 𝒄o𝐦

“Was there anyone special in particular? The most excelling student for example.”

“The most excelling one? Hmm... perhaps him?”

After some thought, she went through the staves before taking a few papers out. The name on top of the papers entered Ku Mingi’s eyes.

– Freshmen 10th class, Jo Yunjae

A large array of notes filling the staves was placed on top of the table, and Ku Mingi who had scanned past the papers gave a smile.

“Hoh, he finished everything?”

As he had said, all the questions had been filled with symbols and notes. Not to mention the questions with one melody that had been written in clear handwriting, the complicated two melodies, as well as a question given just for the heck of it, one with four melodies – a full score sheet, had been solved.

Kang Heewon who hadn’t been expecting that much also made a gasp of admiration.

“You’re right.”

Two melodies were one thing, but a full score sheet wasn’t at the level of a high school student. At a glance, it didn’t seem to have any mistakes.

Whatever the rhythm or the note was, the staves were filled without a problem, and were clean. It even felt strange as there were no signs of an eraser being used.

Ku Mingi hummed through as he read the answer sheet until his hands suddenly stopped.

‘What are these?’

Jo Yunjae’s test paper.

Unlike the clean answers in the middle, the blanks at both sides near the ends were filled black with symbols. It appeared like a random scribble at a glance, but after some examination, the structure seemed regular and patterned.


After some more time, its identity was revealed.

Counterpoint. One of the basics of harmonic studies. The regularly placed notes gave off a strange vibe... as if... it drew the process of remembering something that had once been forgotten...

After glaring daggers at the staves, Kang Heewon tilted her head.

“... He seems to have studied harmonics? And quite deeply in fact.”


It was strange for an opera major to do that. An opera major who would sing a monophony and not a piano, studying harmonics was extremely rare. A common thought for them was that they would rather practise their singing more during that time.

After a session of burning curiosity for this strange student, they placed the staves back down.

Kang Heewon gave her view.

“Full marks.”

“Iya, to think there would be a student getting all of this right.”

“It can’t be that there’s going to be a large number of full marks again, right?”

“That won’t be the case. I’ve already checked other classes.”

“That’s a relief.”

She who had been worrying about a third test eased her expression. If not for these bothersome things, the students’ abilities being high was naturally something to be happy about.

Ku Mingi who had finished everything smiled as he spoke to her.

“Should we go for some lunch, then?”

“Yes, one second.”

While putting away Jo Yunjae’s answers back into the pile, Kang Heewon suddenly had a thought.

‘Why did he fail so hard at the interview with such good music dictation skills?’

And how did he enter this school with those marks?

As she was thinking, she heard Ku Mingi’s urging and came to herself before standing up from her seat.



Collapsing onto the bed, I felt the soft mattress embrace me.

It felt nice.

It was merely a dorm used by students but as expected of a rich school, even the bed was high-class.

Remembering harmonics after so long was really a pain...

Perhaps I truly was tired, after lying down for a little, I could feel an overwhelming desire to sleep. As I fought against the sinking eyelids, a low voice suddenly entered the ears.


Flicking my head over, I found a standing boy smiling amiably. I lowered my gaze onto his name plate.

‘Noh Jusup.’

After staring at the white name knit onto the plate, I turned my head back and delved deep into the pillow. This guy seems to be my roommate – the dorms were apparently two for one room.


Perhaps he did not understand my gesture showing exhaust, the bed sunk deeply as I felt someone sit down nearby.

Ehew. Right. I need to wash before sleeping and tidy up the room as well. It was weird but it seems that my body got tired more easily despite getting younger. Aren’t high schoolers meant to be flying around? Is it because the body is frail?

As if putting a stop to the small thoughts that popped up like firecrackers, Noh Jusup’s voice was heard.

“You’re from the 10th class right? I’m also from the 10th class – front row.”


Turning my back and looking at his smiling face, I do slightly remember seeing him from the previous life. His somewhat ‘stylish’ hair gelled by wax is funny. I think he was sitting next to Lee Suh-ah?

Looking down at his unkempt nails, it seemed that he was clearly not an instrument-major. What did this guy do again?



Let’s see. I could somewhat guess from the way he spoke. A loud, ringing voice making full use of the resonating chambers. This meant he was 99% an opera major, and the voice type... Glancing at his body that reached 180cm and long neck, and putting his low tone to consideration, I had come to a conclusion.


“Ah? Was it obvious? Huhu, yeah I’m bass. You?”


Males, when roughly divided into their voice types was like this.

Tenor – Baritone – Bass.

A tenor was an opera singer with high tones, a bass – low, and the baritone in the middle. It was a simple overview but that was roughly it. Although you could go further into detail, there was no real need to at this stage.

If anything, I was closer to a baritone, as I couldn’t make a high note – a symbolic aspect of tenors. Evidently from the sight-reading where I was unable to make a not-so high note.

...Perhaps thinking back to that, he looked at me with a weird look.

‘Well, I’ll become a tenor even though I can’t make high notes.’

After seeing me stand straight with the chin up, he shrugged his shoulders saying it wasn’t his business before starting a chatter.

“You’re not from Future Middle High right? I know everyone from there but it’s my first time seeing you.”


“I knew it. What did you sing during the admission? I sang O del mio dolce ardor and...”

“Sorry. I don’t remember.”

How would I remember something I sang 20 years ago during the admission test?

So how exactly did I pass the test? If I were to sit the test right now with this body, even I don’t have the confidence to pass.

‘Well, one way or another I guess.’


Feeling like the time spent chattering with Noh Jusup was a little wasteful, I lifted the phone up and checked the Future Arts High’s homepage. When I opened the web page up, a little window screen prevented me.

A login screen.

‘Login? To an account from 20 years ago?”

Fortunately, I must’ve saved the account on Google before, as it was logged in straight away. The most important thing was checking the timetables, and when I opened it, an array of subjects appeared.

Comprehension in German. Music Theory. SRMD. Concerted Music. Performance Training...

Hmm, maybe I should take a screenshot and keep it as the phone’s background picture. As I was struggling taking the picture and setting it as the background picture, it reached a topic I couldn’t ignore.

“...did you fight with Song Mirae? I was talking to her before and when your name popped up she made a disgusted expression.”

Song Mirae?

The hands fidgeting with the phone halted slightly, before picking up again.

“I don’t know.”

“Ah what is it? What happened~”


How would I know something that happened 20 years ago?

As I was reserving for a rehearsing room while ignoring some of the words, an announcement hanging large on the homescreen entered the eye.

[2020 1st Semester Tuition and Practice Fee Information]

[2020 Future Performing Arts High School Entrance Ceremony Information]

[2020 Each Grade’s Textbook List]

[2020 Freshmen Admission Fee Information]

Tuition fee... This was a private school right.

Wait, private school?



Ignoring the bewildered Noh Jusup and opening the announcement on tuition fees with trembling hands, there were numbers written next to each item.

Tuition fees, Practical fees, Operating support fees...

And the total payment written beneath.

[Total: 2,982,500 Won]

One, two, three, four... Counting the zeros to the end made me feel a lack of breath.

3 million won.

That was per term in fact. So how much was it per year? The confused head soon gave an answer.

“12 million won...!”

While I was staring dumbfoundedly at the phone, Noh Jusup suddenly approached from behind and showed his agreement.

“Ah, you’re looking at the tuition fees? It’s a little expensive here, yeah.”

“What? A little?”

I found his nonchalant words weird but soon came to an understanding.

This was probably a normal reaction. What would high schoolers know? I didn’t think much of these during mine either. 3 million won just appeared as a number.

‘Whenever I was told to pay, I just handed the letter to my parents without thinking much...’


To think an arts school devoured 3 million. And besides, that won’t be the only expenditure.

When preparing for a concour, there were one-on-one lesson fees, accompanist fees, makeup and transport fees to consider... Performing Arts was truly a money-devouring hippo.

‘Should I quit?’

I quickly shook off the sudden thought. Would my parents agree if I suddenly quit, after they paid for all the tuition fees and textbooks?... Even then, the financial situation of my household wasn’t packed enough for me to be carefree.

First, I turned towards Noh Jusup for some information digging.

“Jusup, does our school have scholarship?”

“Un? I don’t really know.”


This damn school. It doesn’t help because there’s only kids born with golden spoons in their mouths.

Looking at my chilling eyes, Noh Jusup opened his mouth after some thought.

“Ah. While we were attending Future Middle High, Lee Suh-ah was always coming first. She received money from the principal because of that I think. It’s the same high school so there’s probably a similar system.”

“Is that how it is?”

I quickly searched through google.

‘Future Arts High Scholarships’

The very first blog post that appeared had, ‘Future Arts High Full Scholarship! Shall we find out moore?’ as the title.

Good. This appeared to be a post filled with information at a glance.

When I clicked on it, the post soon popped up.

[*^^* Helloo guyss~ It’s Haru Mum heree~

(A bowing emote)

Today~~ We will find out about... the scholarship in Future Arts Highh~~~! *^^/

Did you guyss know... that there was a full scholarship in Future Arts High!?

(An emote looking back with a surprise)


Reading it for a while made the head turn.

‘Did they write like this 20 years ago?’

I suddenly noticed the evident generation gap.

There’s a need to be friends with the students... It seemed that I have to learn these recent trends to be able to adapt more easily. I’m pretty much an old man 20 years older after all.

After some thinking, I shook my head.

‘... Let’s think about it later.’

Roughly, the post meant something like this. The Future Arts High under the, so famous Future Foundation, and it being a private school meant tremendous admission and tuition fees. To support this, the students with great grades would be given full scholarships each semester... and the conditions were simple.

– Future Arts High 1st in grade.

– Or a result very close to that.

...No, isn’t the Future Foundation being too stingy? I have to come first out of the 150 Music Department students?

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Genius of a Performing Arts High Chapter 1.5 - As if Singing 5