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  • Writer's pictureJade Tai

Mad Skills

Updated: Jul 13, 2019

Question: If I could master any skill in 3 years, what would it be? How would I go about accomplishing this?

Answer: I have always loved music. I grew up in a very musical family. Family get-togethers and household chores alike always had music as an essential element. For many of us, music was a key part of school, hobbies and even night jobs.

My parents couldn’t have had more opposite musical tastes. Dad was all about disco/funk/soul. Mom was classic country. Throw in some other relatives who were into everything from traditional island music to gospel to heavy metal. For this, I’m thankful because it means I grew up with a broad musical palate. I can appreciate everything from a Sousa march to the Kenyan Boys Choir to Patsy Cline to Norah Jones to gangster rap… The Game, anybody? Even some well known movie themes have their way of stirring real emotion in me… yes you, Jurassic Park theme!

I wake up to music every single morning, and my favorite part of driving is singing like nobody is watching as I cruise down the road. FYI, if I’m in traffic and catch you watching, instead of turning away with embarrassment I’m likely to try to get you to join! Usually when this happens, the person watching turns away with embarrassment instead, but if they do join I consider it a win! Traffic isn’t even a concern as long as I’m having a “good shuffle day” (when the shuffle feature on my digital playlist seems to know *exactly* what I’m in the mood to hear next!) It’s no surprise if you spot me strolling down Newbury St. I’ll likely be sporting headphones and seem to be half walking and half dancing.

Despite my musical family background and my lifelong love for music and even being gifted at playing instruments, one thing I have never been very skilled at is singing. If I had 3 years to achieve full-fledged mastery at something it would be singing. Sometimes I dream of being able to effortlessly belt out a power note like Christina Aguilera--or better yet, Axl Rose of Guns n Roses, who I’ve recently learned has the widest vocal range in the music industry! Who knew? Check this Time Mag article. Mind. Blown. Although I'll take Christina’s voice because it matches me a thousand times better than Axl’s.

--Guns n Roses - Paradise City

As far as how I’d go about mastering the skill of singing… is it something that is just naturally gifted to a person? Or is it something that can be learned? I wouldn’t know where to begin. Do you know? I would likely do some research and find a master vocal coach, then hope from the depths of my soul that he or she isn't so high strung that I could actually withstand the training. I can have some extreme tendencies, so I would likely rehearse nearly to the point of vocal strain and perhaps train the way that Destiny's Child used to in the 90s, singing while jogging to improve lung capacity.

I'm curious: if you had 3 years to master any skill, what would yours be?

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