jj bassette

Official website of American musician, composer, and entrepreneur JJ Bassette, a 23 year old California kid currently banging on pianos all over China.


The most ambitious deadline I've ever given myself.

I know, I know, it's been forever since my last post.  Truth be told, I've been up against one the most ambitious deadlines I've ever given myself, and have been working around the clock to make it happen:

Fluency in Mandarin Chinese, in less than a year.

And while no test can perfectly assess fluency, the HSK V test (Reading, Listening, and Writing 3,000 characters) comes pretty close.  It's used as the official benchmark for whether or not a foreign student can study at a Chinese-language University, and by employers to see if an applicant can handle a Chinese work environment.  Think the "SAT" of learning Chinese.

This level of the exam is expected to take 4-6 years of coursework to complete.  Exactly one year from the date I first started teaching myself Chinese, I'm sitting for the exam on Saturday.  

So, every day for the last month or so has been comprised of 30-50 new words a day, hundreds of flashcards, reading exercises, lessons, and the like.  I'm still rather nervous and am anxious to get the exam over with, but am proud of the fact that I expect to pass - thus completing one of my major goals in coming to China.  (Even if it meant my music being put on hold for a couple weeks.)

Needless to say, I'll be back up and running shortly, and am so excited to be sharing a new album with all of you in September!