Local teen discovers gift for music after learning to play six instruments

NORFOLK, Va. - If you stumble into 17-year-old McKenna Goss' home, the sound of music can be heard. However, it won't just be one. McKenna can play six musical instruments, and she taught herself how to play all of them.

“I just felt like I was doing it quickly. I was trying to play Billy Joel and it was one night and I had the beginning down and I was like, 'okay, okay!' said McKenna, reminiscing on how quickly the piano came to her.

The guitar came first.

"I was really obsessed with Taylor Swift," said McKenna.

Then, the rest of the instruments followed.

"I got my ukulele, and then just this year I started picking up the flute, violin, piano, harmonica," said McKenna.

This brought her musical instrument count to six. She said she gravitated toward those instruments because of the songs she listens to. She taught herself to play every single one and hasn't gotten formal instruction.

"At first when learning, it's really annoying because I get so mad when I mess up, but once I get it, it's freeing. I can just play and sing to it and just be confident and all that," smiled McKenna.

That is exactly what McKenna's mom, Karen, hoped her daughter would achieve. McKenna doesn't go to regular school because Karen moves around for her job in college athletics quite frequently. Instead, McKenna attends Cyber Academy of South Carolina, which is online and allows her to progress at the speed she needs and gives her time to pursue her passions, including music.

"I felt like one thing she would tell you she deals with is not the greatest confidence and I've always said I want her to be confident and happy. So watching her excel with different instruments, I saw confidence and happiness," said Karen.

However, Karen and her husband are unsure where McKenna's musical abilities are from. Karen said neither of them have any musical talents.

Despite McKenna's gift, she is looking to pursue a different path as high school comes to a close.

"I want to be an astronaut," said McKenna, who referenced the Canadian astronaut who played a guitar at the International Space Station.

Until McKenna possibly has the chance to play one of her six instruments in space, she's more than happy to play them at home for her family and her two dogs.