International Language Institute Korean Language Classes at Pusan National University, Learning to Play the Korean Drum Janggu at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Busan!

Yesterday, we found out about our Korean class levels for the Korean Culture and Language (K-CLIP 2014) Immersion Program. Sadly, all the people in our little group are at the Intermediate and Advanced levels.. This will force me to make more friends though and take my studies seriously (thinking positive hehe). Because I was in full student mode, I was able to follow the fast pace. I'm so glad I took that free Hangeul class in Seoul as a starter. We also have Korean culture classes in the afternoon so for this day, we learned to play the Korean drums (used in samulnori) and sing folk songs at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts here in Busan. I loved the beat I made with the Janggu most :)

kclip-busan.jpg

Most of our classes are held at the International Language Institute of Pusan National University. PNU is the first national university and one of the top 10 universities in South Korea. We have a total of 15 100-minute language classes in this program. Our Korean language classes (for beginners) are taught with English so that we can understand things better. I guess to each his own too if we talk about your preferred learning method. I like classroom setting with oral tests and just asking for fun words to use from friends ;)

international-language-institute-busan.jpg

For the first class, we were taught the basic Korean alphabet and how to read. Then for the second, we were taught basic useful phrases today :) I was so happy with my progress hehe. My seat also has a view (there's our dorm near the mountain!)

international-language-institute-busan.jpg 

and my teacher looks like Lucy Liu hihi.

international-language-institute-busan.jpg

After lunch, the bus took us to the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in downtown Busan.

performing-arts-center-busan.jpg

performing-arts-center-busan.jpg

kclip-2014.jpg

performing-arts-center-busan.jpg

kclip-busan.jpg

kclip-busan.jpg

We were first introduced to the Korean drum Janggu!

janggu.jpg

Everyone had their own big drum and 2 sticks.

kclip-busan-melody-co.jpg

kclip-busan.jpg

This stick (held downward on the left hand) is supposed to be held like a pencil with the thumb and forefinger then anchored by the pinky. Here's my attempt to do that with my tiny hand hehe.

kclip-busan.jpg

We had so much fun doing the Gong! Tak! Tak! Gong! beats and different combinations hehe.

kclip-busan.jpg 

I found the sound very relaxing and the combinations challenging (like how they ask a team to learn and perform something suddenly at the Amazing Race hehe).

kclip-busan.jpg

kclip-busan.jpg

kclip-busan.jpg

It's a bit sad that I couldn't understand any of his explanations so I was a bit distracted haha..

kclip-busan.jpg

Our teacher had the best expressions hihi.

kclip-busan.jpg

A better understanding of Hangeul will be best for an in-depth experience of Janggu. If you're only here for a while though, it could still be fun coz music is a universal language anyway - just follow the beat of the drum ;) There's the gong

kclip-busan.jpg

and a more irritating small one to choose from.

kclip-busan.jpg

He also told us about the expressions we can randomly shout to feel more elated as we play. Eol si gu, dot ta, and one more (I couldn't read the handwriting) hehe. Basically, I found the freedom to express myself in those moments that we got to play the janggu. It's a mix of beating it with all your might while relaxing your body. I truly felt like a free artist. And if you notice, making music is something that I really enjoy. This made me so happy that I wouldn't mind doing it more =)

IMG_9855

Before we knew it, the class was over (too soon).

I wish I could play the Geum... I've been crushing over this since I was in high school.

geum.jpg

It's played horizontally but it towers over me

IMG_9856

so I could only do this for now without removing it from the racks haha.

IMG_9857

The next class was for Minyo or traditional Korean folk songs. According to the Busan National Gugak Center, the minyo is orally passed down for generations and considered to be one of their precious Korean intangible cultural heritage as it reflects the lifestyle and emotions of the local people.

IMG_9861 

  IMG_9863

I would have enjoyed singing it if I could only read the lyrics without effort :( And if you remember, learning to sing in Korean is in my list of things to do in Korea! Maybe in a few days when they already introduce complicated consonants and vowels already... For now, me and my roomie have LSS (last song syndrome) of parts of the songs hehe. Anyway, here's a sample of our teacher's amazing voice. There's really a difference (vocally) with the way they sing traditional songs here in Korea =D


And just like that, the day was over. We rushed back to the dorm cafeteria for dinner because we have a limited time from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m to catch our inclusive meal. I don't know why but I'm always hungry here haha. Maybe I use too much brainpower and leg power haha. We also have to get up early to catch the breakfast window and to make our way to class by 8:30 a.m.! I guess I have to do my homework now and add to that. Busy, busy LOL.

International Language Institute Korean Language Classes at Pusan National University, Learning to Play the Korean Drum Janggu at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Busan

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)