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The Hangeul song
Edit by. Sunny Oh | Published. 2017.12.29 19:14 | Count : 488
When we start learning new languages and formulae, it is normally through easy tunes and rhymes. For English, there’s the famous ABC song; for the periodic table, there’s the periodic table song. What surprised me, therefore, was the fact that there isn’t a Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, song. My interest in language, coupled with my passion for music, led me to compose the Hangeul song- a challenging yet exhilarating experience. 
[A photo of sketch made with Professor Seungyeon Lee]
I wanted to create a song that would make Hangeul learning accessible to foreigners and second language speakers. Using the composition techniques that I acquired at school, I composed a simple yet catchy tune to which I paired Korean alphabets. However, the writing of the lyrics was challenging; what would be the most Scientific and tactical way of teaching the Korean alphabet? How simple should the lyrics be? Driven by my curiosity, I emailed a professor of Korean culture studies at the University of Seoul, Seungyeon Lee, with a proposal for my project. With Professor Lee’s kind help, the lyrics were finalized; the song would begin with vowels, with a fluent transition to consonants, and finishing with the combination of both. I then added the lyrics to the main tune I composed, with the help of professional songwriters who kindly offered to provide me guidance. After the completion of the Hangeul song, I recorded the song at a recording studio in Seoul with my sister, an aspiring singer. The recording process was rigorous; in order to pronounce all the alphabets accurately while singing in tune, my sister and I had to repeat the singing numerous times.
[Photo of me preparing for recording]


[Photo of me recording in the recording studio]
[Photo of the working process in the recording studio]
The recorded product was a 2-minute, instructive and informative song. I however wanted more; how could we spread this song online? How could we interest foreigners to learn this song? Thus, I decided to film a music video for the Hangeul song, featuring my friends and acquaintances. By creating visual images of the alphabets, the video shows its viewers how the alphabets are written and how the consonants and the vowels can be combined to create letters. We filmed outside, visiting various venues including the Hangeul museum, and also filmed in a studio. Collaborating with my peers and acting in front of the camera was an experience I was unaccustomed to. However, thanks to their active participation, the filming process was efficient and successful. One of the participants JP Kim said, “It’s really interesting that there isn’t a Hangeul song already! I found the filming process interesting and even found myself singing the song after the filming. It really does help that there is a tune attached to the language.” The video will be posted on YouTube after the editing is finished. 
[Photo of me directing the participants in the filming studio]


[Photo of the filming process in the filming studio]

I hoped to use the power of K-pop to spread this video. Thus I emailed several K-pop music show producers if this song could be sung by K-pop stars on television with a proposal and video of the song. After waiting for several weeks, I received an email of confirmation this week. The song is going to be aired on national television on the 14th of January, which is extremely exciting. The aim of this project still remains clear; we want to promote an approachable and efficient way of learning Hangeul to foreigners and second language speakers through the use of music and the power of media and K-pop.



Sunny Oh
12th Grade
Wycombe Abbey School

Sunny Oh  student_reporter@dherald.com

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