This Sunday, we were excited to welcome Seth Martin and a group of his students from Korea. 성문밖학교 (“seong moon bakk hakkyo”) is a Korean alternative school located on a mountain in Namhansanseong, outside of Seoul.
The school focuses on sharing culture, traditional music, and environmental education to empower young Korean students. Their educational philosophy is influenced by many homeschooling, communal unschooling, and other alternative education ideologies, but their biggest focus is on creating a sage space for Korean students to study about Korea and its place in the world, and to pursue an education that will prepare them to be peacemakers and to stand with oppressed people (in Korea and globally) against war, cultural destruction and destructive economics.
They strongly focus on the health of the students more than rigid academic timelines and test scores, and they value art, history, language, and music as important ways for students to grow as individuals, as well as to learn about, share and protect their own cultural heritage, becoming global citizens that empower their own local culture rather than accepting westernization in all that it entails.
Much of their education comes through traveling, interviewing folks from many different places and walks of life, and from sharing their music and art at festivals, peace gatherings, vigils and protests in Korea and elsewhere.
Seth played a song on the drum for us to get things started.
Then Mr. Gwon explained each instrument to us and how they relate to nature.
Mr. Gwon also explained how the different aspects of nature relate to each other. The thunder in the sky connects through the lightning to the ground and is all surrounded by the wind.
The students played the traditional pungmul drums for us.
And the children danced for us.
And then we had a visit from a lion!
The audio this week is from the students’ pungmul drum performance. Beware, it is somewhat loud, and very exciting. It might even cause you to get up and move!
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