Noraebang is one of my favorite forms of entertainment in Seoul. Noraebang, which literally means "song room," is where you get a group of friends together to sing karaoke. When I first went, I was actually nervous, because I am completely tone deaf and I don't have the pretty singing voice- not to mention, I would actually have to sing the appropriate words since they would be flashing across a screen. With the help of a few beers, I belted out a "special" version of "Mmmbop" and I was eventually fighting people in order to pick out the next song. Now I can't get enough of it!
Note to all: Some noraebangs can be known to have a bit of sketchy actions that take place in them. I have been warned to avoid the noraebang across the street (in the back alley next to the love motel that used to be my temporary home) past 10 pm, because it is notorious for hosting old business men who bring in women that they pay for. There are really nice noraebangs located in Hongdae. My personal favorite is Prince Edward, because it feels like you are in a Victorian doll house.
At school, I am in charge of teaching my group of students (four classes total) Kids Pop. This is what I would like to think of as Noraebang 101. Its an elementary course designed to prepare kids to sing songs at a noraebang. Ok, so maybe that isn't the initial intention, but we sing pop songs that are only appropriate for karaoke. I wanted to touch on this, because this month we are singing ABBA songs, due largely in part to the great popularity of the new release of the movie "Mamma Mia." This movie, mainly its soundtrack, is impossible to escape. The songs have flooded the radio waves of supermarkets, taxis, buses, cafes, and now my preschool.
One of my students, Young Seong, has been quite educated on the soundtrack (I think his mother has a lot to do with this), so he knows all the words. . . well at least he knows what all the words sort of sound like.
For the first part of class, I sing the lines and have them repeat after me. Then, we sing the song together without the music. After a few rounds of this, I have them sing along with the music. If I feel like they get the hang of it, then I incorporate a few dance moves (yes, this is probably really funny too since I am pretty uncoordinated). Then we wind down and color. It gets pretty rowdy and entertaining. For instance, one of the supervisors had to come into my class to tell me to tone it down just a bit, because their little voices carried through to the conference room. I can't help it if they get excited though ^^
Today, I joined classes with my friend Danielle, and it was a party. We brought out the tambourines and had kids dancing around the classroom. Its so much fun! I recorded a bit of the kids singing, but I think they were so mesmerized by my camera on my computer, they sort of froze. Also, one of the students decided that he would be the cameraman, so it moves a bit. Enjoy just the same.