New choir teacher seeks to learn about Korea

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After a five-year teaching experience in Orlando, Florida, Kallina Chin, choir director, comes to SIS with an enthusiasm to explore Korean culture. As a music teacher, Ms. Chin has developed a love for traveling and an appreciation for diverse life experiences that brought her to Korea.

Back in the U.S, Ms. Chin did not have many opportunities to meet people of different ethnicities, having met only one Korean friend. Because her interaction with Asian cultures was relatively limited, she decided to seize the opportunity of coming to Korea when presented to her.

“I enjoy learning about the culture of a place,” Ms. Chin said. “But as a music teacher, there is also something about learning the musical culture and as a vocalist, it’s great hearing the differences in tone.”

Already, Ms. Chin has signed up for various language classes to immerse herself in Korean culture. She has listened to songs recommended by others, and hopes that students will continue to help her with understanding Korean music. She has already noticed that Korean music has a unique tone that utilizes a lot of vibrato and nasality, especially in the more traditional music.

Ms. Chin was first advised by her parents to take up a career in musical education. She was always helping out her friends with music, whether it was with music theory or with tone. As she came to the realization that she could not live without music, as nothing else appealed to her, Ms. Chin went to college to attain a degree in musical education, and eventually even led up to this with a masters and bachelor’s degree.

“There was a professional air about her that I noticed from the beginning,” said Alina Kim (10). “Our [Ladies’ Choir] was able to significantly build on our vocal skills in a short amount of time since she takes good care of individual sections before combining us into a larger group. Her attention to detail is precise, but she’s also really fun and full of life.”

Generally, Ms. Chin hopes to teach students how to use their voices both well and safely. According to her, improper vocal technique damages and strains the throat. Even experienced singers on the radio, such as Adele, have suffered due to such misusage. Already, Ms. Chin is working with various choirs and the actors in this year’s drama production, High School Musical, to actualize her goals while also enjoying singing and encouraging each and every student to grow from where they have started from.

“I want to bring my students up to a level of competitive vocal ability [and have them] learn about their own instruments,” Ms. Chin said. “[Students should also] have fun while doing it. [Singing] should cause as less stress as possible. SIS students are already really enthusiastic, and I’m willing to take and help anyone that walks through the door.”