|▲ Berlin Institute of Music / Director Bogyeong Kim|
Berlin Institute of Music won the National Assembly Education Committee Chairman’s Prize at the 2020 Korea Education Industrial Awards held by Herald Corporation. Nestled in Dogok-dong, Gangnam, Seoul, the institute has built strong presence among preparatory schools in South Korea with its unparalleled educational expertise and advanced training system.
Since its opening in 2009, the institute has been one of the highly sought-after among young music talents and their parents alike for professional instructions and up-to-date analysis on entrance requirements to prestigious music schools home and abroad.
However, as the sheer scale of the institute tells itself, the courses are not only designed for college preparatory but also for anyone who wants to learn or improve skills in classical voices and instruments.
Bringing the feel of Berlin and Milan to Seoul
Bogyeong Kim, Director of Berlin Institute of Music, majored in instrumental music at Kyung Hee University. After obtaining a master’s degree in piano at the same university, he flew to Berlin in 1991 to deepen her knowledge and skills. She finished a diploma in piano and chamber music at The Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin (Hochschule Für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin), Germany, followed by various diplomas in piano, opera coaching and accompanist at a number of renowned music schools in Italy.
She proved her outstanding talent by placing herself in the third place at the Pianello International Piano Concert and moved on her musical career as an accompanist in a number of international concerts, chamber music and vocal recitals. Her life in Europe equipped her with advanced coaching abilities in piano and opera as well as fluency in speaking German and Italian.
“I have built extensive knowledge and experience during the time I lived in Europe. It made my eyes wide open to difference, excellence, tradition and creativeness and above all the unique feel of the region especially in Berlin and Milan. Back in Seoul, I strongly felt about the need for delivering what I have learned to ambitious young talents and ordinary classical music lovers in South Korea. And the result was Berlin Institute of Music” says Kim
Synergy comes from cooperation between master educators
Kim’s encountering with institute’s deputy director Yaerim Lee was the decisive event in opening and running Berlin Institute of Music. Lee’s in-depth knowledge in piano and music pedagogy has greatly contributed to the fame the institute is enjoying today. Lee’s in-depth knowledge coincided with Kim’s musical philosophy ‘from tradition and discipline to creativity and revolution’ and they created a great educational synergy.
Lee has a decade of experience in teaching. She worked in charge of online lectures at an e-learning piano contents company and introduced numerous creative methods and repertoire. During her graduate school years, Lee wowed professors with her attention to detail research on effective piano training which resulted in scholarship.
If Kim and Lee have knowledge and contents driven, another deputy director Hanwool Song is creative driven. And this might be the decisive reason that she is the star instructor at Berlin Institute of Music. Like Kim and Lee, Song has built extensive on-the-spot experience in private tutoring not to mention she also received scholarship for excellent talent and performance during her college years. Above all this, her love for students is enormous that attention-to-detail instructions are given to every single student with affectionate eye.
Up to date teaching materials and realistic recital hall
Berlin Institute of Music is famous for using both traditional and up to date teaching materials. Beyer, for example, has been used to train piano beginners for a long time in South Korea. This 200 year old teaching method somewhat seems to be outdated so the institute is applying up to date methods alongside in order not to lose essence of tradition while keeping the latest technique.
In the middle of the institute is a recital hall designed for students to play like there are in a real concert hall. The genres are variety from clichéd repertoire to 4 hands, 8 hands and relay and sheet music is made to order to meet the high demand for creativity and differentiation.
“It is not about showoff but attitude about life”
“Learning or doing music is not about showoff but attitude about life” says Kim. “The act of learning and doing music is an act of improving respect to others and of improving self-confidence. And loving music is like growing the positive root of our life deep in our inner world. Skills of course are very important. But we know by experience that they often come out nothing without the player’s positive attitude toward oneself and others.”
Many students of Berlin Institute of Music are spread worldwide at the moment. Some deepening their skills and some widening their experience, but they all have one dream: to be great musicians.
Classical vocalist Choi Gyu-hyun is husband and a musical colleague of Kim who studied music in Germany and Italy together. He finished diploma at Luigi Boccherini Musical Institute and Pescara Academy in Italy and majored in conducting at Cantu Academia Orchestra in Italy.
He played Handel’s Messiah with the Saronno Orchestra and aria’s night with the Como Orchestra. He conducted Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 with the National Transylvania Orchestra of Rumania and a number of choirs and chamber music.
He studied voices of Cappuccilli, Raimondi and Luciana Serra and worked for the Teatro Regio di Torino on a contract. He also signed a contract as a permanent singer of the Coburg State Opera Theater Germany which sponsored his solo concert. He received positive response from the Tagezeitung (newspaper).
Back in South Korea, he is teaching classical voice at high schools and universities alongside conducting a Christian choir as an associate conductor.
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