Teenage Girl Finds Unlikely Fame with Traditional Music

  • By Jung Ji-sup

    October 17, 2013 08:31

    Teenager Song So-hee has been recently getting attention after she appeared in a TV commercial for a telecom company where she performs a pansori or traditional Korean narrative song.

    Normally such adverts feature pop stars, but So-hee is singing an old folk song from Gyeonggi Province, and viewers seem to like it.

    Song So-hee

    After appearing on several traditional Korean music-themed TV shows, So-hee was already getting noticed as a prodigy in the genre. Now, less than a month after the commercial started airing, she is well on her way to stardom in her field.

    When she was offered the commercial in late September, she gave it a lot of thought. She hoped that her appearance would help raising awareness of traditional Korean music, which is gradually losing its appeal.

    Her parents believed their daughter should be given as many opportunities as possible, and from a young age she had private lessons in things like drawing and playing the piano.

    At the age of five she discovered her talent for traditional Korean music. Even in elementary school, she won competitions, amassing over 80 prizes and trophies so far. So-hee's goal is to study traditional music at a prestigious university, but she is also being bombarded with offers to appear on TV shows and in advertisements.

    "I'll be careful about what I'll say yes to," she says. "But it would be great if I can help promote traditional music so that it is not only for old people but for youngsters too."

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