Fulbright Forum – April 30, 2010

Dr. Soojin Kim Ritterling

“Korean Traditional Percussion Music Performances in Contemporary Korean Society”

Through time, the Pungmul gut has evolved in Korean society reflecting political changes and modernization resulting in the birth of a new musical genre, called Samulnori in 1978. During its thirty years of short history, Samulnori, rooted in the Korean traditional Pungmul gut, has established a new direction for Korean percussion music performance. In this presentation, the presenter examines Pungmul gut as it appears in contemporary society focusing on Korean communities, schools, public performance venues, and musical instructors who are passing on the new and old traditions.

Featured Performing Group:
Members of Pungmul Dongari from Gaebong Elementary School, Seoul
Gyeong-ok Lee, Director
Ji-hyeon An, Assistant Director
Sang-in Song, Coach


Dr. Soojin Kim Ritterling is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she teaches general music methods classes in music education and supervises field experience. An applied vocal instructor, she also directs the UW-L Korean Percussion Ensemble and Women’s Samulnori Ensemble.

Prior to joining the faculty at UW-L, Dr. Ritterling taught Music Play programs (for children from birth to age four) at the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her BM and MM in music education from the Korea National University of Education and her Ph.D. in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation investigated the influence of sequential movement activities on young students’ singing abilities.
She is a contributing author for the Korean music units in the Spotlight on Music textbook series by MacMillan/McGraw-Hill. Dr. Ritterling has written articles on music and movement development in preschool and elementary levels and multicultural music education as a columnist for the Wisconsin Music Teacher. Her professional affiliations include MENC: The National Association for Music Education, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, College Music Society, The Gordon Institute for Music Learning, and National Association of Teachers of Singing.