What is this South Korean music sensation all about?

With the Pyeongchang Olympics being all anyone can talk about, this will help you get more familiar with one popular aspect of South Korean culture that you will surely be hearing about: K-Pop. Whether you’ve never heard of it or you listen to it all the time, this article will help you learn a bit about K-Pop around the world!

Some background

K-Pop, or Korean Pop, refers to mainstream Korean music. It is an incredibly particular yet very diverse genre that mixes elements completely unique to South Korea with sounds from all over the world. U.S. hip-hop is one important element infused in the music — you hardly ever hear a popular K-Pop song without a rap verse or so. Another notable facet of K-Pop is the impressively synchronized choreography that is almost as catchy as the song it goes along with. Fashion is the other prominent element of K-Pop, and has transformed in recent years to a top-notch, high-fashion, trend-setting version of their unique, stand-out clothing concepts.

K-Pop in the USA

In major U.S. cities such as Chicago, Atlanta and Houston, K-pop concerts have sold out venues seating 1,700 to 2,500 music fans. In 2011 the nine-member dance-pop group Girls’ Generation performed to a sold-out audience, along with other K-pop acts, at New York’s hallowed Madison Square Garden. And in Los Angeles, the Korean Music Festival has been a part of the concert season at the 17,000-plus capacity Hollywood Bowl for the past 10 years. Held this year on April 28, the festival featured performances from Korean artists such as Brown Eyed Girls, Im Tae Kyung, Kim Kyung-Ho, and Lena Park, among others.

You may or may not be surprised to hear that K-Pop artists sell out some of the biggest stadiums in the United States (and across the globe) for their world tours. For example, one of the most popular K-Pop groups called BTS sold out two nights at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (18,711 capacity), and for that same tour also performed at the Allstate Arena (18,500 capacity) and the Honda Center (18,336 capacity) — a stark contrast from their tour just three years ago when their venue capacities were almost a quarter the size, showing how rapidly and how recently K-Pop is gaining American popularity.

The Summer of K-Pop

The potential for growth is expected to keep on rising. This increasingly popular music genre is gaining influence on contemporary societies around the world. You can experience the influence of this scene nowhere better than the K-Pop capital of the world: Seoul.

The summer programs offered at Summer School Korea all include an aspect of K-Pop. Whether it’s courses that teach you about the history and business behind it, or exciting field trips and activities that make you experience it first hand.

Make this summer your summer of K-Pop and join one of the programs below.

Girl’s Generation

Big Bang


Aerospace Program
Dongguk Program
Hanyang Program