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Introduction

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The Training Center for Performers of Korean Traditional Music affiliated with National Gugak Center was founded on April 1, 1955 to run the six-year middle school course. Some years later, in 1972, the Training Center for Performers of Korean Traditional Music was elevated to Gugak National High School, bringing to an end the middle school course.

Since then, a lot of performers of Korean traditional music have continued to press the relevant organizations about the necessity of early education in Korean traditional music along with people possessing the same ideas. In 1988, the Law on the Establishment of National Schools was revised, and in 1991, Gugak National Middle School was reopened as a miscellaneous school.

At the time of the school’s opening, there were seven major fields of study including gayageum, geomungo, daegeum, piri, haegeum, pansori, and Korean traditional dance. The year 2005 saw the addition of jeongga and traditional folk music, ajaeng in 2010, and taak in 2012, bringing the number of major subjects on the school curriculum to eleven. As for general subjects, all students must complete the standard middle school curriculum.

During the school’s early days, the current high school building was shared, but in March 2002, a second building for the teachers covering 4,797 square meters was built, and the new comprehensive art hall building is scheduled for completion by 2015.

The school’s main facilities consist of nine regular classrooms, fifteen classrooms, exclusively for majors one medium and one large orchestra room, one multi-media room, one audiovisual room, one science room, one music room, one small and one large dancing room, and so on. In addition, individual practice rooms, a library, Ureukdang(performance hall), and Jeongjinsa (dormitory) are shared with the high school.

The school hosts a number of major events including the following: (March) a concert for new students (entrance ceremony) which celebrates their entering the path towards becoming a performer of Korean traditional music; (May) a traditional music course offering elementary school students an opportunity to improve their practical skills in traditional music and to contribute to expanding the base of Korean traditional music; (July) a specialty and aptitude recital designed to allow students to showcase their abilities after developing the various skills they acquire during after-school activities in addition to their majors, plus a field training of performance given in their major subject through which students are offered opportunities to enjoy nature and cultivate their friendships by practicing their majors and taking part in boot camp training; (end of December) the Sorisaem Art Festival, held at the Yeakdang (main hall) of the National Gugak Center, which is the grand finale of the school year and is attended by all the students; (February) and, after the long winter vacation, a school performance contest is held to enable students to appreciate and encourage each other after working so hard on their individual talents.