Many foreigners come to Korea inspired to teach English. All try to be hip. All try to connect with their students. Nevertheless, whoever recently sat on the “coolest foreign teacher throne” has been deposed.
Meet Henry Bloomfield. He’s in love with his homeroom teacher, but I think some of his students and the rest of Korea will fall in love with him soon. While Korea, the K-pop nation, constantly produces Korean songs with English hooks, Henry hits us with an English song and a Korean hook. Perhaps the best part, however, is that his hagwon principal let him film the music video in his own classroom. See for yourself. Check out his music video, “Ms. Mary.”
The fashion, the sound, and men acting cute instantly struck a familiar chord with me. Not only did I find the song catchy, but I think Henry might have captured some essence of Korean culture. I’m a foreigner so I can’t really make that claim, but I would be surprised if people disagreed.
Henry Bloomfield hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Oberlin College in Ohio, and his first exposure to Korean culture occurred when he studied at the Berklee College of Music. By luck, his first friends at Berklee happened to be Korean and he instantly found himself immersed in a tight-knit Korean community of around five hundred students. From what Henry told me, he ate kimchi every day and he loved everything the students shared with him about Korea. He also met one of his lifelong music mentors, Hoon Choi, who happens to be a professor and a well-known musician in Korea. Henry knew what he had to do.
Henry said, “If I didn’t try to further immerse myself in a culture that I accidentally discovered and loved so much, I would regret it.” He landed in Korea in September and he is making good use of his time. The Henry Bloomfield Band has been together for four months and I think they have started something wonderful.
If you would like to catch the band, Henry says they often perform in Sinsa and Hapjeong. You can find more information about the band at henrybloomfield.com.
Please share the video and help an incredible teacher spread his passion of music and love for Korea.