In a profound moment, last night’s Glee managed to capture the soul and purpose of music. 

During the episode Glee club director Will Schuester crafts a plan to help depressed cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester experience the emotional impact of music.  For those who don’t normally watch, Sylvester is often the antagonist who attempts to take down the Glee Club on a weekly basis.  To show her why Glee club has the impact it does on him and the students Will takes her to a cancer ward where he plays children’s songs for the kids. 

He explains that the Glee club performs to get to this part of music – the part that touches people to the soul.  In the hospital there are no jazz hands or Bieber haircuts, just the music and the joy that it brings to the children there.  The mandolin led group sing along stood in stark contrast to the brazen theatrics of the Justin Bieber themed episode, and it was beautiful.   

The scene was effective in its simplicity and this universal message – that the joy of music brings everyone closer together and lifts their spirits.  The show’s willingness to acknowledge its own over-indulgences while contrasting them with the quiet simplicity of music made for one of the most powerful moments I have seen on television in a long time. 

It is moments like this that have taken Glee from music-themed teenage schlock to a show that offers inspirational and universal messages – along with a healthy dose of teenage schlock.

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