American Idol, Universal Dream

In a previous post, we discussed the Tavis Smiley PBS special featuring Gustavo Dudamel and noted a quote regarding the role that music can play in providing children with a vehicle for hope:

“Sometimes we focus on physical poverty. There’s also a poverty of hope and of dreams. That’s what music involvement gives low-income children.” (Dudamel)

Now that the new season of American Idol is underway, it’s easy to look for reasons to criticize. Sometimes the focus is more on the exploitation of the dysfunctional, “pitchy” attention seekers more than the contenders, Steven Tyler’s flirtation with teen-aged auditioners is quite creepy, and style sometimes trumps substance. But in the end, there are always a few stories that are genuine and compelling – because of the power of the dream and of the medium.

A daughter sings for her father recovering from cancer, a young man sings for his fiancée, traumatically injured in a car accident prior to their marriage date, and a single mother sings for her special needs child.

Because no outlet for emotions is as powerful, moving, and universally understood as song.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway. ~ Emory Austin

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