The music assessment is coming up and all the first year students of Kirin are hard at work. The topic: conveying emotions. At the end of the fifth episode, we see that the most important thing in singing, or in any art form for that matter, is sincerity.
As Mr. Kang showed Hye Mi in the early parts of the episode, a good singer performs a song well because he or she truly understands a song, and by “truly understands”, I mean there’s an understanding not just through the mind (ex. knowing the lyrics etc.) but that also of the heart. In my reading education classes, the reader’s life experiences matter a lot in understanding and connecting with a story. To experience is to be in that moment and feel that sorrow and pain of losing someone or that joy of achieving your dream or discovering your love has been returned. Those moments become part of our memories and when we encounter that one story, one line, or one song, those feelings come flooding back, ready to be experienced one more time.
Later on, Hye Mi finds out from Pil Suk that one way to sing truly from the heart is when one is in love. But thankfully the writer does not stop there. She expands the idea to a more encompassing one: one can sing truly from the heart when he or she is singing for somebody, someone you truly care about. We see that in Si Hyuk’s attempt to cheer up his hyung. Just like his hyung who was crying by the end of their performance of SNSD’s “Genie”, I was teary-eyed while watching the four of them (Hye Mi, Pil Suk, Si Hyuk and Sam Dong) sing and dance. They went all the way to Suncheon to cheer him up after failing the bar exam and resigning himself to a career as a chicken restaurant staff. I think it was during that performance too that I saw Hye Mi really smile for the first time
We also see that same sincerity during Hye Mi’s music assessment performance. She sang a simple birthday song but what made all the difference was that she was singing it to someone whom she has grown to care about (Si Hyuk). What’s more, she did sing this song sincerely when she met him back when they were kids, back when she was more open and warm-hearted, it seems. In doing so, she was able to engage not just the person she’s singing for, but everyone else inside that room, including Baek Hee. And for that, she gets a perfect score in the assessment (Genius, this drama writer.)
Also, going back to their SNSD performance, I don’t know if the writer/director purposefully chose a song by an artist outside of JYP but it was nice to see JYP artists singing and dancing to an SM artist’s song. For me, this and the simplicity of Hye Mi’s song during the music assessment really drove another important point home about sincerity – it doesn’t matter what song you sing as long as it truly comes from your heart.