Rock as Discipline in East Harlem

Understanding the general fact of many of us in rock cultures having found secular music to offer practices that resist the smallness of our surroundings -- a finding not yet sufficiently glimpsed in another discipline, theology, tasked with thinking salvific resistance -- can hardly give the richness that specific examples of this phenomenon offer. So it was that this morning I was edified by reading an account of the service to kids in New York City provided by the Boys' Club of New York in East Harlem. Their music program uses training in rock and cognate musics to help build a skillful passage to adulthood for these boys. Tonight, as A.G. Sulzberger reports, a group of "young music students from economically troubled neighborhoods" will play a show at Lincoln Center, at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater of the Juilliard School. Such stories remind us that a theological comprehension of secular musics need not confine itself to a narrow focus on analyzing song lyrics, but ought to study with critical appreciation the ways of life that rock can confect.

Check out the story in the New York Times here.


Tom Beaudoin

Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

(Cross posted to Rock and Theology.)

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

Pope Francis has suppressed the Ecclesia Dei Commission, a significant decision with consequences for the Holy See’s relations with the priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2019
Photo: IMDB
A new Netflix miniseries brings out the story’s aspects of adventure and conflict, with occasionally pulse-pounding results.
Rob Weinert-KendtJanuary 19, 2019
Protestors march to support a U.N. anti-corruption commission in Guatemala City on Jan. 6. Photo by Jackie McVicar.
“What they are doing not only puts Guatemala at risk but the entire region. Bit by bit, for more than a year, they have been trying to divide us. The elections are at risk. We are six months away.”
Jackie McVicarJanuary 18, 2019
“We will just do what we need to do to help people in need,” said Antonio Fernandez, C.E.O. of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Emma Winters January 18, 2019