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.)

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