“Y’ALL CAN’T BE PLAYING NO CHECKERS ON NO CHESSBOARD YO!”
“So, what do you do?”
“I am a professional Ballet Dancer”
“…like on the weekends?”
“No, for my JOB. I am the real deal man”
“How do you feel about that?”
Interview by Dylan Gutierrez and Ruben Harris
Gang violence has been a recurring theme in the news since I moved to Chicago, consequently peaking my interest.
In the past I’ve studied how music affects behavior and the first image that popped into my head was Bloods and Crips riding out to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2
To be clear, this post is not an attack on Rap / Hip Hop music, but rather one that explores a potential deterrent to a problem.
Classical music in and of itself is not the solution. For example, it is well known that Mafiosos listen to Opera and Nazis listened to Wagner before committing atrocities. But, classical music can have a positive impact on behavior and soothe the soul.
There are already examples of people who have applied these principles successfully. The Harlem Boys Choir and Alvin Ailey dance troupe have reached out to young people at risk of being swept into gang violence. Furthermore, I believe that the effect is magnified the earlier the individual is reached. Or in other words, it starts with the children.
To that end, I do not want to go into a dissertation about arts education, the development of the right brain, etc., But I just wanted to present something for you to think about for your respective communities.
I would love to hear your feedback.
Ruben A. Harris