WoW…. this is so powerful.
Joshua Bell incognito doing a social experiment…and SO many (over 1,100 people) missed it (all but the kiddies of course). And, most heart-breaking for Bell was the dead silence that followed each stunning and timeless piece delivered with verve and heart.
Surprising? Perhaps not.
Let us not miss one moment of life in the name of ‘schedule’ or ‘busy’. I so wish I’d been there to hear him FREE, instead of the usual $100 per seat minimum for a concert. As it is often our Buzz to stop for any and all musicians who play and our children LOVE to offer them money in gratitude, I know we would have stopped… would you? I hope so 🙂
If you click on the “You Tube” button on bottom right corner that will take you straight there and you can then read the stellar Washington Post article in full. Absolutely fascinating and definitely worth the read.
Below is the Coles-Notes-Overview as posted on Facebook 🙂
“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people.
The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”
I would love to hear how this strikes a cord with YOU. 😉 Would you have stopped? Do you think your children would have stopped You:)? Does this make you want to pay more attention to the people and moments around you?
May we Stop and Hear the Music, today and everyday hereafter.