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Would you miss the beauty?

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 11:47 AM
  • 10 Replies

I heard this on the radio this morning. A famous musician, played Bach on a 3 million dollar violen during rush hour as an experiement. Over 1000 people walked by, and only 6 people stopped to listen. Most of them were children.


The conclusion of the experiement being: If we dont have time to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing one of the most beautiful pieces ever written. What else are we missing?


A Violinist in the Metro

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 thousand of 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 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 best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an 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?

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
by on May. 8, 2013 at 11:47 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mommyakabooby
by Tree Charmer on May. 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Bump

alexsmomaubrys2
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I've heard that story before. I probably would stop, Bach is my favorite composer and I adore the violin.

theresaphilly
by Theresa on May. 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM
1 mom liked this

I know I would of stopped, I 've been playing the violin and the cello now for twelve years.

frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on May. 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I try to always leave early to get somewhere so hopefully i would have time to stop and listen to him.  At the farmers market here, someone sets up and plays polka music for the day.  There have been guitar players, flutists, drums etc at various times.

PISCIS29
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM
This gave me chills!!
alexis_06
by AnnaLisa :) on May. 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM

 i've heard this story before too!!  :)  i dont know if i wouldve stopped...but i wouldve noticed the music, cuz i probably woulda liked bopped my head around..LOL.

mommyakabooby
by Tree Charmer on May. 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Quoting theresaphilly:

I know I would of stopped, I 've been playing the violin and the cello now for twelve years.

That's so cool!

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
mommyakabooby
by Tree Charmer on May. 8, 2013 at 12:41 PM


Quoting PISCIS29:

This gave me chills!!

Me too! I'd like think I would stop and listen. But if I were to be really honest with myself, I'd be the mom pulling her kid away because I would be in a hurry. :( 

i think I need to slow now and appreciate things. 

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
PISCIS29
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Honestly I'd stay. Every time we go to San Francisco I stay and try to watch all the public performers bc I think it takes balls to actually play or perform in front of ppl. I'm sad I missed that tho. Bach is beautiful.

Quoting mommyakabooby:


Quoting PISCIS29:

This gave me chills!!

Me too! I'd like think I would stop and listen. But if I were to be really honest with myself, I'd be the mom pulling her kid away because I would be in a hurry. :( 

i think I need to slow now and appreciate things. 

mommyakabooby
by Tree Charmer on May. 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

It really does take balls to do that. When I'm not in a hurry, I'll stay and watch people play. 

Quoting PISCIS29:

Honestly I'd stay. Every time we go to San Francisco I stay and try to watch all the public performers bc I think it takes balls to actually play or perform in front of ppl. I'm sad I missed that tho. Bach is beautiful.

Quoting mommyakabooby:


Quoting PISCIS29:

This gave me chills!!

Me too! I'd like think I would stop and listen. But if I were to be really honest with myself, I'd be the mom pulling her kid away because I would be in a hurry. :( 

i think I need to slow now and appreciate things. 


For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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