Saturday, October 9, 2010


Who is the Eccentric One? Is it the violinist or the passers by?
Picture, if you will, the scene: Washington DC Metro Station one cold January morning a short while ago. This man is busking - playing his violin; he plays for about 45 minutes and completes six pieces by Bach.

Now, ask Will and Guy - does anyone take any notice? During that time approximately 2,000 people pass through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man notices there was a musician playing. He slows his pace and stops for a few seconds and then hurries to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist receives his first dollar. A woman throws the money in the till and, without stopping, continues to walk.

6 minutes after that: A young man leans against the wall to listen to him, then looks at his watch and starts to walk again.

10 minutes later: A 3 year old boy stops but his mother tugs him along hurriedly, as the youngster stops to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushes hard and the child continues to walk, turning his head all the time. This action is repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forces them to move on.

45 minutes later: The musician plays on. Only 6 people have stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 have given him money but continued to walk at their normal pace.

He collected $32.00

1 hour later: He finishes playing and silence takes over. No one notices. No one applauds, nor is there any recognition.

Now - who was the violinist?

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 Stradivarius violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100.00

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 people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments .................How many other things are we missing? ~Dinah~


  1. Great story - always love hearing it.
    Never get tired of the message -
    What else could we be experiencing if we were just to notice?

  2. I always try to stop at least for a few minutes no matter how professional or amateur the talent, and if I don't have any money I will give a smile and a thanks or some comment. But yes, I think there are many things we miss in the rush of our days.

  3. I am going to risk being the bad guy here. I do agree folks are in too much of a hurry and miss out on a lot of blessings.

    Seems a bit like a short sighted study. You have to assume a large population likes that sort of music. I dont like classical music or violin music. I wouldnt stop and listen. $100 for a seat? $3.5 Mil for an instrument? Finest music ever written? Really? Sounds nuts to me.

    I am sure things that cause me to pause wouldnt interest others.

    To each his own. I hope thay aint grading that test. LOL

  4. I agree we are in general in too big of a hurry and we miss out on so many things. I do try to mentally stop myself and slow down. Having little one's does help me to do see the little things and enjoy them. Hope your Monday is marvelous! XX

  5. i am "captured" by these folks.. this was a good story.. we need to stop and "think" as well as listen, i suppose..glenn

  6. I would have stopped to listen! And I would have left my dollar or two. As I gotten older, I realize the true treasures of now, I'm having a hard time pulling myself from the TV as the Chilean miners are being rescued.

    Very nice post and message.
    Have a wonderful week!

  7. i don't miss a fact, i'm too drives people


  8. I'm thinking we miss a great deal. Like today - I didn't teach. It is gorgeous outside, but I fell asleep while writing - my hayfever getting the best of me. When I walked out to get the mail, I noticed. So much I don't notice when distracted by other things.

  9. Many look without seeing, hear without's a good lesson for us all. Thanks for posting.

  10. Very just goes to show that you never know who you're snubbing...and I don't mean that disrespectfully, but we are so busy mmoving through our lives, we sometimes fail to notice the beauty around us...
    Great post!

  11. To me, it's not about who he was or how much the violin cost. If it's good, I'm standing there while Joe reaches into his pocket.

    We once came across a foursome playing country music. They were GOOD. Joe and I ended up talking to them, giving them money, and I grabbed two spoons and started playing spoons (a hillbilly version of rhythm) with them.

    Those kind of things are what good memories are made of. At least for us.

  12. Great story...and so typical. We are all just so dang busy livin' life and tryin' to keep our heads above water that we just never take the time to stop and soak in the life that surrounds us. Including the best musician in the whole wide world!

    Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed 'fall' day and please take time to stop and smell the roses before they fade away!!! :o)


Would love to hear from you. It doesn't even have to be about my post,just say hi or maybe you have something that you would like to rant about.If you do the floor is yours. Either way,I'm proud you stopped by and hurry back.