Sunday, 20 December 2009


This post is dedicated to all the students who love classical music and to those who can appreciate beauty. Please read the following story and enjoy the videos:

'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 thousands of people would be going through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a 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 finest 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 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 finest musicians in the world playing the finest music ever written........How many other things are we missing?'

Watch the experiment at the metro station in Washington:

Simply enjoy the music:

Listen to the video and make a comment with the answers to the questions below:

1. Why is home so special for Joshua Bell?
2. What was his main priority when designing his current house?
3. What are the main differences between playing at a concert hall and playing at home?
4. Name some of the musicians he has worked with in his "At Home With Friends" album and his opinion about them.


  1. 1. He travells a lot, about 250 days a year, and this makes home evry special to him.

    2. He wanted his home to reflect him and who he is, that's why he had to work close whit the architect with his uses in mind, mainly performance, as he has always wanted to give concerts to friend al home.

    3. For him, playing at home is quite "electric" because the people are very colse to him, sitting on his cougch or on pellows on the floor. While the audience in a concert hall is distant and formal.

    4.He has played whit a lot of musiciansthe most famous of which are:

    -Edgar Mayer: Joshua Bell met him when he was al Indiana University and he thinks that he is the best musicians alive.

    -Sting: Joshua Bell met him when he was playing Schumann and he tought that Sting has a veautiful and pure voice.

    -Frankie Moreno: he met him recently in Las Vegas and he thinks he is an amazing piano player singer. They made an arrangement of the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby".

    Marta Martínez Freijo 1ºB

  2. 1. He travels a lot of times for year so home it's very special for him
    2. He wants the house reflected him. The most important for him is the space for performances. (I don't know what is the right answer)
    3. He said a home performance is closer than a concert hall which is very distant and formal.
    He plays with some jazz musicians, like MIke Marshall or Chris Thile
    Edgar Mayer: Joshua thinks Edgar is one of the best musicians alive
    Sting: They met when Joshua was playing Schuman
    Frankie Moreno: Joshua met him in Las Vegas. They play "eleanor rigby" from The Beatles together
    Christine Chenoweth: he met her a lot of years ago and he thinks she has a very good voice
    Josh Groban: They shared buildings and he beacme friends.

  3. Marta & Victo S., I'm taking note of your comments and participation. Thanks.