December 07, 2011

Stop and Hear the Music



I was about to end my “Me Time” because I need to prepare our dinner when I’ve read this post in FB. 

"In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule. About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.


At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. After one hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest 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, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him plays the same music.


This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions: In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? If so, do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: 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 ever made… How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?"



I understand that people are really in a rush because they might be late for work or school, they will meet someone or they are not into music. But somehow, this is indeed true, sometimes we are so busy with many things and we forget to stop and hear the music. We forget to appreciate our life, to value our family and friends, to take time to relax and unwind and to give thanks to God who is the author of our life. Let us enjoy life because life is beautiful.  


23 comments:

  1. Music is powerful talaga. It can move emotions of people!

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  2. It's sad that our fast-paced lives is taking a toll on other beautiful things in life. I love music too, but when I'm in a rush, nothing around me seems to matter anymore. This is just sad.

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  3. I agree that there are just instances when we just seem not to notice the beautiful things. It's sad really. =(

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  4. Look at the power of music. I believe it's the Heart's Language. I agree with you, there are times when the important things in our life are taken for granted. Thanks for the wake up call.

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  5. Music has a life. But I am sad on what I just saw. Ignoring the great music. Ignoring the a great musician. I cant blame the people though, I guess, the place is not just right and appropriate for what he is doing. :)

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  6. eversince i am a music lover, whenever i feel glum i turn on the radio, listening to good music takes out my gloomy feeling :)

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  7. wow free performance I admit that if I will be also in there maybe I'll just ignore him too, cool experiment maybe people has their time for chilling and relaxing but of course if its time for work who will stop to hear a beautiful performance.

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  8. The experiment only shows that music no matter greta musician you are is unnoticed in busy places.People were not to be blame for ignoring him.he played music at a wrong time and place.

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  9. True, sometimes we forget to appreciate and value things because we are too busy. just like flowers, music is also one opf the things we should appreciate despite the busy life.

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  10. Did you notice the children? They apparently had something going on in their growing perceptions. I will remember this story, thanks a lot for sharing by the way, and NOT try to pull my son away when he stops to listen to music.

    No matter how much I appreciate music, I pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for highly cultural events, I would be guilty of not listening in a situation like this just like those people.

    My God, Joshua Bell!

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  11. If I was there I would most likely be one of those following the notes with matching beating from my hand. I'm poor with titles but I always love classical music and I hear the detailed notes. I may not be able to voice out the tune except in my head, though. I can also easily spot if it's out of tune. My brows cringe almost instantaneously. :P By the way, my favorite is a piano piece by Franz Liszt, Liebestraume. :)

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  12. Music plays a vital role in life. Without it, we can't express our emotions in a "poetic" way.

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  13. i guess this shows how people prioritize things, we can't blame them...but it doesn't necessarily mean that if they don't stop they didn't appreciate the music...

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  14. yeah i saw this in facebook. I guess it's a result of human beings having a short attention span and of course with our busy lives, we prioritize things that we should need to do for us to survive. Sometimes we are too engrossed with "life" that we forgot how to live (really live).

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  15. One of my creeds go "Stop, smell the flowers." In this case; "Stop, hear the music." If my kids and I were there we would stop to enjoy, video the performance, drop some on his violin case and take a photo and ask permission from him to have his video posted on my blog. :) (That's what we often do around here lol.) Thanks for sharing this...

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  16. Wow this story touched me... You're right that people do get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that they begin to miss out on appreciating the simplest things in life.

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  17. IIt's true. Music is one of the most powerful and pervasive of human activities. it affect us how we feel, how we react, how we move and how we behave. i love music.

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  18. Wow, this is amazing. I'd stop to listen, being a musician myself.

    Sharing this on facebook :D

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  19. In order for us to appreciate music, we need our full attention on it. Because our ears can only hear it but only the heart can understand what emotions are filled in each melody that comes out from each song. A music lover right here!

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  20. I've read this before but it's still as touching as it was when I first read it. We definitely forget to "stop and smell the roses," especially when we grow up and things like work and bills crowd our mind. I'm glad there's music to remind us we all need a breather sometimes.

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  21. I also saw this on FB and in the end I was: oh my wow. Joshua Bell. What classical music fans would give to watch him in concert. It's funny how we need to "know" who he is to appreciate the music. I'm sure if everyone knew, they'd be stopping in a heartbeat. At the same time, it's also appalling how we cannot appreciate simple beauty around us because we are all so busy. Sad. Hope everyone gets to see this and learn from it!

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