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Stop and Listen to the Music

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Stop and Listen to the Music

When The Washington Post prepared an experiment with Joshua Bell, the results were highly unexpected. Bell, an American Grammy-Award winning violinist, was asked to perform in the Washington, D.C. Metro at the L'Enfant Plaza to see if the public would stop and listen to the music, or even recognized who he was, in an inconvenient morning time crunch. The results of the public were incredible. Each person could either chose to continue walking or stop and listen. However, no huge crowd ever gathered around Joshua. In fact, throughout the total morning, a total of seven people actually stopped and enjoyed the classical music masterpiece.

After six minutes, one man is finally found stopping to admire the wonderful classical music being played. With only three minutes to spare before having to be at work, the man settles against the wall to endure in the enchantment of the $3.5 million Stradivarius. When asked later why he chose to stop when he didn't have much time, he simply replied, "Whatever it was, it made me feel at peace." (Week 52)

In another instance a young boy of 3 years old was being propelled by his mother toward the door, became awed at the sight and sounds of Joshua Bell. He clearly wanted to stop and listen, but his mother continues to steer him to door. In fact, every child that walked past tried to stop and listen but their parents pushed them along.

Another man, Tillman, waiting in line to buy a lotto ticket was told about his decision to overlook one of the best classical musicians. When finally realizing who Bell was, he questions "Is he ever going to be playing around here again?" and the response was "Yeah, but you're going to have to pay a lot to hear him" (Week 53). Tillman became disappointed. But what about the other thousand people who went in and out of the station? What causes a person to not even recognize that someone was playing? What causes the curiosity in children to stop?

Billy Collins, a poet, states that children are intrigued by the sound of music due to the poetic nature that was instilled in their mind as an infant. The sound of the mother's heart beating in a rhythm of iambic pentameter has caused children to appreciate poetry and music. Collins then states that as a person grows older, "life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too" (Week 53).

Priorities have changed among our society. No longer do people stop and enjoy the finer things in life. No longer do people lose their selfish nature and lend an ear or dollar to those well deserved. No longer do people think simple and forget about time. Our society today has lost the appreciation of beauty, whether it is music, art, architecture or even our fellow people. Instead of appreciating the art of music in the station, passer-bys become

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