Don’t Miss The Music!

Our chairman’s son ran across this article by Josh Nonnenmocher last week and shared it with our team. I knew when I read it that I would make use of it in my blog today. We learn so much from children. They teach us to live in the moment. They teach us to embrace and enjoy the unexpected gifts that life offers along the journey. Children’s Choice works hard to put resources, materials, and equipment at children’s fingertips because we know that they will explore. They will experiment. They will take great pleasure in discovery. If they hear beautiful music, they will seek out the source and then pause to listen, not missing the moment. We could all learn valuable life lessons from a child in our world. I know that my life is richer because of the work that I do with children. They are the greatest teachers I’ve ever met.

Child playing a violin for his friends at one of Children’s Choice Learning Centers while they enjoy snack.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Nonnenmocher’s article.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington, D.C. 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 1,100 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, and 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 most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

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

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?

Written by Donna McClintock, COO with Children’s Choice Learning Center, Inc.

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