Joshua Bell – Incognito Street Musician in the DC Metro

I just read an excellent Washington Post article.   

The Post had Joshua Bell, world renown violinist, play as an anonymous street musician in the DC metro during morning rush hour.

After 43 minutes of playing, Joshua Bell made $32.17. 

  • Joshua Bell concert tickets usually go for $100 minimum.
  • In the metro, 1070 people walked past him.
  • Only 7 people stopped to listen (for even a minute).

The articles practically begs you to ask yourself:  Would I have stopped and listened?  

The question is not a test of whether you have the capacity to appreciate that caliber of music.  It’s whether you would have allowed yourself to hear the music in the first place. 

You’re in rush hour.  You’re running late.  You’ve got a meeting, a deadline.  You’re tired.  Your week’s schedule is running through your head.

As the day-to-day world is happening, can you actually hear the beauty that exists around you?  And when you do hear it, do you make yourself stop and appreciate it?


anonymous street musician (joshua bell) playing for money in the DC metro


 Definition of child prodigy:

[Bell’s] parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their [4 year old] son had strung rubber bands across his dresser drawers and was replicating classical tunes by ear, moving drawers in and out to vary the pitch.

Another aside:  a great article like this wouldn’t have been as delicious without the embedded video.  Ah, technology.


  1. Incredible story! Makes you wonder. I am sure I would have passed by. I would have enjoyed it briefly, but, I am sure I would have continued on my way. Isn’t that the way life is?


  2. Thanks for pointing out this article. I was very good; if not a bit long. I will try to be more receptive to the world around me from now on.

    BTW, I enjoy your photography.

  3. That doesn’t look like a cello he’s playing – they’re much bigger. Are you sure he’s a cellist…?

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