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What happens when a maestro plays the subway?

This piece in the Washington Post is one of the most interesting articles I have read in a newspaper in a long, long time.

The Post arranged for Joshua Bell, a world famous violinist, to bring his $3.5 million violin to a subway stop, open up his case for donations, and see how people respond. The story even shows you hidden video. Before you read the article, take a guess at what you think happened.

One intriguing part of the article described how Bell’s parents decided that they should start him on formal violin lessons:

…he got his first music lessons when he was a 4-year-old in Bloomington, Ind. His parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their 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.

I cannot tell you how far that description of Bell at age 4 is from anything I have observed in my own children. The closest parallel is that my oldest daughters could recite the lyrics to the Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow duet “Picture” when they were two. If you know the lyrics, you will understand how that got me into some trouble more than once.

Thanks to Andrew Brock (who also blogs about this story) for bringing this article to my attention.