Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Man with the Violin

Kathy Stinson; art by Dušan Petričić
This is a fictional account based on a true event that exposes questions around  music and value, and reminds us to reclaim our sense of curiosity and inquiry, that came so naturally with childhood. The event was when (on January 12, 2007) one of the best violinists in the world, Joshua Bell, dressed as a regular street musician played his priceless violin to a busy metro station in Washington D.C. for 43 minutes. Only seven out of thousands of people stopped to listen for more than a minute. This is a violinist that fills concert halls with $100 seats. In the post script of this story about a little boy who tries to get his mother to stop and listen to the music that has ignited passion and emotion inside of him; Bell confirms that it is true to his experience, in that it was the kids "who were turning their heads, straining to listen while their parents dragged them away". Building off this idea of kids curious and imaginative nature, we all should ask questions of ourselves about our own willingness to absorb true lessons and moments of undefined beauty. Defining and finding those important moments and values all around us, demands we listen more. This book would make a beautiful read aloud for any music teacher and is a must have on any mentor text set around music. I am pleased that this event (which I first heard about on Facebook) is in picture book form. Bravo to the author and illustrator for validating the intellectual and critical thinking skills of young readers and listeners. A story that needed to be told in this platform.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading this story online! The article I read stated that Joshua Bell's seats sometimes fetched up to $300 per seat, yet no one really acknowledged him on the metro. I will have to add this book to my book list. Thanks for sharing!

    Diary of a Grumpy Teacher