Monday, October 12, 2009

Where do you find good music?

In January of 2007, the Washington Post did a social experiment about perception. They had Joshua Bell, one of the world top violinists, play during the morning commute at a Washington subway station. Though over 1,000 people walked by, few stayed to listen. The week prior Bell filled a concert hall in Boston with tickets selling for over $100.

The original Washington Post article which includes a short video clip of Bell playing can be found at

YouTube has a longer video at

Go to the Deems Weblog to read an article on the experiment. (

As a quick demo on perception, you might play just the audio portion of the subway video to your classes. Then play the audio of Bell playing in concert ( Lastly, show both clips and start what should be a good discussion on perception.

A special thanks to Adina Shmidman PhD, AP Psychology teacher in Bala Cynywd, PA for bringing this experiment to our attention.

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