"A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC 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 thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by, then a middle aged man, noticing the musician, slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, then hurried on to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till without stopping. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen, but he soon looked at his watch and resumed walking, lest he be late for work.
A three year old boy paid the most attention. He stopped to look at the violinist and continued, turning his head as his mother dragged him along. Several other children looked at the musician, but their parents forced them to move on. Only six people stopped and stayed for a while. About twenty gave the musician money while passing. He collected $32, and, when he finished playing, no one noticed or applauded. No one knew that the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million. Two days previously, his performance at a theater in Boston was sold out. The seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. It was organized by The Washington Post, which arranged for Joshua Bell to play incognito in the metro station as part of an social experiment about our perception, taste and priorities."