Printable Version: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
Write the definition for the words in the blank space. Use a dictionary if needed.
Read the following text from The Washington Post Magazine:
“HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L’ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a young white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money. Then, he turned it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.
It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12. It was the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, the violinist performed six classical pieces. 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work. This meant, for almost all of them, a government job.
Each passerby had a quick choice to make. This choice is familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the big city: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your desire but annoyed by the unwanted demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you? What’s the moral mathematics of the moment?
On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. No one knew it, but the violinist standing against a bare wall outside the Metro was one of the finest classical musicians in the world. He was playing some of the most elegant music ever written. And he had one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was planned by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities. It was also a planned assessment of public taste: In a mundane setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty be noticed?
So, what do you think happened?
Three minutes went by before something happened. Sixty-three people had already passed. Then, finally, there was a breakthrough. A middle-age man altered his walk for a split second. He turned his head to notice that there seemed to be some guy playing music. Yes, the man kept walking, but it was something.
A half-minute later, Bell got his first donation. A woman threw in a buck and scooted off. It was not until six minutes into the performance that someone actually stood against a wall and listened.
Things never got much better. In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money. Most of them were on the run. He made a total of $32 and change. That leaves 1,070 people who hurried by. They were distracted. Many people were only three feet away, but few turned to look.”
Word Count: 527
Text adapted from: https://edtechbooks.org/-JKMs
Answer the questions:
2.Many people did not stop to listen because they____.
3. The article suggests that most people in the metro were ______.
4. Why did Joshua Bell perform in the station?
5.According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about Joshua Bell?
Watch the following video and pay attention to what the people do: 'Stop and Hear the Music' Experiment
Here is a video of Joshua Bell performing in concert. According to the magazine article, people usually pay $100 to attend his concerts: Joshua Bell - Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35
Discuss with a partner or group about the following questions:
Comprehension Questions: Answers
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