An anecdote about making music on the street

On my way back from the supermarket around the corner just now, I saw a girl on the sidewalk of about 7 years old, who was standing there with a brightly-colored toy keyboard around her neck and what was probably her brother next to her.

As I passed them, the girl politely asked me if I was interested in making a deal with her. She would play a song on her keyboard for me: If I liked it, I could make a contribution of 50 cents towards piano lessons for her. If I didn’t like it, I didn’t need to give anything. (In case I didn’t understand her, or forgot what I was doing or why I was there later, the whole deal was summarized on a piece of paper held up by her brother.)

I accepted her offer. She then explained that she was playing everything herself except for the drum track. Then she played her song, holding the keyboard upside down. I kinda liked it, but then I listen to some weird music. I don’t want to denigrate the musical skills of a 7 year old, but I could tell why she wanted lessons. Still, it could have been a lot worse – she could have been playing a violin, for instance.

When I said I liked it and gave her a Euro (a whole Euro), she shyly pointed out that I only needed to give 50 cents.

All together now: awwwwwwww.

In related news: the Washington Post asked one of the top violinists in the world to play his Stradivarius in a metro station in Washington DC during rush hour, to see if people would react. You can read about it here (article via Kottke).

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