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April 14, 2017

UMS in the Classroom: Joshua Bell, violin


Joshua Bell 1 by Chris LeeInterested in using a UMS performance in your university classroom? For each performance on the season, we provide suggested curricular connections, links to contextual material online, citations for scholarly material, and prompts for classroom discussion. For additional resources and individualized curricular support, please contact Shannon Fitzsimons Moen, UMS Campus Engagement Specialist, at or (734) 764-3903.

UMS is also committed to making our performances an affordable part of the academic experience. Our Classroom Ticket Program provides $15 tickets to students and faculty for performances that are a course requirement. Please email to set up a group order.


This performance may connect meaningfully with courses in the following schools and disciplines:

  • Communication Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Composition
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Strings
  • Piano


  • The Washington Post published a now-famous article describing what happened when Joshua Bell went incognito into a Washington D.C. subway
    station during rush hour to busk for change — playing his classical concert repertoire. Would he be recognized? Would he earn any money? The
    online version of the article includes videos taken in the station during Bell’s experiment.
  • Bell discusses his artistic inspirations and interpretive process in the book Violin Virtuosos [String Letter Publications, 2000].


  • What stylistic or thematic connections do you see between the pieces on Bell’s program? Why do you think that he organized the performance that way?
  • Bell is often described as a “virtuoso.” What elements of his performance did you feel were “virtuosic”?