Downtown Minneapolis has a plethora of street musicians year round, even with our subzero winter. I always leave money in jar of any musician I encounter & walk away feeling grateful to live in a tiny little city filled with such great talent. Rarely, if ever to I stop & actually listen.
Remember, Mister Trumpet Man? I've come to know him well. I see him nearly everyday and savor his music. In recent months I've noticed that he plays a little differently when his fans approach. He is has a subtle smile, his posture tightens and he always peeks through his closed eyes to see if you're still there. He is happy playing his trumpet no matter what, but the presence of an appreciative listening brings him more happiness.
And yet, I rarely stop & truly enjoy. My habit is to pause, say hello, leave a tip, & go on my way. But one who stops & listens makes him so happy. So, lately I've made a point to stop (not pause), leave a tip, say hello & then I just stand there to listen & enjoy. A tip is of course money which is always usable and something I will always leave, but to actually stand and enjoy someone's music is a great compliment above all. Additionally, it forces me to just stop & be. This is a great, great thing.