Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by WonderTeam. WonderTeam Wonders, “What is busking?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, WonderTeam!

What is busking? Is it what dogs and cats do when they spread out on the floor to soak up sunlight? Or the action of removing the outer leaves from ears of corn?

Busking has nothing to do with soaking up the Sun (that’s basking). It’s also not the practice of removing the outer leaves from ears of corn (that’s husking). Instead, busking is a type of show. You may have seen it at some point in your life. 

Busking means to entertain people in a public place. It can include dancing, singing, or many other art forms. These people are called buskers. For hundreds of years, buskers have entertained the public in hopes of earning money, food, drinks, or other gifts from passersby

Busking dates back to at least medieval Europe. Some travelers would perform in public areas. Local merchants would also invite them to play in front of their businesses. They did so to draw the attention of customers.

In America, busking got its start with traveling circuses. People who worked in the circus began to take their acts to the streets to make extra money from tips.

Many people think of buskers as solo guitar players with hats at their feet for tips. But busking actually includes many types of acts. Buskers might dance, tell fortunes, or juggle. They might also do magic, snake charm, or do ventriloquism! There’s no end to the activities busking could include.

Today, busking remains popular with music artists. It gives them a chance to practice playing in public. It can also help them build an audience. If you’re an up-and-coming musician, busking is an option you might consider!

Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is ancient!