Do Animals Like Human Music?
When you listen to music, play an instrument, or sing a song, how do your pets react? Do animals like human music, too?
At an elephant rehabilitation center in Thailand, a musician named Paul Barton plays the piano for rescued elephants. Watch this 84-year-old elephant, one of the oldest elephants in the world, as she hears Paul play “Raindrop Prelude” (Op. 28, No. 15) by Chopin. What do you notice about the elephant? Do you think the music makes her feel calm or excited?
Just like elephants, cows are very curious. On a farm in the United Kingdom, this girl plays an accordion for her cow friends. She plays a “polka” song, a style of dance music. What happens when the herd of cows hears the accordion? Do you think the music makes them feel calm or excited?
Whales don’t have the same ears as humans, and sound travels differently through water. However, whales can still enjoy music! In Mystic, Connecticut, a mariachi band performs for a beluga whale. What do you notice about the beluga? Do you think the music makes him feel calm or excited?
If you have a pet, try playing or singing a song for them. Then, write down or talk about what you notice! How do you think the music makes them feel?