Paul Barton Plays Piano For Retired Elephants At Elephants World

Paul Barton Plays Piano For Retired Elephants At Elephants World

This British-born pianist has made it his mission to help aging, retired elephants a private concert. As many online videos have shown, music has a soothing effect on animals as it does humans. For those who are recovering from stressful situations, such as a health crisis or aging, music can be a successful form of therapy.


Paul Barton was curious if music therapy would help these handicapped elephants. On what was to be a short 3-month trip to Thailand to teach piano, Paul learned about the elephant facility and decided to visit. He asked the manager of the facility if he could bring a piano with him and play for the elephants. Can you imagine trying to sort out that original request?

When Paul began his music therapy for the elephants, the first large pachyderm he played for was named Plara. This blind elephant responded very quickly to the music and it was obvious that Plara was interested in the unusual sounds of the piano. That was over 11 years ago. Since those first days, Paul met his wife and started a family which live at Elephants World. Paul now plays for regularly for 28 elephants!

Paul shares that his piano “concerts” are held in the wide open of the elephant’s habitat. They are not caged or forced to listen to his playing. When they hear the music, each elephant has their own response ranging from touching the piano or leaning on Paul, standing still while listening, or gently swaying back and forth as they enjoy the free tunes. These giant animals are able to let their stress and cares fade away as they absorb the melodic pieces performed. What an amazing talent and such a beautiful way to give back to God’s creatures!

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