Music is said to be good for the mind and spirit, and it turns out that this is also true for wild animals. If you watch some of Paul Barton’s videos, it certainly appears so. Paul has been performing for his chosen audience for over a decade. He is a wonderful pianist as well as a wildlife enthusiast. He has been playing Beethoven, Schumann, and Grieg sections to rescued elephants in Thailand since 2011.
Mongkol, a senior bull elephant that has gone through a lot, is the most recent of these beautiful animals for whom Paul played. He was liberated lately after spending his entire life in captivity. Mangkol, like so many others before him, was enchanted by the manner in which Paul decided to interact with him.
“On occasion, Mongkol would stop by the piano while wandering along the river,” Paul explained. “I’d go over and play him a few slow classical pieces if we spotted he was waiting.”
Paul’s performances are largely for elephants that live at Elephants World, a sanctuary on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Many of these gentle giants were saved from the logging business, which had been outlawed in the area for almost three decades. The majority of the elephants appeared to benefit from the music therapy. Paul also claims that he and the elephants for whom he performs have such a strong relationship.
Here’s a video of one of these heartfelt moments.
“You and the elephant have a particular affinity,” the musician explained. “It appears beneficial to play piano music to elephants if they love it, elephants that have had stressful lives and live in a gloomy environment, but obviously, there is something infinitesimally exquisite in a piece of Beethoven that connects me to that elephant and that feeling is otherworldly.”
During their time in captivity, many of these elephants have had several injuries, both physical and emotional. Some of them were even deafeningly deafeningly deafen Classical music, on the other hand, turned out to be all the solace they needed.
Here’s Paul performing a Beethoven section for Mangkol!