Wild

Baby Elephant Tries Playing The Piano

December 14th, 2018

Paul Barton has one of the most unusual and coolest jobs in the world: he plays piano for elephants at a sanctuary!

Barton plays for all the elephants in the sanctuary, big and small. While all the elephants love listening to him play, the babies have some of the cutest reactions.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

In April 2018, Barton shared an adorable video of a one-month-old baby, Saiyok, and his mom Boyo listening to him play. At first, Saiyok just watched Barton. But then, Saiyok decided he wanted to try playing himself. He quickly proved he was a natural!

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Barton loved playing for Saiyok and his mom. After he finished playing a few songs, he took a break to cuddle with the adorable baby elephant.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Barton has been playing piano for the elephants at the sanctuary for years. Music has always been his passion.

Barton started playing piano since he was twelve years old, and he always knew he wanted to play professionally. In 1996, Barton moved from the UK to Thailand to teach piano at a private school. He fell in love with his future wife, Khwan, and decided to make Thailand his permanent home.

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Paul Barton via Facebook Source: Paul Barton via Facebook

In 2011, Barton, Khwan, and their daughter Emelie went to visit the Elephants World Sanctuary. Barton brought his piano with him.

Many of the elephants at Elephants World had lost their homes and families to the timber industry, and the poor elephants were traumatized by this loss. Just like humans, elephants remember trauma, and it can be difficult for them to process what happened to them. Barton knew music can help human trauma victims, and he hoped it could also help the elephants recover.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

On his first day at the sanctuary, Barton played for a blind elephant named Plara. Plara absolutely loved listening to Barton play.

“He was having his breakfast of bana grass, but when he heard the music for the first time, he suddenly stopped eating with the grass protruding from his mouth and stayed motionless all through the music,” Barton told MNN.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Barton was amazed to see Plara’s reaction the music. He became a regular visitor at Elephants World, and he would play for all the animals in the sanctuary. Soon, Barton and his family decided to move to the sanctuary. The elephants were so happy to have a live-in piano player!

“Some elephants get very close to the piano of their own accord, they might drape their trunk over the piano even,” Barton told Inside Edition.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Every elephant has their own reaction to the piano playing—some watch in awe, like Plara, while others try to join in, like Saiyok! Barton loves seeing how the elephants react, and he’s happy that he’s able to bring joy to their lives after all the hardships they’ve been through.

“The elephant has worked for humans for too long. [They were] used in wars, [they were] used to deforest [their] own home. What is the little thing I can do as a human to say sorry, for my species for what we have done to them?” Barton said.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Barton is a kind animal lover who has brought music and beauty into these gentle elephants’ lives. If you want to see Barton and baby Saiyok’s duet, check out the video below!

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Source: Paul Barton

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