Music lesson for donkeys

Some weeks ago Andrea brought her violin over and we tried to improve Morris’s singing. He was bemused by the violin but unwilling to sing for us. This time, it not only worked but Aitana also got in on the act, not singing but paying very great attention to the violin.

UPDATE 11th September: the video rights were sold to a US website, and it now appears as a Cheezburger video on YouTube.


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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4 Responses to Music lesson for donkeys

  1. fizzypilgrim says:

    I am interested in the interface animals/violin. I started to learn when my husband bought me a beautiful violin in Bristol. I made fantastic progress and as you know, you learn to play the violin first by plucking. All serene! Then it was time to start bowing and horrors! My dog threw back his head and made themost continuous dreadful noise I have ever heard from a dog. I retreated and hoped it would be better next time. It wasn’t. Clearly the violin was hitting some refined part of his ear and giving him intense pain. I hope Morris is not having a similar experience. We had to sell the violin – (rather than the dog whose name was Birthday)

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    It was quite clear that Aitana liked the music, or why would she have drawn up so close to the violin?

    Amiburro Madrid donkey sanctuary founder visited today. Great meeting. Plans are beginning… Watch this space.

  3. Andrea says:

    The violin I play is a baroque violin which produces a much softer sound than a modern violin. Modern violins are meant to fill large music halls with sound; baroque violins were used in much smaller settings. I’m also playing rather softly in this video. That, plus the facts that we are outside, where sound disperses and is muffled much more than indoors, and that I am standing away from Morris, makes it – in my opinion – highly unlikely that Morris is in pain. When the video was taken, Morris was in a stage of his young life that he reacted to any strange sound by braying loudly.

    I play my baroque violin at home and I have two cats. At first they seemed to be scared of the violin, as they are scared of any strange new object, but now they are used to it. They either go and entertain themselves outside when I’m playing or sleep undisturbed in the next room.
    A modern violin, however, is much louder. It is so loud that you shouldn’t play more than an hour a day without hearing protection to avoid hearing problems of all sorts. For more info see the website of my former violin teacher: (I hope this is o.k. Gareth!)

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    Thanks for providing that explanation, Andrea. Clearly a few people have worked themselves up on the YouTube comments, even saying it´s wrong to tether a donkey! Come on – get real! Next week we have to geld Morris and it will take two vets to do it (i.e. chop his balls off). This is the real world of animal keeping. The sentimentalists just like the fluffy pictures: they know nothing about the realities of animal keeping. (Or baroque violins!)

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