Guest Author - Allan Harris
If you’re reading this article, you probably own a cat, and are no doubt wondering whether your cat has musical talent or not. Maybe you’re even wondering if you should give your cat tuba lessons. Well, take it from me, don’t!
First of all, tubas are not the cheapest instrument a cat could start on. A quick search on the internet shows a price range anywhere from $1900 to $10,000. So the real question is, would your cat really appreciate an instrument like that, or would she be better off starting with something like a kazoo?
The price range for kazoos also vary, of course, but you should be able to find one for about $5.00. If there are no kazoo stores in your neighborhood, perhaps you could locate some tissue paper and a comb. The point is, why buy an instrument that costs on average $5000.00 when you don’t know if your cat will really be interested in it, or if it will only be a one-week passing fad.
Cats generally have a short attention span, and their musical interests are no exception. When one of my piano students arrived for a lesson, our youngest cat showed great interest. She leapt up to the keys and began showing off, at first playing something that sounded like a John Cage composition and then moving right into an avant garde improvisation.
“Wow!” said student. “I’d really like to learn how to do that.” I sent that student home with a bag of dry cat food and some instructions.
The thing is, our cat only played that piece once, and never showed any inclination to play it again. Sure, she’s played other things occasionally, but there’s no consistency with what she does. And she rarely practices. So why should I sell my car to buy her a $5000 tuba when I don’t even know if she’ll be really serious about playing one?
The other thing about tubas and cats is their relative sizes. Have you seen the size of the average tuba? Or how about a sousaphone? While some cats might be able to get their claws into this kind of instrument, their talents are usually dwarfed when you put them beside one. It’s definitely difficult for them to blow into the mouthpiece. Usually they just lick them, till you show them how it’s done.
And the lung power needed to blow into a tuba makes the instrument not that suitable for the average cat.
So how can you really tell if your cat will take to a tuba as a possible occupation or merely as a passing fancy? My neighbor says it’s easy. Just buy two different instruments – a tuba and something else, maybe an old trombone that you can purchase at a pawn shop. Smear the mouthpiece of the trombone with some fish paste, and don’t put anything on the tuba mouthpiece. Then see which one your cat really goes for. If it’s the tuba, sell your car. That cat is REALLY interested in some low-end music.
I hope this article helps you to understand how you can tell if your cat is really interested in legitimate tuba playing or just pretending, since I’ve had so many requests to write about this subject.
All the best,
BellaOnline’s Musician Editor