Music Therapy For People and Animals

Learn more about Jim Nollman’s research into the ways animals respond to music and how musical conversations can benefit everyone.

| January/February 1982

  • 073-148-01-marc-bristol
    Jim Nollman is learning more about how animals respond to music.

  • 073-148-01-marc-bristol
Even homesteaders need to relax and enjoy themselves from time to time, right? And almost everybody these days wants to cut his or her cost of living. So, how about a little do-it-yourself entertainment?  

That's what this column is all about. Down-home music that you can make and the instruments (which, in some cases, you can also make!) to play that music on.

Although almost everyone is aware that humans can use music to communicate their feelings to one another, not many folks have ever seriously considered the potential of that medium for establishing contact between people and members of other species. (Oh sure, Disney films often feature such characters as Uncle Remus talking and singing with wild creatures, but — for most of us — that sort of childhood fantasy has long since faded.)

So, as you can imagine, it was with a certain amount of amazement that I first read about the work of Jim Nollman, the young man who founded a non-profit research organization called Interspecies Communication. Jim has conducted a number of experiments (both on land and at sea) in an ongoing attempt to establish musical rapport with animals. Some of the species he's "jammed" with are kangaroo rats, turkeys, wolves and dolphins.

Musical Conversation With Whales


Jim's work with some of the largest members of the mammal family, the orcas — or killer whales — has resulted in his most astounding achievements to date. For example, while using sophisticated underwater sound equipment off the coast of British Columbia, Nollman was actually able — by playing the guitar — to sustain a lengthy musical conversation with a group of the whales. The marine mammals, he reports, tried to teach him a melody line. When Jim played it incorrectly, the orcas patiently (or so it seemed) repeated the sequence more slowly. Then, when he did manage to get it right, they went on to teach him some additional notes!


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me