Cats…Life in general: Do they like you playing?
From Pirisino Romain
My cat doesn't like my playing, now, as soon as I take my bow she runs away…
So are your cats attentive listeners or do they just flee?
From Andrew HollandOne of mine adores it, and seems more interested the more 'moving' the music is.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The other is somewhat indifferent.
From N.A. MohrMy cats can take it or leave it.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 04:12 PM
The dogs all tolerate it...
However, when I practiced the soprano sax...our old retriever (sadly deceased at this point) would actually voluntarily leave his precious blankie in the family room and hide in his crate until I was done...
My daughter's budgies are now living in my music room...they don't seem to mind the violin/viola at all...they even join in at certain points...
My larger parrots don't mind either...but when they join in...they drown me out and I can't hear myself at all...lol. I'll stick with the budgies...appreciative, but not overwhelmingly so...
From Bob BearsMy dog ( small heintz 57) will follow me into the room I practice in and sit and watch me practice. She doesn't seem to mind.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
From Sander MarcusThis discussion is an example of why there should be a claws in our agreement that we lionize the great violinists of the past - such as Heifetz and Oistrakh - whose recordings are littered with examples of purrfect playing. If I ever even think of comparing their playing to me...Ow!!! I just can't imagine me Auer. That's the mane reason I don't think about these things, and that is something a person can take pride in. To wonder what cats think about when they hear violin playing should give one paws. If you are ever tempted to think about a violin and a cat, nip it in the bud. (You don't have to thank me for this - just put it on my tabby)
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
From David KnutsonYes, but break a string and see how quickly they disappear!
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 07:09 PM
From elise stanleySorry you asked - I think mine are convinced its real cat gut. I just have to raise the violin and Nora scoots as far from earshot as possible... :P
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM
From Charlie GibbsAs with so many things, it depends on the cat. Our cat occasionally wanders into our music room while we're playing - but she soon wanders out again, not appearing to care one way or the other. She does sometimes curl up in my mandolin case if I leave it open - it's a purrfect fit.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM
On the other hand, the cat that lives in the building where we have bluegrass jams will often walk right into the middle of the circle, lie down on the floor, and enjoy the music along with the rest of us.
From Lily MorrisMy cat has yet to come and investigate where the noises are coming from, probably because I'm still at the cat-strangling stage ;)
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 09:08 PM
From Simon Streuffonce I was at a place with a family and two cats who maybe never heard a violin before. As I started practicing they came running and answering me. I think they thought I am in danger and crying for help or something ;)
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 09:21 PM
From Ellie WithnallWhen I first started learning my cat would run screaming from the room. Now she will sometimes voluntarily come in and sit and watch for 10 minutes or so. I like to think it's a sign of my playing improving but she's probably just making snide little criticisms of my technique under her breath.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
From marjory langeOf my last 5 dogs (over 25 years) 3 have sung along (that is NOT fun to try to work around/over), one flees and the other doesn't pay any attention.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM
From Eileen RazekowskiMy daughter's teacher has an ill tempered cat that sits on top of my daughters music, hisses at her when she tries to retrieve it and stalks out as soon as she starts playing. Our own cat tends to do that frantic running around thing cats do before settling down to listen to the rest of the practice on my lap.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 01:49 AM
From Lyle ReedyOne of our cats is indifferent, the other chases the bow. I don't know whether she likes the sound, but she thinks the bow is a toy. Talk about distracting.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 02:22 AM
From Raphael KlaymanIt's fascinating how they're all different. For 15 years I belonged to a calico cat named Desiré (Desi for short). She didn't like my playing one bit, but was kind enough to let me live in her apartment and serve her. She especially didn't like my high notes on the E string. She'd rarely come into the living room when I practiced, but did so once in a while to check something out in a window. Sometimes as an experiment I'd stop what I was working on and play a really high note. Desi would shoot me a dirty look as if to say “what are you doing? You're just doing that to annoy me, aren't you?” If I played the note again, she'd promptly leave the room. Maybe I unwittingly said something terrible to her in Cat-o-nese!
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 02:49 AM
In those days I used to listen to vinyl records. Desi was usually indifferent to records – except when the needle got to the end and made that nasty noise, which bothered both of us. The only time I saw Desi react negatively to recorded music was once in the middle of Ein Heldenleben. It was nowhere near any of the solos, but in that agitated section with a lot of percussion which always reminded me of the German invasion of Poland. Desi looked very disturbed and left the living room.
Some months back I visited two bassist friends who have two cats. I played there, and one of the cats was indifferent while the other one was entranced by my playing!
I have a cellist friend who had a cat who was generally sanguine about her playing – except for one note, which always made him meow his disapproval in no uncertain terms. Once she gave an at-home recital. Came the passage with the offending note and he meowed raucously, as if to say “I thought I told you not to play that note!” Of course everyone cracked-up and the recital came to a stop!
From Julie WilsonMy husband's cat LOVES the violin. No matter how bad the practice session is, she either twines around my leg or lies in the case purring. The other two cats could care less.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 03:02 AM
My dog tends to lie down and fall asleep at my feet. This is a conditioned response I think, because when she was a puppy my teacher allowed me to bring her to lessons and I used to have to stand on her leash to keep her out of trouble. So she'd finally give up flailing around puppy-style and take a nap.
From Erica ThalerMy cats cannot leave the room quickly enough, but one of my dogs comes running the minute she hears me unzip my case. She is my biggest fan. :)
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 03:16 AM
From Kevin CorkeryI think it is the high notes that bother my cat, very soon after starting she always goes into the next room.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
From Mendy SmithPirisino, I think those are my cats you are referring to ;)
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 07:08 AM
My teacher has a dog who has perfect pitch. When I'm perfectly in tune, the ears are up. If I make a mistake, the ears go down. Its quite funny, and useful!
From Marsha WeaverEven after 2-1/2 years, as soon as I start playing, Emily The Cat bolts from the room like she was shot out of a cannon!! We also have a dove named Persica -- he frequently joins in. This is fine, unless it's while I'm trying to tune. Then his enthusiastic cooing throws my tuner off, and I have to wait to finish tuning until he decides to take a break. I have been able to determine, however, that he coos in a slightly flattened E-flat.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM
From Pirisino RomainThat was indeed yours Mendy ;) But I didn't wanted to hijack the thread just to speak of our little furred family ^.^"
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM
From Anne HorvathMy Black Cat likes the high notes and the artificial harmonics. She makes happy sounds and rolls around on the floor, or rubs legs, or dances around on the desk.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Black Cat is strange...
My Grey Cat doesn't care for such things.
From Lyndon Taylori think the cats reaction might have something to do with how good your intonation is, just thinking.....
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM
From Patty WiegelmanHa Ha, I am glad you asked this question! My 19 year old cat hates it when I play, something my husband thinks is hysterical. He (Dumpster, my cat) especially hates the E string!! I am a beginner, and in my defense, when I am at my teachers, her cat is all over me and always in the room when we practice. I am wondering if a cat is exposed to the music as a kitten, they are more tolerant of it...
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I loved the cat gut comment :)
From marjory langeJust curious...for all those whose feline/canine companions react negatively...is the effect lessened when you use a mute? not necessarily a heavy practice mute, but any mute? My singing dog would desist when I muted (a good thing, since he was atonal).
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 01:30 PM
From Scott HawthornI've had a long line of cats throughout my life. ALL of them, invariably, will sit close to the speakers if something very harmonious and melodic (think Mozart) is on the stereo. They "smile" and their ears move to obvious changes in the music. They relax.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM
If it is me playing.....not so much.
From Juan Manuel RuizMy cat ran away in panic the first time I played my first violin. But once he "understood" where the sound was coming from, he got used to it and now he seems to ignore it (sometimes he even falls asleep in my chair or bed while I practice).
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Also, he "talks" a lot (likes to "meaow..." repeatedly whenever he sees anybody, for no apparent reason, and even responds if you talk back to him) and when my electronic tuner is on, it always picks up the sound as a slightly low B-flat.
Also, my first teacher had a dog who was usually quiet during lessons, but turned her ears down and howled during dissonant passages (such as the series of double stops in the Bruch concerto).
From Anne HorvathBlack Cat seems to have approved of my decision to practice Vieuxtemps' Op. 16 #3 this week. (Many, many natural and artificial harmonics!)
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM
From John PierceSandy: I bow to a master!
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Scout used to slink away when I got above 3rd position on the E. Now he just wants food.
Trixie, our Alzheimer's doggie, has cataracts and is pretty well deaf. She usually sleeps while I play.
From Mikel FoosWow! my first Internet community and not only are you violin lovers, but animal lovers as well! Between the three people in my family, we own nine animals. I confess that five are mine. All my two cats (Decembrius and Cody Lou) care about are cases. When practice starts, the race to sleep in them ensues. My three dachshunds sit in a row and cock their heads in curious and happy unison.
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 02:16 PM
From Ellie PhillipsMy cat doesn't mind it when I play. She mostly is just interested in sleeping in my viola case. When I practice, she occasionally comes and sit by me, but that's just because she wants attention. Also, she scared me to death one day when I was practicing my concerto. I tried to walk towards my stand so I could turn the metronome off, and suddenly I couldn't walk because she kept rubbing her head on my legs and was in my way. I almost accidentally kicked her across the room in the process of getting un-stuck.
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM
My mom is a piano teacher, and we have three pianos at our house, two upright and one baby grand. The baby grand is ours, and we're house sitting the uprights. If you sit on one of the piano benches, your pants will get covered in cat fur. The cat thinks the bench is her throne, you see.
From Owain SuttonI have two cats, and they couldn't be more different.
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM
One is very friendly with strangers, and loves finding new (parents') laps to sleep on, so always makes himself present when he hears people arrive for a lesson.
The other hates the sound of the violin, and often appears five minutes after the last pupil leaves. Sometimes he'll be caught out, when we've merely been talking and not playing for a few minutes, and he'll literally back out of the door once he sees the instruments. If he's caught short while upstairs, he'll make a mad dash during a pause in playing.
Both, however, clear off as soon as I pick the tuba up.
From Raphael KlaymanThat reminds me of how my cat, Desi, would usually come in at the end of a lesson that I would give, to say hello. She almost always knew when the lesson was really over, as opposed to even a pretty long pause in playing, when I would explain something. Maybe it was the subtle sounds of the violins being put away...
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM
From Mikel FoosHi, this is to Raphael. You don;t know me, but I thought to tell you that my kitty is also called "Desi". It is a nickname though, and he is a boy.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 01:07 AM
From james holmesHmmm, my cat doesn't mind my playing she can sleep through my practise sessions. But one of my dogs in the beginning of my training--especially when doing double stops, would howl and whine as in discomfort. Talk about giving me a complex.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 04:29 PM
From Sander MarcusTO: John Pierce
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM
FROM: Sandy Marcus
To me you bow?...Wow!!!
From Bart MeijerOne of our cats has a dignified way of leaving the room when I play. "It's not about your playing, but I do have business elsewhere." The other doesn't mind.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM
From di allenno experience with cats, but my violin teacher's dogs seem to enjoy my screeching. they are always present, they adore him, and one of them licks me on occasion. initially, this distracted me, but not any more. i think they add a lot to the experience, they dont mind if intonation is bad or notes are missed. and when they sleep, it just increases the level of relaxation that we strive for. just pet them on occasion, and they are yours forever.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
From Lisa Van SickleI flatter myself by thinking my three love to hear me play, but I think it's probably all about who gets to sit in the case.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
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