What is The Jor Jor Music Academy for Goldfish?
JJMAG is a most unusual music school dedicated to the simple premise that aquatic animals can make music. Through an innovative combination of operant conditioning (positive reinforcement) and human educational techniques, fish enrolled at JJMAG not only learn to play a variety of instruments but also develop true musicianship.
Can a fish create real music?
Yes! Goldfish respond to music. Given the tools that music education provides (instrument technique, listening skills, understanding of rhythm and harmony), goldfish can achieve a surprisingly sophisticated level of musical intention and ability. With training, they can improvise musical accompaniment, making correct note, chord and tempo choices. They can play a sequence of notes on cue as directed by their trainer. And they can even compose music. The more education these fish receive, the more they seem to enjoy playing an instrument, especially when live or recorded music is played nearby. As with any musician, the act of playing seems to be intrinsically pleasurable, and goldfish choose to participate even in the absence of a food reward.
What's JJMAG's History?
The Jor Jor Music Academy for Goldfish was inspired by the accomplishments of our first music student, a congenial Ryukin goldfish named Jor Jor. Originally, we had no expectations beyond training Jor Jor to simply ring a bell. But as time went on, we realized that Jor Jor's understanding of, and desire for, musical expression was deepening. She challenged established notions of animal behavior and blossomed into a true musician, by any definition. And the world took notice!
Sadly, Jor Jor died of an amoeba infection just as we were preparing to take her musical explorations to an unprecedented level. In her honor, JJMAG was founded in order to give other fish the opportunity to unlock their hidden talent.
Will you train my fish?
Sorry, but transporting your fish to our facility would be extremely stressful for the fish and would likely damage her health. Besides, the whole point is for you to develop a closer bond with your aqua companion! Setting and reaching training goals together creates trust, friendship, and satisfaction for both of you.
Though we don't accept outside students at JJMAG, we are available for professional onsite presentations and consultations through our sister organization, Smart Small Fry.
We hope this web site will serve as a resource for fish trainers. Our curriculum, articles, and videos provide a blueprint for all trainers to follow, whether new to fish training or expert. Our goal is to give every captive fish the opportunity to become a musical prodigy!