Hide Your Spoons

playing spoons, musical spoons,
Spoons incite us to tap them. Image: L. Weldon.

If anyone in your household is lured into the obscure art of spoon playing, beware. You may have to give up soup, cereal, and other comestibles best eaten using that humble utensil. That’s because spoon playing is surprisingly addictive. All it takes is a sense of rhythm and a pair of ordinary spoons.

First an aspiring player needs to test out spoon pairings for sound and hand grip. Backup spoons as well as spoons with different tones may also be filched from your supply. Such favored spoons will never be relegated to the lowly silverware drawer again. Cheap, instrument-wise. Annoying, hunger-wise.

Spoon players themselves, if YouTube provides a representative sampling, seem to be passionate aficionados well out of the mainstream. You know, geeks of the music world. Consider this bit of evidence:

Of course, those with actual geek cred play the spoons too. Sylvester McCoy, fondly remembered as The Seventh Doctor during his tenure on Doctor Who as well as Radagast in the Hobbit films, is a spoon player.

Spoon-shaped objects used as musical instruments go way back in history and are still part of folk music in many parts of the world. Playing the spoons is an art kids can master. In fact, kids under 10 regularly win the junior division of various competitions, each claiming to be “world” championships.

How-to videos tend to be basic. Like this one:

Some are a bit more complex, but still encouraging:

What inspires potential spoon thieves musicians at my house is this strange vintage video with a spoon player tapping on other people’s heads.

Now go hide your spoons. You’ve been warned.

Laura is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and Free Range Learning, a handbook of natural learning. She lives on a small farm notable only for its lovestruck goose.