Hmm hmm hmmm hmmhmm ha hmm, hmmhmm hmm hmmhmmm hmm hmmmhmm hmmmm.
Never had one lesson. It’s just that easy.
Since 1914, The Kazoo Company in Eden, New York has produced tens of thousands of kazoos for people all over the world, and the company remains as the only organization in the United States to still produce metal kazoos.
The kazoo as we learned is in the “mirliton” family of instruments which hilariously includes empty Chiclets boxes and blades of grass held between your fingers. Seriously look it up. For many of us, and for many school children today, the kazoo’s simplicity makes it the first instrument we ever learn to play. If you can hum, you can lead an entire kazoo orchestra.
Today the Kazoo Company is owned and operated three days a week by the non-profit organization, Suburban Adult Services Inc. which gives mentally and physically challenged adults jobs and job skills in a supportive environment.
Each year thousands of people visit the Kazoo Company to tour the working factory floor behind the gift shop. Tours are typically self-guided but the visitor is only a few feet from the workers, literally able to see each kazoo formed and assembled. We have a feeling after meeting Karen, the gift shop owner, that few of the self-guided tourists are left stranded.
You can tell she loves the city Eden and speaks excitedly about the manufacturing process and history of the Kazoo Company. She greeted us warmly, spent 15 minutes or so describing the tour and answering questions and played a short clip (below) from the NBC Nightly News that featured the company and its mission.
After a few minutes of pictures, we got down to business. Victoria bought a kit for $3.25 and Karen helped her make her own kazoo. And like many before her, Victoria had a bit of trouble grasping the one and only trick to mastering the kazoo – humming.
And if you were wondering… that was the Golden Girls’ Theme I was playing above.
A historic company with a wonderful new mission, a stop at the Kazoo Company in Eden, New York can make you believe that anyone has musical talent. More information about tours and online ordering here.
Nightly News Clip: