One of my favorite places in Phoenix is the Musical Instruments Museum - a collection of more than 6800 musical instruments, organized geographically by continent, by region and by country in five Geographic Galleries. As you enter, a screen greets you with images of musicians and dancers and the message: Music is the langiage of the soul!
If your time permits, I would strongly recommend to join one of the docent tours - they are very insightful, entertaining stories about how to navigate the MIM galleries; also each docent story will reflect their specific music expertise or interest. I have attended tours where the docent was an expert on percussions and he started the tour in Africa and took us through the continents, explaining how percussion music was created in different geographies. Another docent, experienced in Mongolian string instruments, pointed out curious details about the music and culture - he took us to the video demonstarting music resembling the sound of a galloping horse.
The Artist Gallery has instruments, stage outfits and performance video of many world renowed musicians - Joshua Bell, Elvis, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Tito Puente, Ravi Shankar, Johnny Cash, Celia Cruz and many more.
Mechanical Music Gallery has instruments designed to play on their own. At 3pm daily is the demonstration of the 25-foot wide Apollonia orchestration. Do you remember your Grandparents having one of those?
The Experience Gallery encourages guests of all ages to try playing various instruments - there are several harps, which strangly enough are always well-tuned, guitars, xylophones, maracas, drums and more.
Experience Kids has various age-related programs - for ages 6-12 Junior Museum Guides; for ages 0-5 Mini Music Makers; for ages 6-10 there are Musical Adventures which gives kids the opportunity to create musical instruments from different parts of the world and then find them in the geographic libraries. I can see that the parents have equal fun in those events, too. Last week, during the Experience France event, the invitation was to create Chapeau Chinois (Bell Tree). I will let you read from the description in the photos below what it is.
Once a month, the Signature Events invite us to immerse in one culture or one artist's life time perfomances. During those two-day highly interactive events we can see musicians and dancers performing art from the selected geography, hear guest lecturers and curator talks. I recorded for us the accordion performance of local musician Tony Petrino, strolling along the corridors during the Experience France event, and Bartholomew Faire, performing French Renaissance music.
Summer months in the Phoenix Metro may not be inviting us to be outdoors much, however they are great for visiting this unique collections of musical instruments and experiences.
Musical Instuments Museum is located at 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050. It is open 9 a.m - 5 p.m. every day.
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This blog is my participation in the Summer Fun Contest - Show off your town! hosted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 in the month of July 2019.