Discover the world of music – literally – at one of Greater Phoenix’s newest museums, the Musical Instrument Museum.
Grand in scale and scope, the $250 million museum celebrates music by showcasing instruments collected from every country around the globe.MIM.
From banjos to baroque harpsichords, thousands of musical instruments fill the galleries – many personally culled from remote destinations around the world. The collection is global in scale – with more than 10,000 instruments (3,000 are on display at any given time) – and is the first of its kind.
See, Touch & Play Instruments
Not in the least bit static or stuffy, this museum is vibrant, soulful and lively. Enjoy a hands-on exploration in the Experience Gallery, where visitors can see, touch and play the instruments on display, including a gamelan (a Southeast Asian percussion instrument) and harps from around the world.
Additionally, many of the galleries feature advanced wireless technology and high-resolution video screens that allow museumgoers to watch and hear the musical devices on display – often videotaped in their original settings.
Examine Instruments of the Stars
Enjoy a brush with fame in the Artist Gallery, which features tools of the trade from many well-known musicians. A high note? See the piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine.”
Other featured celebrity instruments include guitars from Eric Clapton and George Benson. A set of drums from the Black Eyed Peas and Fender amplifiers and keyboards from the “King of the Surf Guitar,” Dick Dale, are also on display.
Stop in one of the orientation galleries to see how instruments are created and learn about the materials utilized – which might be carved, whittled, bent or glued to build a particular piece.
Attend Concerts, Workshops & Classes
Whether you like popular, classical, folk or jazz music, the Musical Instrument Museum is a great entertainment destination. A stellar line-up of internationally renowned musical artists draws crowds to the museum’s 300-seat state-of-the-art theater each season.
In addition, the museum offers a variety of lectures, films and demonstrations. And a classroom space hosts special workshops and activities, many of which appeal to young music enthusiasts.
“Something That Had Never Been Done Before”
Former Target stores chairman Bob Ulrich founded this unique museum, which sits on 20 picturesque acres in north Phoenix, conveniently located at Tatum Boulevard, just south of Loop 101.
“It intrigued me to do something that had never been done before in the world,” says Ulrich, who was intent on a meaningful post-retirement project. “That’s what really made it quite exciting.” Ulrich says he wants visitors to have fun at the museum.
In addition to having had a fun time, visitors to this Phoenix museum walk away with an understanding of the powerful connection we have through one medium: Music. It defines each culture, throughout all history, and links us together as a whole.
Visit the museum, located at 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Wednesday and Saturday; 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; or 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday.