How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

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Oct 21, 2021, 12:01 AM | Updated: Nov 30, 2021, 11:32 pm


Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments.

“A visit to MIM is also about experiencing the sensory nature of music and how it affects our emotions,” according to the museum’s website. “Through state-of-the-art, interactive media, guests can see the instruments, hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original contexts.”

Here are a few ways your family can explore the museum.

Crafts for Kids

In addition to in-person events, MIM offers tutorials that illustrate how to create musical crafts.

The online how-to for each craft includes a list of materials needed as well as step-by-step instructions, so your kids can create a number of instruments:

  • Cigar-box guitar
  • Newfoundland ugly stick
  • Pellet drum
  • Peruvian panpipes
  • Rudra vīṇā
  • Sami frame drum
  • Uli’uli’
  • Washboard and spoons
  • West African talking drum
  • Gong

In addition to making each craft, kids can learn some history behind the instrument, listen to a playlist to hear how songs sound, and practice playing the instrument. For example, the Peruvian panpipes instructions include directions on how to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Craft how-to videos are also available on MIM’s YouTube channel.

Your family can visit the museum to see instruments your kids are learning about. “Today, MIM has a collection of more than 8,000 instruments from more than 200 world countries,” according to the MIM website. “The galleries reflect the rich diversity and history of many world cultures. But music and instruments also show us what we have in common — a thought powerfully expressed in our motto, music is the language of the soul.”

MIMkids Classes

MIM also offers on site kids’ classes for ages 0 to 12th grade as part of their award-winning educational programming. Through music making, dancing, exploring the galleries, and instrument building, children are introduced to the wonderful world of music.

Concert for Adults

For a date night or evening out with friends, MIM’s intimate concert venue brings the sounds of the galleries to life.  The 2021 Fall/Winter concert series features:

  • Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
  • Max Weinberg
  • Brandy Clark
  • Mariachi Los Camperos
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Pamyua
  • Motown Sound of The Miracles holiday concert
  • And many more!

“MIM presents a wide variety of concerts in its comfortable, acoustically superb 300-seat theater,” according to the museum’s website. “More than 200 artists appear each year, including many who have rarely, if ever, been seen in Phoenix. MIM is an unparalleled venue for enjoying old favorites and experiencing new sounds from around the world, from jazz to classical, bluegrass to singer-songwriters.”

Concerts often sell out, so buying tickets early is recommended.

MIM’s early childhood education programs and music theater are supported by a $100,000 sponsorship from PNC Bank.

“We all find common ground through music, and through that common ground, we’re stronger,” Cathleen Walker, PNC regional president and head of corporate banking in Arizona, said in a news release. “PNC welcomes the opportunity to support MIM and we look forward to seeing it continue to expand its virtual educational learning opportunities and concert programs, while strengthening its reputation as one of Phoenix’s most beloved cultural institutions.”

For more information about  kids programs and concerts, visit or follow MIM on social media @MIMphx.

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