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ROADHAVEN FEATURED ARTICLE
The Musical Instrument Museum
With its beautiful modern architecture set perfectly against the stunning desert landscape of northern Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum is an impressive experience before you even reach the doors. But step inside its expansive walls, and you’ll find a vibrant and educational space dedicated to preserving and showcasing music from across time and geography.
What can I Do During a Visit?
Tell me about the Musical Instrument Museum!
The museum was created when former Target CEO Robert J. Ulrich decided to focus his passion and resources on a museum for instruments and music history from all over the world rather than the Western-focused collections that seemed only to be curated so far.
Opened in April 2010, It now houses over 8,000 instruments from more than 200 countries and offers an immersive sensory experience that brings the instruments, and their originating cultures, to the vivid present.
What can I do at the Musical Instrument Museum?
They have inventive and educational permanent galleries, offering a new experience around each corner.
Visit the Experience Gallery, where you can play the instruments, or bring the grandkids to its pre-K equivalent, The Encore (which U.S. News wisely suggests you visit at the end of your journey lest the little ones don’t want to leave!).
Learn about our culture’s most storied artists from the artifacts and anecdotes in the Artist Gallery, and see how the sounds themselves are preserved and cared for by the scientists in the Conservation Lab.
Want to see magic in action? Check out the Mechanical Music Gallery, where the instruments, lovingly preserved from the “Golden Age of Mechanical Music,” come alive with their own music and motion!
The museum also hosts rotating exhibits, focusing on a single instrument’s history or a snippet in musical time. The current display is on Rediscover Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments, where you can find “the world’s first ukulele and a 14th-century flute owned by a Japanese emperor, join[ed by] a purple grand piano played by Prince and Eric Clapton’s ‘Brownie’ guitar”.
All this learning and exploration will surely work up an appetite, so stop by the two offerings on site:
Beats Coffee Bar serves up all the typical caffeinated offerings you’d need from a cafe and also has sandwiches, burritos, and pastries for the breakfast seeker.
Cafe Allegro’s expansive lunch menu is reflective of the museum’s global vision and is open daily in the afternoons.
Sounds great! Do they have educational programs or events?
They sure do! They have kids’ and professional development programs, but they also have Memory Care programs for seniors, including guided tours with licensed musical therapists.
They have an incredible concert series, as well. Set in an acoustically-focused, 300-seat theater, the series features a great variety of artists and musical styles.
Check out their upcoming concerts as part of your plan to visit!
I’m in, give me the details!
Find the Musical Instrument Museum at:
4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Open Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
General museum admission:
$20 for adults
$15 for teens
$10 for children
Special exhibition and concert tickets are sold separately.