Musical Instrument Museum
At the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix you can view and even play instruments from all over the world. The spacious halls are filled with nearly 15,000 musical instruments and artifacts. Workshops, recording studios, a conservation laboratory, theater and audiovisual displays make this a lively museum.
The founders of MIM dreamt of a cultural art venue where the world’s musical instruments and music would find equal representation. That vision became reality in 2010. The spacious modern building measures 200,000 square feet (about 18,000 square meters) and houses the world’s largest collection of musical instruments.
The five Geographical Galleries focus on the tradition of music in all the corners of the world. Some harps and drums are hundreds of years old. Check out less familiar instruments such as an Appalachian dulcimer with strings and a lalingedan nose flute from Taiwan.
Video screens and headphones allow you to see and hear the instruments being played in the cultures that they originated from. Even if you have never picked up an instrument before, you will want to create a sound after taking it all in. Bang on a gong from Asia, pluck and strum a song on a Burmese harp or blow a tune on some Andean panpipes.
Don’t miss out on the Artist Gallery that commemorates musical innovators and world-famous pop musicians. View the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed the song Imagine, instruments that belonged to Elvis Presley and one of Eric Clapton’s guitars from the 1960s.
The in-house MIM Music Theater opens for films and performances at night, but remember that the musical museum is only open during the day. Due to its out-of-town location allow yourself extra traveling time. The admission includes wireless headphones and children receive a discount.