Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix, Arizona

4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, Arizona

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Submitted by: Caro K.

If you're not already obsessed and knowledgeable about instruments, the MIM can be overwhelming. An exhaustive collection of instruments are arranged by country  but bear few remarks to guide you or to further your understanding about regional sounds and rhythms. The collection is awe-inspiring, but there are many missed opportunities in terms of laying out a narrative about the use of the instruments or the making of the instruments. The hands-off, catalog feel is fortunately counterbalanced by the Experience Room, where you will bang on drums and zithers like a kid. I definitely think you should check out the museum, but be ready to focus for a long stretch of time and with little information to guide you....

Submitted by: Addie S.

I so agree with Barbara F.  this museum really did nothing for me.  But with that said I am glad I went.  I think everyone needs to see the variety of instruments.  I think it is really repetitive but still interesting for the first 30 mi...

Submitted by: Hylary L.

What a fun and interesting museum! On our visit to Phoenix my husband (a music teacher/music fanatic) insisted we stop here. I was skeptical at first, but ended up having a good time at the museum (even though it paled in comparison to my husband's absolute awe.) Even for people who are simply music enthusiasts and wouldn't fancy themselves experts in any way, this museum has a lot to offer. The instruments are very interesting and presented in a way that appeals to a wide audience. The listening stations really add to the experience as well. I was surprised with how much I learned, and even more surprised that four hours went by without me really noticing. I'm not sure, however, if this musueum is really ap...

Submitted by: Rose L.

I knew nothing about this place until my bf said a guy he works with downtown mentioned it.  Sadly, we got there at 4 PM and they closed at 5PM.  We went anyway, as we were leaving town the next day.  I wish we would have had about two more hours.   When you pay, you receive a set of headphones and a volume control.  Put them on.  As you wander around and look at exhibits, you will hear music samples and see the video on the screen by the exhibit.   What I like:  this is really a comprehensive museum, and it took a load of planning and work to put it together.  Someone had a definite plan. How it works:   Pick your continent and enter the room.  You will find it broken down into countries.  For each country,...

Submitted by: Andrew F.

No pun intended, but this place ROCKS! This is not your average museum. This is all about musical instruments from all over the world. Upon entering the buildings grounds, you'll notice how modern this place is. Upon paying inside (Free if you carry a BofA Debit card) you are given a listening device that picks up a remote signal at each country's display so you can hear the music that is produced by those who play them. Each viewing area has video to show you the people who play these devices. It's amazing to see the craftsmanship and thought that went into so many of these devices. This is a walking museum, so wear comfortable shoes. Also, if you have small children, please let them know that since the ins...

Submitted by: Alison B.

I am impressed! I finally got a chance to check out the MIM yesterday and I was really wowed by the extensive collection. I knew going in to expect items from all over the world, but there are literally instruments and related objects from every country. We spent between two and two and a half hours but it still wasn't enough time to really take in everything. I loved that the audio/video guide was included in the $15 admission price. Most museums I have been to charge an additional fee. This was unlike any guide I have experienced before. No numbers to punch in, just walk by any of the exhibits with your headset on and when you stop at each video screen, the audio automatically starts up! Very cool, and I l...

Submitted by: Mary s.

This is an amazing museum! It is so large though so you will get tired. Since I can't offer any other display information that the other reviewers have not already told you I will give you some advice on your visit. Wear your walking shoes. Honestly, I can't even imagine bringing kids here since I spent 7 hours and still missed things. I was beat afterwards. I loved my visit here.I especially loved the Artist Room with John Lennon and Paul Simon on display. ( Heaven for me) The traveling Latino display with the NYC Juke box listening booths and Interactive displays were so much fun. You can remix songs and play the piano keys back to some cool songs.  i just could not get the 5th song right on the playback t...

Submitted by: Becky M.

What I loved: 1) This is an absolutely beautiful facility, inside and out. 2) Amazing collection of instruments. SO MANY instruments! It was marvelous! I know it's called the Musical Instrument Museum, but they truly blew me away with the huge collection! 3) I didn't have enough time! I spent 3 hours in the museum, and I would have loved to have had two more...looks like I have to go back... What I hope will be fixed soon: 1) The audio, although sophisticated, tended to be a little more annoying than helpful. I found that I had to put my wireless headset receiver near the display's receiver in order to actually hear what I wanted, and then it was hard to get rid of that audio when I wanted to move on to the ...

Submitted by: Kerry M.

Did I enjoy the museum myself? Yes. Did I enjoy the guided tour with a group of middle school students? Not so much. My school took a recent field trip to the MIM and it may have been one of the driest and most boring tours I have ever experienced. Our docent did not seem to be aware of what sections of the museum would be of interest to a group of teenagers. Instead, we were only shown the areas of musical instruments around the world. Needless to say, this was not very exciting to our students. It's quite frustrating to be told, "In that room is where we have John Lennon's piano, but unfortunately, that's not on today's tour". It seemed to be a great tease to encourage us to return again. If we paid money ...

Submitted by: Jennifer T.

This place is great! I am a nanny and took the 4 year old boy I care for here. It is a wonderful place to take your well-behaved little ones. They give you a headset for no additional charge so you can have the full experience. As you walk from country to country your headset will follow as well by playing music from that country. This really helped to keep the kids attention. They also have an interactive room where the kids can play with all sorts of different instruments from all over the country. My one complaint is that the ladies at the front desk as well as two different volunteers were extremely rude about bring children into the museum (we had a group of about 5 kids and 4 adults). On the website it...

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