Visit the World's Only Global Musical Instrument Museum
Let your ears do the leading in Phoenix.
If the names Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 or John Lennon are music to your ears, head to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of the world’s most influential music-makers.
Spoiler alert: you’ll see John Lennon's piano on which he composed Imagine and Adam Levine’s rare Ibanez electric guitar, a 1980s relic that makes frequent appearances on stage with Maroon Five, a contemporary rock, soul and funk band with such hits as the 2014 Sugar and 2002 She Will Be Loved.
But you’ll also discover the stories, sounds and music makers from every single country in the world. Sound overwhelming? It can be when you first walk in the door. So, put on your headphone set (that begins playing as you approach any given exhibit) and start exploring.
“You create your own tour of the world through the lens of music,” says Daniel Piper, the museum’s curator for Latin America and the Caribbean.>
Don’t leave without visiting the Recycled Orchestra Exhibit, an inspiring story about a man, Flavio Chavez, who builds musical instruments out of trash for the children living in and Cateura, Paraguay, home to the country’s largest landfill. In this impoverished area, residents spend their days mining the landfill in search of trash they can resell. A traditional violin would cost more than a house.
Chavez teaches the children to play their instruments in the Recycled Orchestra. One violin is made from a glue container still bearing the universal symbol of a skull and crossbones to warn of its toxic contents. A spatula holds the strings of a cello while an X-Ray of someone’s knee serves as the skin of a drum.
“The world is full of beautiful stories of music and culture, and as you walk around the museum, you learn about dozens of them,” Piper says.
This unique museum, which displays more than 6,000 instruments and related objects from every country in the world, is ranked Phoenix’s number-one attraction on TripAdvisor and the fourth Best Museum for Families nationwide by USA Today Travel. Open daily.
For more information:
Musical Instrument Museum
4545 E. Shea Blvd., #162, Phoenix, AZ 85028