Musical Instrument Museum

Written by K. Hart at
vintage drum kit
Musical Instrument Museum assorted instruments
Alice Cooper display
MIM theater


How would you like to try playing an acoustic guitar or a gong from Tibet? If you're more the observing type, what about perusing countless instruments played by world-renowned artists or catching a concert? All this and more await at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM).

Conceived by Bob Ulrich, former CEO of Target Corporation, MIM was born to create a museum that transcends boundaries, celebrating the instruments that echo across cultures and continents. 

And as they boast on their website, it is "The World's Only Global Musical Instrument Museum." 

MIM boasts a staggering collection of over 7,500 instruments from more than 200 countries and territories. The museum's galleries are a vibrant tapestry, reflecting the rich diversity and history of cultures worldwide. As their motto proudly declares, "music is the language of the soul," a sentiment deeply embedded in every corner of this auditory wonderland.

Stepping into MIM is like entering a realm where cultures converse through melodies. Immersive exhibits beckon visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship and traditions of instrument makers from the past to the present. 

The sensory nature of music comes alive through state-of-the-art, interactive media, allowing guests to see and hear instruments and witness them being played in their original contexts.

Fun Facts & Cool Features 

The architectural marvel of the Musical Instrument Museum mirrors its mission, drawing inspiration from the language of music itself. The contemporary 200,000-square-foot building, designed for over $250 million, houses two floors of galleries that showcase the diverse array of instruments. The highlight is the flat-screen high-resolution videos accompanying each exhibit, offering a sonic and visual journey into the heart of each country's musical heritage.

A notable feature is the 299-seat theater, where renowned artists like Joshua Bell have graced the stage. The diverse genres, including jazz, country, rock, Americana, classical, and global, ensure there's something for every musical palate. Beyond the performances, MIM offers a hands-on experience in an interactive room, allowing visitors to try out instruments from various cultures.

The museum also hosts special events, workshops, and educational programs, engaging visitors in a deeper exploration of the world of music. The Artist Gallery showcases the stories and contributions of musical legends, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those who have shaped the global musical landscape.

Explore the museum's unique features, such as the MIM Music Theater, where the acoustics create an immersive experience, making each performance memorable. 

The facility's dedication to education is evident in its interactive exhibits, allowing visitors to actively participate in the rich tapestry of global music.

Step into the Experience Gallery, where cutting-edge technology allows you to play instruments from around the world virtually, offering an interactive and educational journey. The museum's commitment to inclusivity is reflected in the accessibility features, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the music fully.

When you're ready to "strike up the band" on your Phoenix getaway, visit the Musical Instrument Museum for an immersive journey into music.

Getting There 

If you are coming from Phoenix, these are the directions you can take:

  • Head north on AZ-51 N.
  • Take exit 15 for Mayo Blvd.
  • Turn left onto E Mayo Blvd.
  • Arrive at the destination on your right.
  • Address: 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050


MIM has too many exhibits and concerts to list, so check their website for details. But here's an idea of current museum costs:

  • Adults: $20.00
  • Teen (13-19): $15.00
  • Children (4-12):$10.00
  • Toddlers (3 & UNDER): Free 

Prices are subject to change; check their website for updates.

Local Tips

  • Allocate at least 3 hours to fully savor the museum's diverse offerings.
  • Don't miss the interactive room where kids can try out instruments.
  • Catch a concert in the 299-seat theater for a memorable musical experience.
  • Plan your visit during off-peak hours for a more relaxed exploration.
  • Grab a bite at the cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Check the museum's website for any upcoming special exhibits or events.


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