Musical Instrument Museum receives grant for expansion


A view of some bells from the Hear Them Ring event at the Musical Instrument Museum. The museum recently received a grant to build additional space aimed at educating younger children (Submitted Photo).

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust recently awarded a $150,000 grant to the Musical Instrument Museum at 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix to build additional museum space for young children to explore and interact with musical instruments.

MIM’s current Experience Gallery occupies a 2,500-square-foot of space and invites guests of all ages to interact with an array of musical instruments from many different cultures, according to a press release.

The Experience Gallery Annex will allow children from kindergarten to second grade to have a space of their own with age-appropriate instruments and physical design.

This new gallery space will accommodate increasing numbers of students as MIM strives to reach its goal of 100,000 school and youth tour participants by 2020.

In the 2015–16 school year alone, MIM welcomed more than 52,000 school and youth field-trip participants, a release states.

“We are so grateful to Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for the show of confidence in MIM and our commitment to child education and early age development through music,” Dean Scheinert, MIM’s corporate and major gift officer, said in a release. “Their generous grant will further MIM’s goal of welcoming 100,000 school and youth tour participants annually in the next five years.”

The 1,400-square-foot annex will be repurposed from an existing space adjacent to the current Experience Gallery. MIM will use the grant’s funds to create a developmentally-appropriate space that better supports the learning and basic needs of young children, from birth to age eight.

The annex will continue to encourage the exploration of musical sounds, individual and collective composition of music, and expressive movement.

During field trips, the space will be used for musical story-time activities and guided drum circles.

In the absence of field trips, the annex will offer geographically-themed groupings of authentic musical instruments, regalia and video clips of instruments being played in their cultural contexts. This will make the additional space accessible and interactive for guests of any age.

“MIM is thrilled to receive this important grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, which comes at a critical time in our efforts to build capacity and afford greater numbers of young children the opportunity to experience music in an entirely new way,” April Salomon, MIM’s executive director, said in a release. “We greatly appreciate Piper Trust’s sharing in our vision to enrich the lives of children for generations to come.”

Substantial research today provides strong evidence that music in any form has a significant impact on the cognitive and social-emotional development of all children, including those with disabilities. MIM recognizes the multitude of ways children learn and encourages them to express themselves through music.

“Piper Trust believes that intentional engagement in musical experiences and with instruments can be transformational in a child’s development. The Trust is pleased to support the Musical Instrument Museum in its effort to reach more children through this expansion,” Susan Pepin, MD, MPH, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, said in a release.

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