MIM receives grant to expand interactive gallery for children

The Musical Instrument Museum will be expanding the museum’s interactive gallery with the help of a grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.  The expansion will leave more space for children to interact and play with the musical instruments. 

The $150, 000 grant was awarded for expansion of the Experience Gallery Annex, designed for students in kindergarten to second grade to have their own space with age-appropriate instruments to explore.

The museum aims to have 100, 000 school and youth tour participants by 2020.  In the 2015-2016 school year, over 52, 000 school and youth field trips took place at the museum and with the new gallery space they hope to double that number.

The MIM Experience Gallery covers 2, 500 square feet and allows for visitors of all ages to touch, play, and listen to the various musical instruments from various cultures around the globe. 

Dean Scheinter, MIM’s corporate and major gift officer said, “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.  Their generous grant will further MIM’s goal of welcoming 100, 000 school and youth tour participants annually in the next five years.”

A 1, 400-square-foot annex from an adjoining space will be repurposed when the MIM uses funds from the grant to create a space that will support the learning needs of children from birth to age eight.  Children will be encouraged to explore musical sounds, individual and collective composition of music, and expressive movement. 

The space will be designated for musical story-time activities and guided drum circles when schools and groups are there for tours.  When there are no tours going on the space will be used to offer geographically themed groupings of authentic musical instruments, regalia, and video clips of instruments being played in their cultural contexts.  The annex will be accessible and interactive for all museum visitors, regardless of age.

MIM’s executive director expressed gratitude in saying, “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.  We greatly appreciate Piper Trust’s sharing in our vision to enrich the lives of children for generations to come.”

Research has shown that music education, practice, and even exposure, has a great impact on the cognitive and social-emotional development of children.  MIM is aware of different learning methods of children and encourages aural, visual, and spatial learning while expressing 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,” said Susan Pepin, MD, MPH, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.


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