Out of town company meant a wonderful opportunity to visit the new international Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) near the border of the Desert Ridge area of northeast Phoenix and north Scottsdale. Our lovely afternoon started at the museum café, where gourmet chefs prepared our delightful healthy lunch. Our meal included an amazing roast chicken Panini sandwich and salad made from fresh organic local Arizona produce. Topped off with a leisurely chocolate chip walnut cookie… yummy!
We donned our personal audio headsets and transmitters, and headed out on foot toward the vast reaches of Africa. We walked much, paused a little here and there, and listened for hours. We wound back and forth through galleries representing the vast African continent. Next, we traveled northward through the Mideast, and then on through delightful Eurasian musical sights and sounds.
We explored through thousands of miles of world geography and music in a mere five hours. Stopping to sit and rest my feet periodically on one of the museum’s many benches was an important concession to my lupus. Resting helped me pace myself and prevent fatigue, guarding against causing a flare of my lupus.
Our walking tour of the world’s music expended nearly as much energy as an all-day shopping trip at Christmas time, but it was so much more enjoyable! The musical “gifts” we experienced and picked up along the way on this trip were a great bargain for the mere $15 we paid to embark on our musical trek.
What a simply delightful musical adventure we shared with our guests! Viewing the flat-panel monitors in almost 300 displays, we were able to watch as various musicians played the displayed instruments. The videos included many samplings of indigenous people’s dancing and singing to the authentic music, while our audio headsets supplied the music to our ears. The automated sound system was seamlessly synchronized, picking up the sound of each new display we approached.
Long before my tired feet reached the Baltic states, I was glad that I had worn sensible shoes and my prescription shoe inserts. My feet survived pretty well without triggering too much discomfort or joint pain. This type of exertion can easily cause a flare of the lupus arthritis that nips at my heels, joints, tendons and ligaments during long walks.
Before our visit ended, we had adventured through musical delights from the oceanic nations, as well as North and South America. Our last stop was the gallery of artists, where many famous musician’s instruments were on display. My favorite of these was the first Steinway piano, made by the famous furniture and piano maker in his kitchen in Europe.
We stopped last at the museum gift shop, where my husband presented me with a gift of a beautiful silver and amber violin broach. My daughter and he told about how he has stopped by the museum several times attempting to buy it for me ever since before Christmas. What a lovely surprise!
On my next visit to the MIM I may go alone, or with my music-teacher daughter, and perhaps linger for a couple of extra hours in the European display. I would like to visit the hands-on instrument gallery, as well as the workshop where artisans restore and repair the instruments. Or, perhaps my husband and I will go for a late afternoon visit to the galleries, and then stay to take in one of the evening performances in the museum concert hall.
All my out-of-town guests will be invited to visit Phoenix’s newest, most interesting museum, the MIM! The sights and sounds are so good for the soul and what ever ails you, even if that happens to be lupus!