Musical Instrument Museum combines art and science through music

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The STEM gallery at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) has found a way to educate visitors on how art and science come together as they bridge that gap with music.

The new gallery is a way to get students more engaged with STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – in a way that is familiar to them. They learn how to dissect music all the way down to how the molecules react with their eardrums.

“We are here to serve the world community through music, which is a language common to us all there’s something here for everyone,” says April Salomon, executive director of the MIM. “Everyone is able to appreciate the way a musical instrument sounds, but it’s less likely that they think about how that sound is produced.”

Within the gallery is a hearing safety mannequin named Jolene. Decked out in a funky wig and headphones, Jolene listens to music while visitors connect headsets to her and listen to what she’s listening to. The mannequin’s body reacts to different volumes, which the visitors get to experience as part of the exhibit.

“You’re never going to have somebody that is necessarily going to gravitate to every display,” says Brian Dredla, director of education and public programs at the MIM. “But to see that the general concepts are being understood and appreciated, that’s just incredibly exciting.”

For more information on the museum, visit mim.org.

April Salomon: Executive Director, Musical Instrument Museum
Brian Dredia: Director of Education and Public Programs, Musical Instrument Museum

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