A school group at the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
A school group at the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
Photo: Musical Instrument Museum

PHOENIX — Students encounter a world of music at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Carly Ofsthun, the museum’s education manager, said educators and their students use the museum’s collections and exhibitions as a foundation for teaching and learning.

More than 132,000 students have toured the museum since it opened five years ago. The field trip program is called World of Musical Journeys.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind experience,” Ofsthun said.

The eight tour options for school groups all include the orientation video, free use of the wireless headsets and time in the Experience Gallery, the museum’s hands-on gallery.

The newest museum school tour is Exploring Ensembles: Bands and Orchestras.

Mexico exhibit, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
Mexico exhibit, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
Photo: Musical Instrument Museum

“It’s been a really big hit for all of the band and orchestra students that come through,” Ofsthun said. “They really get to explore the origins, adaptations and parallels of orchestra and band ensembles from a global point of view.”

The STEM Tour shows how arts and music relate to science, technology, engineering and math by exploring materials used to make musical instruments and the science behind sound.

The museum has a special school tour entrance and special motorcoach drop off and parking area.

A cafe and coffee shop sell food, while students can eat brown-bag lunches in a plaza.

“We survey our students, and 95 percent of our middle and high school students say they would recommend a field trip to another student, which is huge,” Ofsthun said. “That means we have the cool factor.”

The tours are inquiry-based and interactive, more pluses for students.

“I think the free-choice learning is also great,” Ofsthun said.

For more information, call (480) 478-6000 or visit www.mim.org.