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Museum Of Making Music

New Banjo Exhibit Now Open

Docent Jack W. Hill leads a drum circle at the Museum of Making Music in Carl...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: Docent Jack W. Hill leads a drum circle at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad.

Carolyn Grant, Executive Director of the Museum of Making Music
Jack W. Hill, Docent
Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts and Culture Reporter


The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad allows people to gain a deeper understanding of music, how it is made, and how people create and use instruments. Its latest special exhibit focuses on the banjo.

The Museum of Making Music sponsored by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. Both are non-profit organizations.

On its website, the Museum states its mission statement as: "The Museum of Making Music explores the accomplishments and impact of the music products industry through educational and interactive exhibitions and programs and directly connects visitors with hands-on music making."

It also lists a set of core beliefs including:

Exploring connections between people, instruments and the music we make is an important message that needs to be explored and conveyed.

The industry story is part of a larger cycle of music making story that is not yet widely understood and merits attention.

Active music making is an essential element of the full human experience.

Exposure to musicians and live music is important to one's understanding of music making.

Providing equal access to museum exhibitions and programs is central to our work.

The ultimate purpose of the Museum is to make this a more musical world.

Executive director Carolyn Grant has had a lifelong passion for music and feels it is an honor to run the museum and to take an active role in trying to introduce people to music. In the mornings, you can often find crowds of school children making music on the many instruments available for people to play.

Jack W. Hill is one of the museum's docents and he leads a group of children through the museum and then to a room to participate in a drum circle. Both Hill and Grant emphasize the importance of the hands on experience for both children and adults.

For more than 10 years, the museum has provided opportunities for cultural enrichment while preserving musical heritage through special exhibitions, innovative concerts and educational programs. On permanent display at the museum are hundreds of vintage instruments, audio and video clips, and an interactive area. There are five galleries organized by chronology, each featuring the historic milestones, popular music. and instruments of those eras.

Photo caption:

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

The Banjo: A New Day For An Old Instrument" is the latest special exhibition at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad.

Special exhibitions are presented twice a year with concurrent music presentations and workshops. The current special exhibition focuses on the banjo and is titled, "The Banjo: A New Day For An Old Instrument." The exhibit will run through the end of October. You can check out the concerts featuring the banjo on the museum's website.

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