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MIM receives grant to expand interactive gallery for children

Children will have more space to interact and play with musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) after an expansion of the museum’s interactive gallery, which will be funded by a grant by Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The MIM was awarded a $150,000 grant for the Experience Gallery Annex, which will allow children from kindergarten to second grade have their own space with age-appropriate instruments and design.

The new gallery space will host increasing numbers of students as MIM strives to reach its goal of 100,000 school and youth tour participants by 2020. During the 2015-2016 school year, the MIM welcomed more than 52,000 school and youth field trip participants.

The current MIM Experience Gallery occupies 2,500 square feet and invites guests of all ages to touch, play and hear various musical instruments from many different cultures.

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

The 1,400-square-foot annex will be repurposed from an existing space adjacent to the current Experience Gallery. MIM will use the grant’s funds to create a developmentally appropriate space that better supports the learning and basic needs of young children, from birth to age eight. The annex will continue to encourage the exploration of musical sounds, individual and collective composition of music and expressive movement.

During field trips, the space will be used for musical story-time activities and guided drum circles. In the absence of field trips, the annex will offer geographically themed groupings of authentic musical instruments, regalia, and video clips of instruments being played in their cultural contexts, making the additional space accessible and interactive for guests of any age.

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

Substantial research today provides strong evidence that music—either in the form of education, practice, or exposure—has a significant impact on the cognitive and social-emotional development of all children, including those with disabilities. MIM recognizes the multitude of ways children learn and encourages them to express 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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