An artist’s rendering of the Museum of Making Music’s new design.; Inset: Museum director Carolyn Grant came to music early and passionately.
Carolyn Grant, executive director of the Museum of Making Music Carlsbad, came to music early and passionately.
5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad
“This involvement [with playing music] is actually the core purpose of my life. As an older adult my musical adventure is centered around the cello. I began studying the instrument about 15 years ago. I have learned more about life and about myself through the cello than by any other means. I grew up playing piano, and I dabble in guitar and vocals, but my serious study now and for many years to come, hopefully, is on the cello.”
The National Association of Music Merchants is a trade association charged with leading and strengthening the music products industry. Founded in 1901, it’s one of the oldest trade associations in the United States. The Museum’s been in business since 1998, when it opened to professionals (and two years later, the general public) as part of the association’s headquarters in Carlsbad.
It’s always been designed to honor makers and sellers of musical instruments, but circa 2013, as Grant explains “Both the technology and the original chronological storyline were out of date, and the displays were ready for a refresh.”
The new renovation features a narrative strung through three concepts: “Making The Instruments,” “Providing The Instruments,” and “Using The Instruments.”
“Making The Instruments” addresses the history, culture, politics, and logistics of manufacturing. “Providing The Instruments” addresses the history of shipping, delivery, sales, and the evolution of the “shopping” concept itself.
Finally, “Using The Instruments” invites the museum-goers to reflect on their own musical experiences, their memories of playing, memories of hearing music, or both.
Folks will be able to jam out on “a variety of acoustic and electric instruments,” emphasizes Grant. “We are also planning on providing a few vintage keyboard instruments, such as a Hammond Organ and a Celesta, for people to play upon request. For our younger visitors, we are creating a dedicated space filled with age-appropriate instruments.”
Naturally, most of this will have to wait until the virus lifts. But
Grant says the Museum — which also plans to offer subsidized school tours, and just started a program for foster youth at San Pasqual Academy called Expressive Sound Arts — is on course to reopen in February 2021.
“I feel a great and ever-growing sense of responsibility to offer visitors a museum that invites and welcomes them into a new world, or one that offers them a new perspective on a world with which they are already familiar,” she concludes. “The thought that this renovation will allow the museum to reach a broader audience and impact more lives for years to come is truly motivational.
“Also, seeing the museum team use their many strengths... to create this new museum experience for the community, is perhaps not unexpected, but certainly an absolute joy and very humbling.”