Museum of Making Music

Museum of Making Music

Museum of Making Music
NAMM Building
Carlsbad, CA
August 20, 2017

Writing and Photography by

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the non-profit association that serves both the national and the international music product industry.

And at the heart of the organization is The NAMM Foundation, which promotes the intrinsic value of music education.  As a by-product of NAMM’s affiliation with so many music instrument makers around the globe, and its passion for keeping music alive in the hearts and fingers of humankind, NAMM has acquired an immense and rather comprehensive collection of musical instruments over the years, both historic and modern.

At some point around 1998, NAMM realized the depth and scope of their growing collection and decided to start the Museum of Making Music (MOMM).  The MOMM opened to the public in the year 2000, and has been entertaining individuals and families from around the globe ever since – and it is WELL WORTH SEEING!!!!

We first caught wind of the MOMM when we noticed many years ago at the NAMM Conventions (January here in Anaheim and in June in Nashville) that the MOMM had an exhibit case where they would display some of the most interesting instruments we’d see at the convention – early Gibsons (from back when the headstock still read “The Gibson”), Banjo-Harps, WWI-era Army band snare drums, and the like.  It was always fascinating, but a few inquiries got us all we needed to then visit this sleepy little gem of a museum –  located conveniently within walking distance of Carlsbad, California’s famed Legoland and housed in the humble lobby of the NAMM own headquarters!

With its display of over 500 vintage instruments and hundreds of audio and video clips from industry luminaries, the museum offers a unique, memorable and educational adventure to more than 40,000 visitors each year. Additionally, the museum’s year-round music education programs are crucial to thousands of children, adults and seniors in San Diego County. The Museum’s signature programs include the funding of a scholarship that enables fixed-income adults and seniors the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, as well as the museum’s annual Title One Fieldtrip Program that provides free access to the museum for low-income students from Carlsbad and the neighboring communities of Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and Escondido.

And when you visit the MOMM, you get a little about what makes this place so special – from the volunteers who welcome you at the front desk and who also serve as docents in the museum (we had the pleasure of meeting Naomi and Trish – or “Trish the Dish” as she preferred), to the glowing collection itself, to the interactive displays that allow music history to come alive with just the push of a button!  And although the instruments on display are not for touch, the museum places many different instruments and attractions

around the collection that are HANDS ON for anyone to try!  There’s even an echo chamber if you want to try out your best yodel! There is just so much to see and do!

On our visit this time, we caught a visiting collection of legendary musician GRAHAM NASH’s other hobby – photography – and it was stunning!  Although that exhibit closed on August 31, you can catch an upcoming visiting exhibit and the MOMM’s permanent collection anytime!

Keep your eyes on the MOMM’s website as well as they host a number of great musicians in their live-music program – and you can combine a trip to the MOMM with a show!

Open every day of the week except Monday (and major holidays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can spend a morning or an afternoon – an hour or two tops – meandering through the small but very satisfying and very interactive collection of musical instruments and music-industry collectibles!  Admission to Museum and NAMM Members is free, but admission otherwise is a mere $10 for most, $7 for Seniors, Students, and Active Military, and children under 3 are free!

Fundraising is underway now to support the museum (BECOME A MEMBER!!!)!
Visit the museum website here:
The MOMM is located at 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, CA



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