Museum of Making Music

Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad: Hours, Address, Museum of Making Music Reviews: 4.5/5

Museum of Making Music
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Museum of Making Music celebrates the music products industry’s rich history from 1900 to today. Through unique exhibitions, vibrant and varied live music performances, and innovative educational programs, the Museum shares the accomplishments and impact of the people who make, sell, and use musical instruments and products. When you step into the galleries (and back in time) you’ll see outstanding examples of musical instruments, many of them displayed in vintage music store settings. You’ll also hear some familiar tunes in audio and video clips, have many hands-on opportunities to pick up and play a variety of instruments, and discover the innovative ways that the music industry has grown over the years.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
362 reviews
Excellent
238
Very good
103
Average
17
Poor
2
Terrible
2

TooMuch2Do
Laguna Niguel, CA356 contributions
Jan 2022
The Museum of Making Music is operated by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) along Armada Drive with an expansive ocean view and walking path across the street. The admission fee was $10 seniors, $15 adults. There are several rooms explaining the history of musical instruments of all kinds and related equipment like synthesizers. In three areas there are instruments that you can play yourself: guitar, ukulele, banjo, drums, electric organ, hammer dulcimer. The exhibit information is on screens so you can click on (with pointer): artifacts, stories, or hear music. If there are people playing instruments and people playing music displays nearby it can get a bit noisy. The docent started up the player piano and offered information that we wouldn’t have known to ask about. For example, she explained that Don Lewis came to the museum to set up the display of the assembled electronics and keyboards he used to create the Live Electronic Orchestra, pre-dating MIDI. There is a nice gift shop with music-focused items. In the lobby, you can see through to the organization’s board room and its ocean view. Well worth an hour or two to visit.
Written January 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

cardinalhill
Lake Elmo, Minnesota34 contributions
Jan 2020
This small museum has a variety of instruments from the 19th century up to the 20th century. It was developed by the makers of instruments so while it is about music making, it is about the history of the late 19th through the 2oth century. If you like to listen to music from the early 20th century up through the 90's...this is the place. It is interactive and highly visual so children can enjoy it as much as adults. Some instruments can be played. if you ever played an instrument in a high school band or orchestra, you will recognize some manufacturers and instruments. My husband and I played clarinet in our high school bands so it was fun to see some of those instruments and learn more about them. There is a volunteer docent to give a tour but one can look around on one's own. If you to to Carlsbad for the beach, there are those rainy days and cool days and this is a great indoor activity.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ShadJack
Charles City, IA, United States43 contributions
Jan 2020
We stopped by on a Sunday afternoon with about 1.5 hours until closing. Honestly we could have used about another half hour to get through everything.......my wife is a retired music educator and loved the entire display. I enjoyed the interactive areas where you can touch and play various insturments. Lots of history as well. Really time well spent that day - we both enjoyed it !
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Audrey112014
Fayetteville, AR98 contributions
Feb 2020
We only had a few hours before our flight, and this was a great way to spend them. The instruments and music were organized by decades with many unique pieces. There were also many interactive exhibits and instruments to play. The guide checked back with us multiple times to point out interesting things and give further instructions. I would recommend this for all ages.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Suzanne H
Carlsbad, CA35 contributions
May 2019 • Family
I took my 3 grands ages 7,5, and 2 to the museum and was pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed it. The museum covers the evolution of American music from approximately 1900 forward. There are buttons to push to hear different instruments, musicians, styles of music etc. The best part is the area where the kids can play a variety of instruments from guitars, pianos, and drums, to modern synthetic music machines. It’s not overly expensive, which was good because we were only there an hour or so. It was a great “first museum” visit for them and they liked it!
Written June 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

traveltrish22
Laguna Niguel, CA36 contributions
Jan 2017 • Family
We had a rainy day to fill with our 18 month old music-loving granddaughter and found this little treasure fit the bill perfectly! The staff was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and welcoming and the exhibits which tell the story of music from 1900 to 1999 are both educational and entertaining. Each vignette has a hands-on musical instrument to play and various songs of the time period to listen to or in our case, dance to! Intimate concerts are also performed there regularly. So very happy we found this place and will continue to go back as our granddaughter's musical education continues.
Written January 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DrFrisbie
Del Mar, CA197 contributions
Apr 2015 • Family
Children of all ages will enjoy visiting this fascinating museum. The exhibits are dedicated to musical instruments and their progression through various eras in history. There is a see-through piano on display; you can play it. There are many other instruments that children and adults can sit down and play --- a musician's paradise! Even the non-musical will be intrigued by the many options here. Well worth a visit!
Written May 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

carlsbadexplorer
Carlsbad, CA18 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
A very inexpensive way to spend a couple of hours. Designed both as a "don't touch" museum featuring heirloom instruments and a kid-friendly "please touch" experience, the Museum had the right idea when first opened. However, during my two visits there, spread two months apart, virtually all of the hands on interactive "make your own music" displays either did not work, were missing strings or drumsticks or were greasy and sticky. In short, the interactive displays need maintenance and a good dose of cleaning. For adults, it is worth the $5 or so price of a ticket you can often find on Groupon. For younger children, I suspect they might get a bit bored, for there are far more "don't touch" displays than there are interactive modules.
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bostonbased
554 contributions
Interactive displays make this a terrific museum, where you can listen to music over the decades of American history (kids can push the buttons), and everyone can reminisce about their favorite era. Every instrument category is represented, from gorgeously engraved trumpets, to drum sets, keyboards, and the electronic age. At the end of the tour, headsets allow you to make music on various instruments without the cacophony bothering anyone else. Despite poor signage along roads leading to the museum, it's well worth the trip!
Written June 14, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tiffany R
Carlsbad, CA21 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
I am sure this place is wonderful for those with an education in music but for families and kids this is not a great activity. It is pretty small, and not very entertaining for those with no musical ability.
Written May 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Museum of Making Music

Museum of Making Music is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM