The Concept of the Mobile Music Museum

Collect, Show & Tell!


The Mobile Music Museum is comprised of several collections.

It has collections of instruments based on a common theme, such as instruments made only from pipes, instruments that make music with water ... even instruments that fly through the air! It also has miniature instruments, instruments made of paper and film canisters, instruments built by children and all sorts of sound-producing “found objects.”

The Mobile Music Museum also collects small orchestras, sets of musical playing rules, clapping techniques from around the world, mouth music, body music and musical children's games.

 The most important of the MMM collections have been created in its very own atelier over the years for various past exhibitions and now form the basis for its loan exhibitions.

Show ...

Since some of the collections can only be presented in person, Michael Bradke gives interactive demonstrations in museums, children's theaters, schools and other institutions for both small and large groups of up to 300 youngsters.

A few pieces from the collection are so fragile that they can only be viewed in glass cases. But most of them can be handled and used - especially the large interactive installations and the hands-on ExplorExhibits, such as the H2Orchestra!

Other pieces can be built by visitors and taken home after the show: paper instruments, the Air Orchestra ... even a Carpet Tube Drum!

... and Tell!

The collections and exhibits of the Mobile Music Museum speak to visitors on many levels at once: They empower individuals with the self-confidence to make music, either alone or with others – and to have fun doing so; they playfully engage visitors in musical games of association connected with the themes of the exhibition; they allow the physics of sound to be experienced in a tangible way; and they allow children to explore the limits of their physical capabilities and learn to work together with others. Bradke employs a wide variety of educational methods, from guided experimentation to intensive storytelling (and storylistening!), from free exploration of MMM exhibitions to his classic guided day- and weeklong seminars focused on specific goals. Bradke adheres to several museum-based educational methodologies – while always keeping the exhibit in the foreground. 

  • One-day event; free, unguided exploration of large interactive sound installations 
  • One-hour interactive presentations for large groups
  • Day- and weeklong project seminars for small groups / continuing education seminars
  • Theme-based exhibits for inclusion in non-MMM exhibitions 
  • Large sound exhibitions


The goal of the special events, performances and concerts offered by the MMM is to help participants perceive the connections between hearing and seeing, movement and rhythm, thinking and feeling in an multidisciplinary way; to see sound as central to our perceptions of the environment around us; to understand music not solely as written and virtuosic; and to realize that making music is a tendency inherent to all of “Homo Cantabilis,” the whole of humankind – every culture in the world makes music and builds instruments!

An incredible amount of thought and creative energy has been thrown into developing machines that “set air into motion.” The field of musical instrument construction has yielded some of the most complex and long-lasting machines known within the technological evolution of mankind (just look at the violin or the tablas)!

The MMM aims to help participants understand music, dance and instrumental playing as a fun-filled interaction with functional patterns of movement and a means for expressing and shaping their feelings and for impressing and winning over others.

The central focus of the MMM rests on comparative observation, the search for anthropological constants in the field of music-making. This focus encompasses questions as to how we interact with materials and physics when building instruments; how musical teamwork can be organized; and how music making is encouraged and enabled within virtuosic classical music, easy-to-play large-group music, the music we play on our own for fun and the social etiquette involved in playing music.


Unfortunately, we have been unable to undertake documentation until this point due to budgetary and time-related limitations.


Michael Bradke also develops theme-based sound exhibits for other museums, such as the Omele Machine, centered on the theme of time; for the exhibition “Time is Time” at the Israel Museum; the Time Move Disco interactive exhibit for the “Workplace: Piano Builder” exhibition in the DASA; and the Sounding Music Machine for the RIM.

Bradke typically gives an introduction to the respective instruments and sounds, then allows participants the possibility of trying them out on their own and at their own pace. The instruments are often built in such a way that large numbers of players have to work together in order to make them produce sound. Along with the interconnections the exhibits make between sounds and particular topics, they also often demand and teach physical coordination and the ability to work well with others.

Since many exhibits are returned to Bradke following their use in exhibits at children’s museums and other museums, Bradke has a large number of exhibits covering a broad range of themes.