On Saturday my family had an opportunity to visit the opening of the newly updated Sound Lab at Seattle's Experience Music Project. So we walked over in the gorgeous spring weather and found our way up to the Sound Lab. Our first impression was that everything looked really nice and bright- and there were so many options- what to play with first!
Ethan decided to be uncooperative and not get out of his stroller, so Daniel and I had fun testing everything out for ourselves. The Sound Lab is set up with a bunch of different pods in the middle of the room, and in each pod there's a station for a different musical instrument, like drums, keyboard, bass, guitar or mixing. These stations are super-user friendly- you can start with the basics and get a tutorial on exactly how to play the instrument, or you can just have fun rocking out to music. You can even plug in your ipod and play along with your own music.
Around the room there are a number of small, soundproof booths where you could go to learn more about the instruments and practice in privacy. And there's even a Jam Studio where you can record your own CD! Very cool.
After Daniel and I had fun playing with all the various instruments and testing our our musical skills, we spent a lot of time with the kids playing with the huge drum in the middle of the room. This is not just your regular drum, it's an enormous drum with different percussion instruments projected onto it- and when you touch the part of the drum with your hand, the sound corresponding to the picture will play. Every so often the types of instruments on the drum change, so you can have an entirely different experience and hear the sounds of different percussive instruments. Both Ethan and Vivian had a blast with this feature of the Sound Lab, and there were lots of other little kids around having fun with it as well!
If you have kids who love music, I think this would be a great family outing. The Sound Lab is just one of the things to see and do at the Experience Music Project, and your admission price to Experience Music Project gets you in to the Science Fiction Museum as well, so be sure to plan on lots of time spent at EMP/SFM when you visit!
Our local TV station was actually there broadcasting a story on Saturday morning when we were there- we ducked out before they started filming, but here's a link that shows the Sound Lab in all its glory!
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to the EMP on Saturday so that we could test out the Sound Lab for ourselves. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.