GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World is open at the Cincinnati Museum Center

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World is open at the Cincinnati Museum Center! This rockin’ exhibit runs through Jan. 6, 2019 and is a must for music lovers old and young.

I have a seven year old who is obsessed with all things rock and roll; Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Beatles provide the soundtrack for most of our car rides. So I was very excited to see what the CMC’s new GUITAR exhibit was all about. As always, CMC delivers with a fun and interactive exhibit.

GUITAR offers a comprehensive history of the iconic instrument, with makes and models of every size, shape and color lining the walls of the exhibit hall (including the infamous Air Guitar, which gets its own display case and requires a pantomimed riff upon viewing). You’ll learn about all the different types of guitars (including lutes, ukuleles, banjos and the sitar) through the nearly 100 artifacts and 60 instruments that make up this exhibit.

Our favorite? The World’s Largest Guitar — the 43 feet long and 16 feet wide “Flying V” is something truly spectacular! It makes the most delightful sound when played (yes – you can touch it!).

Something that makes guitars special is that there are so many ways to play them. If you think about your favorite rock bands, chances are they each have a unique sound. The Ramones were famous for their simple chords while the riff on Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven is revered for its complexity. Anyone can strum a few chords on the guitar; my 7-month-old demonstrated this as she happily plucked at the strings at one of the displays. Guitars require a closeness between player and instrument that makes for a deeply personal experience. This exhibit will undoubtedly make you think about the ubiquitous instrument in a different way.

Of course, this exhibit is great for adults — but what about kids? Parents will be pleased by the interactive elements and kid-friendly features of this CMC exhibit. GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World has lots of videos playing throughout and many different interactive elements where kids can get their jam on! There are lots of opportunities to touch and explore, making this exhibit a must for even the littlest music lovers.

I’m always surprised by the connections my kids make between new ideas and what they already know. There is a heavy STEAM element to this exhibit; you’ll learn about sound waves in fun and often loud ways! We really enjoyed the touch screen which featured different noises and asked to graph the sounds based on their frequency. Whispers and mosquitos were low; jackhammers and jet planes were high. Julian said we could use sound to essentially repel mosquitos (our back yard is full of them); and that’s actually something that you can do! GUITAR makes the physics and engineering behind music accessible and exciting for kids.

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World will give kids a whole new appreciation for music. At its core, GUITAR is about music, creativity and art — and will surely inspire kids to broaden their musical horizons. (And parents – feel free to add some Beatles or Bowie to your car jams!)

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World runs through Jan. 6, 2019 and is FREE for CMC member kids ($7 for CMC member adults). For more information visit

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