Visit to the Musical Instrument Museum

I was thrilled that my student Kim Keates went to visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels for their Adolphe Sax 200 exhibition and saxophone display.

I was even more thrilled when she offered to write about her experiences, and include some photographs – thank you Kim!

The shrill alarm cut through the darkness at 5 am and, as I awoke, I felt a rush of excitement when I realised that today I was travelling to Brussels.

The journey to St. Pancras was uneventful; quick check to make sure that I had my passport, then into the waiting lounge of Eurostar.

The state of the art design of the train and the European style uniforms of the attendants set the scene for my journey.

I had thought about making this journey for several months and, here I was, standing across the road from the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM).

The excitement built as I entered the beautiful art nouveau style/neoclassical building. A whole floor had been dedicated to the instrument maker, Adolphe Sax, to celebrate the 200th year of his birth. What a treat it was to look closely at some unusual musical instruments, and to marvel at their design; to stand next to a tenor saxophone owned and played by Dexter Gordon, and another, by Coleman Hawkins!

In a way, the trip was my way of connecting further with the instrument that I have grown so fond of; to find out about the man, who, in 1857, invented the saxophone, and in turn, started me on my musical journey.

Kim Keates

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