Yamaha Designs Children's Interactive Musical Space for New 81st Street Studio at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Yamaha musical station is part of the new children's interactive learning center and features first-of-it-kind instruments like a standing guitar, a castanet wall, and window marimba.

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Yamaha Corporation announced its first-ever Interactive Musical Station that will be displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's new 81st Street Studio, an interactive learning space for children opening on Sept. 9, 2023. The musical station, concepted and designed by Yamaha, is one of the seven stations of the new Studio, and was created using a variety of materials to introduce children to unique sound experiences and demonstrate how different materials influence sound.

The Interactive Musical Station designed by Yamaha features six musical instruments, including a standing guitar, a castanet wall, an 11-note organ and a window marimba. The wall guitar station will feature two sizes – a large and small guitar – that will convey a low tone and a slightly higher tone. Yamaha also designed a bird chime that will allow kids to enjoy various sounds and movements of the birds throughout the day.

"Music education is one of the heart and soul of Yamaha. With this musical learning station, we aimed to create out-of-the box musical instruments – ones that are experiential in nature and distinct from traditional instruments to fuel children's curiosity for exploration," said Kip Washio, design R&D department manager, Yamaha Corporation of America. "This is a first for Yamaha to create inspiring and interactive musical instruments as long-term installations."

With each of the instruments on display, children will uncover the principles of music making. This includes being able to use their whole bodies to generate sound, emphasizing a tactile experience, in addition to the marimba boards along the windows allowing multiple children to simultaneously explore the diverse tonal qualities of various wood types and materials.

"The six featured pieces are designed to allow people to experience the joy and wonder of creating different sounds using a diverse range of materials. Visitors can immerse themselves in the sounds of the natural world and everyday life as they strike, pluck, and even ride on these creations," said Mr. Manabu Kawada, senior general manager, Yamaha Design Laboratory. "Because they are to be installed in a learning center in a world-renowned museum where curious children are free to roam, we dedicated ourselves to offering people the chance to experience real sound phenomena firsthand. In an age of convenience, we wanted children to discover ways of enjoying themselves with sound by touching things with their hands, listening carefully to the sounds created, and experimenting in their way."

The 81st Street Studio is a renovated 3,500-square-foot science and art play space in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education at The Met. Created for children ages 3 to 11, the Studio will offer dynamic digital and analog experiences that stimulate and encourage making, investigation, critical thinking, problem-solving, and appreciation for the diverse dimensions of materials and their properties.

To learn more, please visit

  • Marimba Woods

Marimba Woods

  • Standing String

Standing String

  • Woodpecker Chime

Woodpecker Chime

  • Wall Castanet

Wall Castanet

  • Sound Surfboard

Sound Surfboard

  • Bellows-Pipe-Organ


* Rendering of 81st Street Studio, designed by KOKO Architecture + Design. Image: Brick Visual