Volunteer Team Member Spotlight: Mike Graves November 28, 2022 Sharing the joy of music in the Experience Gallery When he was 14, Mike Graves left his church choir. “I was told by the church choir director that I was singing off-key,” the volunteer team member says. “With no encouragement, I soon resigned.” Fortunately, Mike didn’t give up on music. He kept on singing, and he learned multiple instruments, including blues harmonica. Today, he encourages others to have fun playing instruments from around the world as he volunteers in the Experience Gallery. In this interactive space, he creates a welcoming environment for guests to try both familiar and new instruments, whether he is demonstrating scales on the theremin or participating in an impromptu drumming session. Mike Graves “I make it a point to be playing an instrument during my scheduled time,” he says. “It seems to give an unspoken permission to the guests to do the same.” In the Experience Gallery, Mike sees MIM’s mission to create global connections at work in real time as guests play music together. “Joining people in small drum circle jams shows the power of music as it brings us closer together,” he says. “It connects us.” Mike sees the joy music brings to others, but he also feels the impact of his time in the Experience Gallery personally. “While in this gallery, the music transcends all differences, and I leave each time with a renewed sense of purpose,” he says. “To watch young and old discover the music in themselves and then to hear it on the outside for the first time is a thrill.” Interested in becoming a volunteer team member? Visit MIM.org/volunteer to learn more!