New video gives a glimpse of the Junior Museum Guides program

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MIMkids Junior Museum Guides Spotlight: Polynesian Music and Influence Tour

MIM’s Junior Museum Guides program introduces middle and high school students to the musical traditions of the world and helps them develop public-speaking skills. With another session approaching in September, MIM educators and returning Junior Museum Guide Rachel Leppla created a YouTube video to give prospective participants a glimpse into the program. 

The video highlights a key element of the program: developing content for and leading tours during one of MIM’s Signature Events. In it, Rachel shares information about how Hawaiian musical traditions have influenced American popular sounds, starting at the Polynesia exhibit in the Oceania Gallery and ending at the Amplified Guitars exhibit in the United States / Canada Gallery.

“It feels really exciting and fulfilling to be able to present information that you have researched and spent time learning yourself, and then be able to share it with others,” Rachel says.

Now a rising high school senior, Rachel joined the Junior Museum Guides when she was in the 6th grade and has led tours at six Signature Events since 2016, most recently at Celebrate Music from Hawaii this spring.

“My favorite part of the program is . . . all of it,” Rachel says. “Everybody there has the same common interest of wanting to learn and be exposed to music.”

Junior Museum Guides Spotlight: Rachel Leppla Image

Junior Museum Guide Rachel Leppla

Rachel’s passion for the program and world cultures is clear on screen, and it reinforces how the Junior Museum Guides program fosters a deep connection to music and MIM.

“The program has helped me in so many ways with skills like public speaking, thinking on my feet, working with others, and even just confidence in myself,” she says.

MIM’s Junior Museum Guides program is supported by the Hao and Michelle Wang Foundation.

Learn more about the Junior Museum Guides program at