Experience The National Museum Of African American Music
- Adriana Burkins
- | August 29, 2022
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Because our birthdays fall close together, my friends and I started a new tradition where we take annual trips together. This year, Ireland was a pipe dream. Colorado came up, too. Then, somehow, we settled on Tennessee.
Between you and me I wasnt sure how much fun wed have, but it turned out to be a trip to remember.
Among the many gems we visited was the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville.
Situated on busy Broadway Street, the museum opened in 2021 and is the only museum of its kind with a focus on celebrating the influence of African American cultures, traditions and experiences on more than 50 genres and subgenres of music.
We had limited time to spend, so we dove headlong into the experience, paying special attention to the museums interactive options.
We began our journey in the Roots Theater, where we watched a film that offered a preview of what we were about to see and hear, going back from the present to the music traditions before the slave trade.From there we moved on into the museums main exhibition, which is designed as a timeline in the center is a long corridor lined with floor-to-ceiling screens and interactive tables.
The corridor branches off into various galleries, each examining one of five themes in Black music history:
The National Museum Of African American Music Honors Lil Wayne On 40th Birthday
Lil Wayne has impacted music and culture for more than 25 years. The incomparable, Grammy Award-winning rapper and business mogul celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday, Sept. 27. While he kicked off his birthday festivities in L.A. and partied with the likes of YG, Yella Beezy, Keith Sweat, Shannon Sharpe and several other notable celebrities earlier this week. Wayne also received five-star treatment and was honored by The National Museum of African American Music on his birthday.
The museum is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and infuses both history and interactive technology to recognize the tremendous contributions that past and present African American artists have made to the cannon of Amercan music.
Both Lil Wayne and H. Beecher Hicks III, the president and CEO of NMAAM are excited to be working together. The museum was thrilled to honor the music icon on his birthday and looks forward to their continued relationship.
Interested patrons can visit NMAAM where the unique exhibit will be on display until Dec. 27. Visit the museums website at nmaam.org to purchase tickets and learn more.
Lil Wayne Honored With Exhibit At National Museum Of African American Music
According to an official press release, the NMAAM in Nashville, Tennessee, will host an event for people to view artifacts provided by Weezy, such as his Grammy for Rap Album of the Year, his BET I Am Hip-Hop Award, a handwritten letter from Rikers Island and an original CD of his major label debut album, Tha Block Is Hot.
Students attending the exhibit will also hear a virtual speech from Lil Wayne as well as live music. There will also be an interactive portion of the exhibit where people can record themselves reciting Lil Waynes lyrics in a rap booth set up by the NMAAM.
Additionally, attendees will also be treated to a live-streamed lecture organized by a group of Vanderbilt professors. The live-streamed lecture will reflect on Weezys career delivered by professors Dr. Gillum Sharpley, Associate Chair of African American & Diaspora Studies, and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies.
Im very grateful to work with NMAAM and show students how Hip-Hop has been so influential on the culture, Lil Wayne said in a statement. Shout out to NMAAM for all the birthday love.
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Visitors Wristbands At The National Museum Of African American Music
Upon presenting yourself at the reception desk of the museum, you will be given a wristband. This wristband is linked to the email address that you provided when you purchased your ticket, which will also be confirmed before your tour starts.
The museum staff will instruct you on how to use your wristband if you need help, but its straightforward. Your wristband can be used throughout the museums exhibits to save part of your museum experience. Just wave the wristband in front of the sensor on the display to save an artists playlist or your own prowess as a dancer or singer. Whatever is saved to the wristband, will be available for 60 days after the date of the museum visit.
The Roots & Streams Interactive Kiosks
One of the coolest activities at the museum is creating a custom music playlist. The Roots & Streams interactive kiosks, found throughout the museum, are fitted with noise-canceling headphones that allow for the opportunity to listen to the music without interruption. The kiosks will have you learn about new artists or rediscover others. You can save the music you enjoyed thanks to your wristband to listen to it again after your visit.
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The #1 Piece Of Advice Before Visiting The National Museum Of African American Music
It is best to purchase your tickets online in advance. That said, arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled time to get your wristband and enjoy some of the live music in the lobby. Also, self-directed tours of the museum start every half hour and if you arrive late or youll have to wait for the next group.
Note that the museum uses timed tickets to manage capacity and ensure each visitor has an opportunity to get the full experience without overcrowding.
School Of Rock Announces Scholarship Program In Partnership With The National Museum Of African American Music
School of Rock announced today the launch of the School of Rock Scholar Program in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music . The program will provide access to School of Rock’s performance-based music education program, live events, exhibits, and other opportunities for qualifying students in underserved communities at no cost. Applications will be open from Oct. 1 through Dec. 1, with accepted students beginning the music program in January 2023.
“The School of Rock Scholar Program is an additional step towards greater diversity in our schools, and we can’t wait to see how more lives are transformed through the power of music.” – Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock
The Scholar Program is valued at $1,500 per season, covering 1-on-1 lessons in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards or vocals and group performance programs at participating School of Rock locations. Access to instruments and practice space will be provided to Scholar Program students. Students will also have access to exclusive experiences at NMAAM, including live events, exhibits and other opportunities.
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National Museum Of African American Music
- How much do National Museum of African American Music tickets cost in 2022?
- National Museum of African American Music admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $28.85, while a popular guided tour starts around $161.00 per person. See all 3 National Museum of African American Music tickets and tours on Tripadvisor
- Do you need to book National Museum of African American Music tickets in advance?
- National Museum of African American Music can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 3 National Museum of African American Music tickets and tours on Tripadvisor
- What hotels are near National Museum of African American Music?
- Hotels near National Museum of African American Music:
National Museum Of African American Music Celebrates One Year
According to museum officials, there have been 110-thousand visitors from countries all over the world. The goal is to highlight the contributions Black artists have made to music and culture. Over the past year guests have been able to use their interactive technology to learn stories behind musical genres ranging from classical to jazz to Hip Hop.
It has really been gratifying to see people are coming, and they are having a good time, said Henry Beecher Hicks, III, President and CEO of NMAAM. They are enjoying it. They are laughing, playing music, and learning something too.
In the video below, Hicks, is thankful for the museums visitors, including many notable recording artists like Quincy Jones, Earth Wind & Fire, H.E.R., Bobby Brown, and more.
As we continue in Black History Month, the museum is offering free admission day today.
On Friday a panel discussion called Everybody vs. Racism is scheduled to address the impact of racism. Including outlining the best practices to break down barriers and identify solutions to eradicate historical inequities.
More information is available on the Museum of African American Music website.
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About: National Museum Of African American Music
The National Museum of African American Music is a gateway to the past that showcases the deep impact African Americans have had on shaping American music. From southern gospel to blues, jazz, R& B, and hip-hop. Across five galleries, you can see each genre against the backdrop of history, and learn how the music was shaped by the currents of time. Expect to see artifacts like instruments, stage costumes, and sheet music. There’s also a film theatre that provides context around the birth of African American music.
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How Long Should I Plan To Visit The National Museum Of African American Music
The estimated tour time is 90 minutes, but guests are encouraged to take as much time as they need.
The visit starts inside of the Roots Theater where guests watch a short film on the history of African music and its global influence. Once the film is over, attendees are directed to exit to the right to begin their self-directed tour.
The museums exhibits are organized in chronological order starting with the first enslaved Africans being brought to America. Visitor can take in the museum at their own pace through galleries focusing on gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues and lastly hip-hop.
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Makin Moves And Hot Tunes
One of my favorite interactive moments was from One Nation Under a Groove. I was a music producer during the social and political changes that occurred during the 1960s and 70s. Taking into account the emergence of Black pop, the popularity of the jukebox and radio, and the introduction of music-dance television programs like Soul Train, my job was to experiment with new sounds in rhythm, arrangement of instruments, vocals and percussion to create a hit record.
Apparently, I make songs with attitude, similar to the Hitmen, the producers behind Sean Puffy Combs Bad Boy Records and 90s hits for Mariah Carey, Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige.
Even though my friends and I each experimented with the same basic options and variations, each of our songs was different and stayed true to our individual styles.
The museums participatory experiences include opportunities to groove to a dance challenge, create a hip hop beat, sing with the Nashville Super choir and more. If you can, I recommend that you visit the museum with others to participate in a shared and memorable experience.
Being on a budget, the price of general admission for adults felt a little high to me, but I would still recommend that you purchase a wristband for an additional dollar. By tapping your wristband on icons throughout the galleries, you can save your experience and walk away with curated Spotify playlists featuring the music youve explored and the videos or beats youve created.
Including The Futuristic National Museum Of African American Music
Are you having fun?the attendant at the National Museum of African American Music asked as he swooped by, genuine concern in his voice. I was admittedly concentratinghardat the Lets Make a Hit interactive booth. You be the producer! said the directions underneath. Whats your style? I picked a funk-heavy beat, then layered female vocals. Your production style is Philly Soul! It declared, spitting out my tune, which I could then save to the RFID bracelet given to me at the entrance, allowing me to listen to my muddy creation over and over at home. Others in the genre include Benny Sigler and Gamble and Huff. Generous comparisonsthese were the producers that laid the groundwork for disco, after allbut informative.
But its not all high tech: Pluck a single-stringed diddley bow to get a feel for the instrument that greatly influenced the sound of the blues. There are also expositions on people and milestones you may not be as familiar with, like Brenda Andrews, the first African American woman to become a partner in a major worldwide music publishing group, and a record from the first Black record company, the jazz and blues Black Swan, which paved the way for Black record labels today.
Plus a whole dance studio, perhaps the first for a museum, where you can follow along to choreography for songs by Motown pioneers The Contours and Montell Jordan . So, yes, I was having fun. Even if my own song kind of sucked.
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Icymi: National Museum Of African American Music Opens In Nashville
The National Museum of African American Music opened its doors to much anticipation in January 2021. The museum is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans.
Located in the heart of Nashville, the NMAAM is a perfect fit for Music City. Tennessee was critical during the Great Migration , when approximately six million African Americans left the South to relocate to large cities throughout the northeast, midwest, and western United States. Nashville also holds significance in African American music history as artists like The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Little Richard spent time early in their careers in Nashville. NMAAM is poised to strengthen and diversify the Music City brand with compelling connections to both local and national musical distinctions. Sharing the states spotlight with other Tennessee music institutions like Chattanoogas Bessie Smith Museum, Nashvilles Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and Musicians Hall of Fame, Memphis Graceland, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and Sun Studios, the NMAAM is a welcomed addition.
Initially proposed in 2002, the project evolved over the next decade from a local to a national initiative and refined its purpose from a broad focus on arts, culture, and music in the African American community to exclusively cover music.
I Am Thrilled For This Partnership With School Of Rock
About the National Museum of African American Music
The National Museum of African American Music is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to preserving African American music traditions and celebrating the central role African Americans have played in shaping American music. Based in Nashville, Tenn., the museum shares the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to honor the musical heroes of African American music of the past and the present.
For more information, please visit www.blackmusicmuseum.org. You can also follow the National Museum of African American Music on , , and and see all their latest videos on .
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What To See And Do
The National African American Museum of Music is home to many artifacts, objects, and memorabilia that illuminate Black music history and culture. Costumes, instruments, recording equipment, photographs, and original artwork are just a few examples of the types of artifacts used to tell the stories of many music genres created, influenced, or popularized by African Americans.
Theres so much to see at NAAMM! The museums permanent collection houses seven main exhibits: Roots Theater, Rivers of Rhythm Pathways, Wade in the Water, Crossroads, A Love Supreme, One Nation Under a Groove, and The Message. These themed collections cover Black music history and interactive film experiences from the early 1600s to the present.
The first exhibit is the Rivers of Rhythm corridor. Considered the spine of the museum, visitors learn about the growth of African American music. From the Golden Age of Gospel to Black influence in ragtime. Visitors can later see the streetwear of influential hip-hop artists and the turntables DJs used to hype up the crowd.
In addition to the museums gallery, the NAAMM hosts several events and programs for the community, including discussions, K-12 workshops, music industry networking events, artist interviews, masterclasses, and a music legends and heroes leadership program for high school students.
One Nation Under A Groove
Along with the evolution of music comes the transformation of dancing. In the One Nation Under a Groove gallery you have the opportunity to show off your dance skills to mix education and fun. Alone or with a group, you can go into the large room that resembles a dance studio and give it your all. A silhouette on the large screen in the front of the room will show you the steps. The first song will be from the 1950s, and each song that follows will be from the next decade. The last song to play is Love On Top by Beyonce , and during that tune, your own dancing silhouette will be recorded. Youll then have the option to save your dance video on your wristband.
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