Summer Programs

Have summer fun at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum! Groups from summer schools, camps, day care centers, and other youth-oriented organizations can experience the story of country music through one-of-a-kind artifacts, historical films, archival sound recordings, computer interactives, art- and music-making programs, and more.

The following school and teacher programs address national and state curriculum standards and are available to educators of students from Pre-K to grade 12, and college student groups. Programs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to schools and educational organizations located in Tennessee. Book a field trip today!

GUIDED HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

During an interactive tour of the museum, examine historical objects, listen to recordings, and discuss the ways in which key musical figures and other musical styles have affected country music. Tour guides touch on the museum’s architecture, musical examples, films, and the surrounding culture, providing participants with a multi-layered learning experience. Special exhibitions on view during summer 2017 include Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City and Jason Aldean: Asphalt Cowboy presented by Field & Stream. Every tour includes exploration of the core, permanent exhibit that tells the story of country music from its pre-commercial roots through to its vibrant life today as a thread of American culture.

Tour Length: 90 minutes
Grades: K-12
Group Size: 10-80 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Music, Social Studies, Visual Art

See the Teacher Resources page for the supporting lesson guide.

WORDS & MUSIC

The museum’s flagship education program, Words & Music is an immersive interdisciplinary music and language arts experience that has served over 100,000 students since 1979. Using an award-winning lesson guide, teachers lead students through the lyric-writing process. Completed lessons are followed by a program with a songwriter who adds melodies to students' original lyrics. This experience requires significant class time. Lyrics are due at least two weeks before workshop date. This program is offered at the museum or at your school.  Grade specific, Common Core-aligned lesson guides are now available. For more information about Words & Music, click here.

Program Length: 2 hours 30 minutes, included Guided Highlights; 60 minutes as Outreach
Grades: 3-12
Group Size: 15-120 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Music, Social Studies

See our Teacher Resources page for the program lesson guide.

DAZZLING DESIGNS

Learn about elements of country couture and western style, designers, historical show-biz fashion trends, and more by examining stage costumes, accessories, and instruments on a guided tour of the museum galleries. Get up close to Hank Snow’s stagewear, designed by Nudie “the Rodeo Tailor” Cohen; study Taylor Swift’s Swarovski crystal guitar, used on her Fearless concert tour; and see other artifacts with unique designs and fascinating stories. Following the tour, groups participate in a conversation about the evolution of stage style, aspects of design, the representation of culture in style, and the appearance of symbolism and individuality in style choices. The experience comes together in an artmaking activity in which participants lend their own ideas to a costume or instrument design.

Program Length: 2 hours 30 minutes
Grades: K-4
Group Size: 10-80 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Art

IS IT A FIDDLE OR A VIOLIN?

In Texas it’s a fiddle. In Boston it’s a violin. In Nashville it depends. This unique program compares the history, performers, and sounds of country and classical music. Is It a Fiddle or a Violin? reveals the fascinating story of a familiar stringed instrument, told by two professional musicians through performances of toe-tapping tunes and virtuosic partitas. An open question- and-answer session at the end of the program allows students to learn more about instruments, musical styles, and careers in the music business.

Program Length: 2 hours 15 minutes, includes Guided Highlights
Grades:  K-5
Group Size: 15-85 students
Curricular Connections: Language Arts, Music, Social Studies, Visual Arts

See the Teacher Resources page for the program lesson guide.

Additional fees apply.


MAKING WAVES AT STUDIO B

Conducted at Historic RCA Studio B, located on Music Row, this program illuminates Studio B’s legacy as the “home of 1,000 hits” and favorite recording spot for the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, and many other artists, past and present. An interactive guided tour explores the studio’s historical significance, acoustical design, and recording basics such as tracking, mixing, and mastering. Students learn the various roles involved in recording and discuss the science of sound as they track their own vocals and participate in the mixing process. Limited availability.

Program Length: 60 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Group Size: 10-50 students
Curricular Connections: Music, Science, Social Studies
Teacher Resources page for the program lesson guide.

STRING CITY: NASHVILLE'S TRADITION OF MUSIC AND PUPPETRY

Learn about Nashville’s emergence as Music City, as told by over fifty puppets! String City is a lively account of our city’s musical legacy, loosely defined. Start with the early days of stringband and gospel music, and the birth of the Grand Ole Opry. Meet the major figures of country music as the show travels through time with classic recordings that give way to present day hits. A unique way to introduce students to Nashville and its most famous export, String City brings history, visual arts, and music together on a single stage. Over thirty country artists appear in puppet form, including Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Strait, and Taylor Swift. Tour the museum before or after the show for a full experience. For more information and pre-visit resources, please click here.


June 26 - July 1; July 3 - 8
10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Program Length:
75 minutes
Grades:  2-8
Group Size: 10-60 students
Curricular Connections: Social Studies, English Language Arts, Music, Visual Art
String City  was created and is presented by Nashville Public Library's Wishing Chair Productions in collaboration with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and was made possible by a special gift from Judy and Steve Turner to the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

SONG AND STORY TIME

Little listeners hear a story, sing a song, examine museum artifacts, and create art inspired by the music, artists, and objects featured in the galleries. Dive into country music through themes like trains, family, cowboys and cowgirls, cars, and friendship. All programs culminate with a hands-on art project that everyone can take with them to remember the experience. We provide the inspiration—you provide the imagination. Come ready for fun!

Program Length: 60 minutes
Grades: Pre-K (ages 3-5)
Group Size: 10-25 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Music, Social Studies, Visual Art

SHAPES, SOUND HOLES, AND STRINGS TRUNK

Check out an instrument trunk to use in the classroom. Students can play the instruments that make country country. The trunk includes a banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and dulcimer. The Shapes, Sound Holes, and Strings Teacher’s Guide offers lessons that support the trunk or explore modern country with amplified sound through the electric trunk. Designed in support of temporary exhibit Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City, this trunk features an electric guitar, fiddle, harmonica set, and lap steel guitar. Combine your in-class experience with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to learn more about the instruments, their history, and important players from the past to the present.

Program Length: 60 minutes
Grades: K-12
Group Size: 10-150 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Math, Music, Science, Social Studies, Visual Art

See the Teacher Resources page for the supporting lesson guide.

SONGWRITING 101

Learn songwriting fundamentals, including the basics of song form, rhyme scheme, and meter, and secrets behind the creative process. Working as a class with guidance from a professional songwriter, students will analyze a song then write original lyrics and advise on musical components. The program ends with a group performance of the new composition.

Program Length: 2 hours 30 minutes, includes Guided Highlights
Grades: 2-12
Group Size: 15-60 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Music, Social Studies

See the Teacher Resources page for the program lesson guide. 

Additional fees apply.


MUSICAL PETTING ZOO

Bang a drum, strum an autoharp, and pick a banjo! Students will try new and familiar instruments. A professional musician will provide an overview at the top of the program, demonstrating the unique sound and discussing the history of each instrument. Following the interactive presentation, participants will play each instrument on their own. Professional musicians will be on hand to provide tips and offer guidance.

Program Length: 2 hours and 30 minutes, includes Guided Highlights 
Grades: 1-12
Group Size: 15-80 students
Curricular Connections: English Language Arts, Music, Science,Social Studies

Additional fees apply.


PLAN YOUR VISIT

For information regarding pricing, chaperone requirements, bus parking, lunch options, and other frequently asked questions, please visit plan your visit.

To make a reservation, please call 615.416.2084, email schools@countrymusichalloffame.org, or book online. After the museum receives a school group reservation request, you will be contacted to confirm a date.