In the midst of our current pandemic situation, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is still offering a variety of educational experiences and activities. Along with our on-site tours (offered within health and safety parameters), we have several virtual options for schools and homeschool groups. These virtual student experiences are FREE, though donations are appreciated – any donation will support further museum educational programming and to create engaging educational resources for our community.
On-Site Museum Tours
The museum is still offering on-site student tours – if you are interested in one of these, please get in touch with us to discuss options that fit within museum capacity, tour numbers, and health and safety guidelines. For more information about booking an on-site museum tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-573-1927.
Cost: School group rates
Virtual Museum and Exhibit Tours
We understand that on-site museum tours may not be possible for your school group right now. However, your students can still experience the museum! We are offering a virtual tour experience that includes an exploration of the museum exhibits, along with related activities, via Zoom.
The museum also has two poster exhibits about the women’s suffrage movement and the centennial of the 19th Amendment on display through March 31, 2021. The first is To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote (from the Tennessee State Museum), and the second is Votes for Women: A Portrait in Persistence (Smithsonian). The special exhibit Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972—1981 will open on September 29, 2020 and be on display through March 28, 2021. We can offer virtual explorations of these special exhibits too.
We offer virtual versions of our History of Listening lesson and Banjo Bingo/Name that Instrument game. The lesson explores the “history of listening” from music’s beginnings as live and participatory community performances to the later development of different technologies that helped make music accessible to audiences in different ways. We include examples of some of these technologies, along with playing music on them and sharing other related STEAM concepts. The Banjo Bingo/Name that Instrument game gives students a chance to listen to and identify different types of musical instruments and learn about them.
Online Virtual Tour
Our recent special exhibit – Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program – closed on August 30, but we have several virtual tour videos of the exhibit available online. Student activity sheets with fun learning activities related to Real Folk are also included. Here’s the link to the exhibit, which includes the videos and activity sheets: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/event/real-folk-passing-on-trades-traditions-through-the-virginia-folklife-apprenticeship-program/.
Student Activity Sheets
You can access several activity sheets related to 1927 Bristol Sessions artists, technology, musical instruments, and history via our educational student activity center: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/museum/education/student-activity-sheets/. We will continue to add sheets and activities to this center so keep an eye on it for new resources.
“Museum from Home”
Check out the website’s “Museum from Home” section, which outlines other useful BCM resources such as our blog, Radio Bristol, recorded performances, Smithsonian learning resources, etc. You can access this section here: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/bcm-at-home/.
Radio Bristol Book Club
We also host a Radio Bristol Book Club, which features discussions about books related to Appalachian music, history, and culture, along with author interviews: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/radio/programming/radio-program/radio-bristol-book-club/.
Museum Content on Video
We have several short educational videos about museum content, which can be found on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbW6mXnoJcAK_waxYyn8FZy_W-r86tNml. We also recently made a longer (around 10 minutes) video introducing the 1927 Bristol Sessions and why they are important. Here is the link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LjPoAOfQSs.
In-Class Educational Kit
In late 2018, we hosted the special exhibit For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/event/special-exhibit/. We have a For All the World to See education kit, which is available to be borrowed by teachers for use in their classroom. It includes several activities, objects, and lessons that explore the intersection of civil rights and visual culture.
In-Class Educational Poster Set
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum has one copy of A Place for All People, a historic poster exhibit created for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in September 2016. A Place for All People evokes the power of oration and freedom stories, the brilliance of artistic achievement, and the soaring heights of cultural expression, philosophy, sports, and politics. In addition to profiling the long struggle to create the Museum, the building’s architectural design and its prominent location on the National Mall, the poster exhibit is a survey of the African American community’s powerful, deep and lasting contributions to the American story and is based on the NMAAHC’s inaugural exhibitions exploring themes from slavery and the civil rights movement to community, cultural expression and sports. Teachers may borrow this poster exhibit for display and as a learning supplement in their classrooms for free.