We recommend spending at least 1 ½–2 hours in the museum, which allows for a guided tour, time for free exploration, and the possibility to engage with special activities or learning programs. Our field trips usually include an introductory film on the Bristol Sessions, an introduction to the permanent exhibits, a scavenger hunt activity, and free exploration time. We can bookend your trip with other learning activities such as hands-on instrument time, Banjo Bingo or Name that Instrument, special exhibit tours, and other lessons that suit your needs.
The cost of school tours is $5.25 per student, or our $6.00 rate includes a take-home BCM souvenir for each child. Teachers/chaperones are free, 1 per 10 students, and $9.45 each for extras. Bus drivers are free and encouraged to come in and tour also.
Teachers can choose among three field trip options in order to best match the experience to their curriculum. All tours contain fundamental information about the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, the basis of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
Starting with early “hillbilly” recordings of the 1920s, this tour focuses on the musicianship of the Bristol Sessions, how those recordings influenced and impacted country and other forms of music, and how those musical styles continue to flourish and expand today.
Beginning with the founding of Bristol in the 1850s and its development into a thriving economic and cultural center in the 1920s, this tour details the ties that Appalachian music and the 1927 Bristol Sessions have to the economic development of Appalachia, and includes details about the historic building that houses the museum.
Highlighting the early 20th century recording technology that played a major role in the success of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, this tour explores developments in recording and sound technology, and how technology has continued to influence country music in various ways.
Our tours, activities, and scavenger hunts can be geared toward elementary, middle, or high school levels. College-level tours and programs are also available. To schedule your school field trip with us, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-573-1927.
Other public educational and outreach programs can be found in the museum’s calendar of events.