Since 2016, the National Museum of African American Music has delivered signature educational programming designed to share the history of African American music with communities throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee. With our mission to preserve the legacy of Black music, NMAAM presented a diverse curriculum to elementary, junior high, and high school students locally and throughout the region; provided K-12 educators with an array of enrichment tools for their classrooms; and offered music-loving adults the opportunity to learn more about their favorite genres and artists.

In 2020, NMAAM transitioned much of our programming from in-person to virtual, an unexpected shift that allowed us to reach an audience of more than 180,000. With the museum's official opening in January 2021, we resumed in-person events with limited attendance while continuing to offer these experiences through our digital platforms.

From Nothing to Something (FN2S)

(K-8) & (Seniors)

From Nothing to Something (FN2S) is a series of one-hour workshops consisting of one of seven musical presentations: Spoons, Harmonica, Cigar Box Guitars, Banjo, Rhythm & Drums and Washtub Bass. Led by artists such as Lucius "Spoonman" Talley, Tiffany Buchanan, and Carlos DeFord Bailey, each presentation focuses on a singular instrument. Impacting more than 40,000 students, FN2S invites youth to explore the musical history, techniques, and other exciting stories and facts about the evolution of instruments forged from common everyday items. The program is also offered to Seniors and community centers to ensure everyone is able to explore the historical and cultural significance of African American musical innovation.

Explore lessons with our partner, QuaverEd, here:

WATCH From Nothing 2 Something


(9-12 HS Students)

Reaching nearly 5,000 youth online and in-person, Music Legends & Heroes puts outstanding artists and industry leaders front and center with high school students. During these sessions, musicians share their stories and how they made music history with an enraptured audience. Past guests include hip hop pioneer Yo-Yo, songwriters and producers Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony (aka Louis York), recording artist Shannon Sanders, and RCA Inspiration's Phil Thornton.

During these sessions, musicians share stories on their careers and the impact of African Americans on music while students are given the opportunity to express themselves creatively through leading a Q&A session with the artist and organizing and executing a live performance/musical showcase at their school for the artist to see.

Music Legends & Heroes challenges participants to express themselves creatively while gaining an opportunity to plan and perform original pieces while participating in one-on-one discussions with artists on artistic expression, financial literacy, and professional networking. Schools interested in producing a Music Legends & Heroes event shouldcontact



(Collegiate Students)
A Masterclass Series provides opportunities for instructional, contextual, theory-based lessons and professional development for aspiring artists, vocalists, musicians, and music appreciators. To learn more about upcoming Fine Tuning events, email
WATCH Fine Tuning: A Masterclass Series

Rivers of Rhythm Institute for Social Education

(Teacher Training) 

The Rivers of Rhythm Institute for Social Education (RRISE) provides educators, music scholars/appreciators, and graduate students to learn more about the Museum, discuss topics related to African American music, and gain tools/techniques to interpret and teach African American history. The weeklong program is dual focused, providing the OneNote Symposium and Curriculum Development Workshop. For more information, contact



(Adult Networking Series)

A hybrid in-person and virtual event hosted from the Roots Theater at NMAAM every third Thursday of the month, Sips and Stanzas showcases a variety of artists across multiple disciplines and offers unique perspectives into everything from Black music and culture to dance, photography, and literature.

WATCH Sips and Stanzas



(Artist Chat Series) 

Perhaps one of NMAAM's most popular series, My Music Matters brings artists, academics, music  industry insiders, and influencers to NMAAM for in-depth conversations about their careers and why the music that matters to them matters to us all. Presented both virtually and in-person, My Music Matters has featured GRAMMY-nominated country recording artist Mickey Guyton, Nashville's own Dr. Bobby Jones, media personality Dyana Williams, and many, many more. 

WATCH My Music Matters


The Emerging Artist Series began as an annual concert showcasing upcoming artists in Music City. Since NMAAM's grand opening, guests visiting the museum can catch performances by select emerging artists every Saturday and Sunday from 1PM-3PM.



Artists interested in learning more about the program can email

WATCH NMAAM's Emerging Artists Showcase