Community Programs NMAAM

In 2016, NMAAM created programs to further educate the community on the achievements and influence of African Americans in music. The interest and excitement exceeded our expectations, and we reached over 132,000 individuals across the country. The success stems from offering both adult and youth programs that provide a unique learning atmosphere for all ages.

At the National Museum of African American Music, we believe in continuing our reach and hope to grow this number over time. The complete list of programs available is detailed below.

Community Music Programs Nashville

Sips & Stanzas

Sips & Stanzas offers a unique experience where diverse, professionals meet, listen, and have interactive conversations. Once a month, guests mingle with outstanding music leaders that represent all areas of the industry from business, performance, media and more.

As Nashville continues to grow and diversify its Music City brand, “Sips & Stanzas” is the event for professionals to socialize, engage and impact the growing awareness of Nashville’s music scene. Additionally, attendees will also learn about the latest NMAAM updates and integrate with music/artists to discuss topics that impact the mission of the museum.

Every guest has the opportunity to network and create a formative interaction with the visiting artist. What you will walk away with is a new perspective on the music, musicians, and the industry that has been shaped and influenced by truly remarkable people. Join us each month for a conversation about music and its impact on American culture.

The event is hosted off-site and locations vary.


Come and experience influential musicians first-hand, The Emerging Artist Series is an annual concert showcasing upcoming artists in Music City. The featured musicians are selected for their individual cultural perspectives and are chosen to open your mind to a whole new American music aesthetic. The showcased talent will wow guests. Be prepared to feel the impact African Americans have made on American culture.

These concerts are coupled with our Sips and Stanzas once a month.

Musician’s Studio

For someone who is looking for an interactive way to broaden their musical minds, the Musician’s Studio is an intimate setting that will do just that. Each guest will have an opportunity to engage with an African American artist whose backstory is often neglected. Attending this event, you will have access to a profound portrayal of each artist.

Fine Tuning

Fine Tuning is a master class that consists of instructional,contextual, theory-based lessons and professional development for aspiring artists and vocalists. Each course is taught through lectures, interactive music lessons, and performance. This program allows attendees to learn in an intimate setting from professionals who have excelled in genres of music such as Classical, Jazz, Blues, Sacred, Gospel, Popular, and Hip-Hop.

Youth Programs

From Nothing to Something (FNTS)

This program is a series of one-hour workshops consisting of one of six musical presentations: Spoons, Harmonica, Cigar Box Guitars, Banjo and Washtub Bass. Led by artists, each presentation focuses on a singular instrument. Students will learn and explore the musical history, techniques, and other exciting stories/facts throughout each lesson.

FNTS is designed to educate the youth about how a group of people, from different cultures, created instruments and memories from limited resources. Replicas of these instruments are made out of similar household items or natural materials to illustrate how others managed to create something as beautiful as music when they had access to very little.

Participants will discover more about how these instruments were originally constructed and how they went on to influence almost every musical genre from jazz to country. Further explored is the way these instruments went on to shape the way American culture is today.

FNT is offered year-round through summer camps as well as classrooms and groups.

Click for more information about From Nothing to Something


Music, Legends, and Heroes is a unique experience where students have interactive conversations with outstanding artists and industry leaders. This program allows musicians to share their stories and how they made music-making history to an enraptured audience. Music, Legends & Heroes is organized and implemented by students. The goal is to provide additional learning opportunities for students to understand the complexities of producing musical events.

  • The objectives of the program include:
    Showcase and nurture youth leadership with experience in project management such as presentation, planning, and producing the program.
  • Gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical significance of music created and performed by African Americans.
  • Explore the social, economic, and cultural conditions present in American history that influenced the way music was created by African American people.


Funded By

HCA, Tennessee Entertainment Commission, Metro Arts Commission, Nissan, Bonnaroo Works Fund, Predators Foundation, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee- Robert K. and Anne H. Zelle Fund for Education, Dollar General, The Memorial Foundation.