In 2016, NMAAM created programs to further educate the community on the achievements and influences of African American music. The interest and excitement exceeded our expectations, and we reached over 132,000 individuals across the country. Our success stems from offering both adult and youth programs for diverse audiences.

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


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 and facts throughout each lesson. Explore lessons with our partner, QuaverEd, here:


Sips & Stanzas offers a unique experience where diverse professionals meet, listen and converse. Once a month, guests mingle with outstanding music leaders who 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 receive NMAAM updates and interact with recording artists to discuss topics that impact the mission of the museum.

Guests have the opportunity to network and create a formative interaction with the featured music professional. Sips & Stanzas provides guests with a fresh perspective on music, musicians and an industry that has been shaped by influential leaders. Join us each month for a conversation about music and its impact on American culture.

This event is hosted off-site and locations vary. 


The Emerging Artist Series is an annual concert showcasing upcoming artists in Music City. The featured musicians are selected for their individual cultural perspectives, to expose the audience to new American musical aesthetics, and to demonstrate the impact African Americans have made on American culture.

These concerts are coupled with Sips & Stanzas once a month.


Fine Tuning is a masterclass 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 classical, jazz, blues, sacred, gospel, popular and hip-hop.


Music, Legends & Heroes is a unique experience where students have conversations with outstanding artists and industry leaders. This program allows musicians to share their stories and how they made music history with 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:

  • Showcasing and nurturing youth leadership with experience in project management such as presentation, planning and producing the program;
  • Gaining a better understanding of the cultural and historical significance of music created and performed by African Americans;
  • Exploring the social, economic and cultural conditions present in American history that influenced the way music was created by African American people.