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Scheduling School Tours


School Tour

The NMM welcomes the opportunity to host your school group. Guided tours of the NMM's collections are provided by trained educators and are based on educational themes and objectives. Tours can be tailored to meet the educational goals and interests of individual classes, ensembles, and other groups. Advance reservations must be made for all group visits.

Educational Thematic Tour Options

While the NMM's main emphasis is music, multidisciplinary opportunities are also offered. Listed below are several thematic tours regularly offered. Other specific curriculum needs can also be accommodated with a minimum of a one-month advance reservation. Note: Thematic tours are available only to groups of 30 or less.

  • A First Look--

    An introduction to music and the NMM's collections. 20-30 minutes. Grades K-3.

  • Our First Nations--

    See the collection of Native American instruments and learn about Native American music and culture. Grades 2-5. (Reminder: October is Native American month.)

  • A Musical Tour Around the World--

    Look at and listen to recorded music of instruments from around the world. Grades 4-8.

  • Instruments and Music of Africa--

    See the collection of instruments from various parts of Africa. Recorded music will be heard as well as an opportunity for hands-on experience. Grades 2-5.

  • Sound and Vibration--

    Learn how sound is produced on various instruments. An opportunity for hands-on experience. Grades 3-6.

    Post-visit drawings by two second graders illustrate the vibrations of the gongs in the NMM's gamelan and the many instruments hidden inside the NMM's orchestrion. Click on either drawing to see an enlargement.

    A second grader's drawing of the vibrations emitted by one of the gamelan gongs A second grader's drawing of the NMM's orchestrion
  • Magical Mystery Tour--

    Featuring recorded music of the Beatles, examine some of the instruments used in pop and rock music. Grades 6-12.

  • February Specials--

    1. Instrumental Valentine: Examine some of the musical instruments most associated with love. Instruments will include the guitar, harp, lira da braccio, and the Native American courting flute. Grades 2-12.

    2. Presidential Music: Instruments from the time of Washington and Lincoln will be examined. Grades 2-12.

  • South Dakota History--

    See instruments made and used by South Dakota pioneers. See what life might have been like in the early days. Grades 6-12.

South Dakota Educational Content Standards

See how NMM Tours can meet South Dakota Educational Content Standards for Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade

Prepare Your Class For Their Visit

Prepare your class before you visit!  Take some of the NMM's Virtual Tours.

Download and print out these useful PDF files prepared by Dr. Deborah Check Reeves, NMM Curator of Education:

Pre-tour Letter to Teachers
Lesson Plans for NMM Field Trip Visit
Pre-tour Fun and Fact Sheet
Post-tour Fun and Fact Sheet

Information about NMM Tours

Because there is such a high demand for visits during the months of April and May, please call early to make your reservation.

Tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance of the desired date.

General tours usually last from 60-90 minutes, although the length can be adjusted to fit your schedule. Shorter tours are conducted for very young groups.

For a quality experience, we recommend tour groups of no more than 25-30 individuals. The NMM can accommodate no more than 48 people at one time. If your group is larger than this, please plan to split the group in half and make alternate arrangements (call the NMM for ideas).

Schedule Your Tour

Call to schedule your tour:  (605) 677-5306.

Please be prepared to answer the following questions when you call:

  1. Requested visit date.
  2. Requested visit time.
  3. Approximate length of visit.
  4. Group leader's name.
  5. Name of group or school.
  6. Mailing address.
  7. Phone and best time to reach you at this number.
  8. Number of people.
  9. Age or grade level.
  10. Number of chaperones (1 adult required for every 10-12 students).
  11. What kind of group (history class, band, general music, first grade, etc.).
  12. What are your objectives for this visit?
  13. Describe any kind of advance preparation for this visit (recent study units, reading assignments, in-class presentations, etc.).
  14. In which tour option are you interested? Note: Special thematic tour requests require a minimum of one-month advance notice.

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

Phone:  605-677-5306

©National Music Museum, 1996-2014
Most recent update: March 1, 2014

The University of South Dakota
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