National Music Museum

National Music Museum, Vermillion: Address, Phone Number, National Music Museum Reviews: 5/5

National Music Museum
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NOTE: The National Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota, is preparing for extensive architectural expansion and renovation and is now CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. Reopening is slated for 2021. Stay tuned! "One of the largest and most important collections of historic instruments in the world." -- New York Times
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
123 reviews
Excellent
109
Very good
14
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Linda F
Vail, CO230 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
I spent 30 minutes trying to find a "legal" slot, only to be told at the museum front desk that they fill out a parking tag that you hang on your mirror. Park in a non-meter space in lot by the museum, go in, get the tag and place in car. Then spend at least a couple hours enjoying all the fascinating instruments. NMM recently acquired one of Elvis' guitars. They have many other instruments that were owned by the "real" kings of Europe. The provenance is given on most
instruments, and the labels provide wonderful, concise detail. Highly educational!
This museum was established after I graduated from the University, and this was my first
visit. Shame on me for waiting so long to see this treasure!
Written August 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sue D
Minneapolis, MN75 contributions
Apr 2016 • Friends
We had a rainy day so headed for the Music Museum. Even if you aren't a music expert, you will find this museum interesting. The extent of the collection is remarkable. Don't miss the room with instruments from more modern day favorites. It is tucked behind one of the other rooms on second floor but there is no door from the hallway. You will want several hours at the museum and will want to come back again.
Written April 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

writewpman
7 contributions
Nov 2014 • Friends
I've been to the Louvre, Musee D'Orsey, museums throughout Europe, USA, etc... and this one ranks right up there with the best of the best!
Do not pass on visiting and plan on 2-3 hours at a minimum! Breathtaking and jaw-dropping assortment of instruments including iPod and app to provide listening and viewing the actual instruments being played!
Written November 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stacie C
Athens, Georgia, United States34 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
My husband and I are both professional musicians and expected to breeze through this little museum in an hour or two. After four hours, we finally had to give up and go get something to eat. What a wonderful museum! The exhibits are very carefully and thoughtfully laid out, and the variety is mind-boggling.

The highlight for us was the wonderful self-guided tour using ipods. We got to stand one foot from a Stradivarius and listen to audio of that same instrument being played. What an absolute treat! The ipod tour is one of the best I've ever encountered. And, where else in our great country can you see in person a full gamelan? Better yet, we happened to be there for the gamelan group's weekly rehearsal, and had the pleasure of sitting in on it! And, just down the hall, is one of the largest and most varied harmonica displays we've ever seen.

It is our understanding that the museum is preparing for a major expansion. We plan not only to make a donation but we want to come back in a few years to see the changes. As a singer, I do hope that space will be dedicated to the vocal arts, both solo and choral. I would love to see displays about the history of vocal and choral music in the U.S., along with bios and samples from various soloists, choral groups, and choral conductors. A display on the history of sheet music publishing would be great, too. But, even without those additions, this is a wonderful museum and definitely worth the visit. If we lived nearby, we would certainly come often for the programs offered.
Written October 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Airboss1956
Sioux Falls, SD21 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
On October 4th, my wife and I decided to stop in, since we have driven past the signs on I-29 many times.

When we finally found it, we went in. Thought the $10/person charge was a little high, but paid it anyway. The reason this only got a 4 rating was the lady running the desk. My wife asked where should we start, her reply was "Anywhere".

We start wandering through the Concert Hall. Ok. Very quiet, instruments to see...lots of little information cards to read. Kind of underwhelming.

Go into the room with all the guitars. Ok...interesting. Then my wife noticed a little card indicating there was an audio explanation. She went back to the desk and asked the lady at the counter. She said yes...and it is included in the price of admission. They were little iPods, and made what I thought was going to end up being a 15 minute visit into a 2 hour visit. I saw another couple about an hour later wandering through...looking under whelemd, and mentioned it to them. They too said it was not mentioned.

I hope they train the help. This "gem" is well worth your time...and cost...if you get the audio tour.
Written October 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Witoldzio
Manhattan, KS587 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
The museum is a combination of flea-market treasures, a personal amateur collection, and an assortment of musical treasures that normally wold belong to the Louvre or the National Gallery in London.
The ambiance is very informal, which greatly adds to the attraction. There is a problem with space, they would do well with a much bigger building. But then, who knows, maybe the ambiance would disappear.
There is a such a great variety of instruments on display that you would do well with two separate visits. Fridays, by the way, are free. I was lucky with the parking, just parked in an unmarked parking space. I guess it WAS the designated museum visitors parking.
We also got some free gifts from the staff. I have fully enjoyed the day. The only problem was contacting the museum over email, for some reason the person who answers always sounds rude and unwelcoming.
Written May 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rcftommay
Battle Ground, WA97 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
This museum has guitars played by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash-wow! Also, the themed rooms reflecting instruments from different time periods were extremely interesting and well thought out.
We compared this to the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, which costs twice as much, and it is exponentially a better value and better museum. This is a "don't miss" if you are in the area and interested in music.
Written April 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Josie P
Ankeny, IA78 contributions
Jun 2017
Tucked in on the University of South Dakota Vermillion campus this collection of musical instruments can't be topped. Check their web site for prices and hours. Also bring quarters to feed the parking meter - or park on the street and walk. Musical instruments from all eras and continents are represented. An audio/ headphone accompaniment is offered when you check in- take it so you can hear the samples of the instruments being played as well as interesting facts about the history and modifications, if there were any.
Written June 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olaf S
89 contributions
Nov 2016 • Business
As a USD grad, I stopped by my Alma Mater to find the old library from 50 years ago was now a remarkable National Music museum with artifacts from around the world.
The world's oldest cello in remarkable shape with delicate artwork all over. Johnny Cash's home guitar that was his favorite, along with those of Bob Dylan and many famous stars. Rooms upon rooms full of guitars, pianos, harpsichords, winds, horns, organs and instruments you've never seen before. An excellent audio guide with several sections narrated by USD alumnus Tom Brokaw.
Written November 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MTrover
Bozeman, MT9 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
My husband and I were thoroughly surprised and engrossed by the amazing amount and variety of instruments from around the world. The audio tour was an additional bonus that included samples of music played by the instruments on view.
Written November 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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