Skip to main content
Smithsonian Institution castle
The above media is provided by YouTube (Privacy Policy, Terms of Service)

Music infuses every society the world over and is deeply rooted in our traditions. It invites us to dance and sing, unites communities, and can help rally a nation. It preserves memory, tells stories and is a powerful avenue of communication across diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives. Whether we are celebrating life’s triumphs or memorializing its tragedies, few things move us the way music can.

The Smithsonian Institution holds an incredibly diverse music-related collections; were they all assembled in one place, the Smithsonian would be the largest music museum in the world.

With unparalleled collections and scholarship, signature programs, exhibitions, education, and performing artist ensembles and networks, the institution is a leading destination for visitors who want to learn about and experience music to enrich their lives.

A dynamic new initiative, Smithsonian Music, is bringing together these rich resources from throughout the institution’s museums and research centers to provide unique musical opportunities and increase access to the nation’s collections. The Smithsonian works with more than 200 Affiliate museums around the country and is developing innovative partnerships with organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jazz Educators Network, the Grammy Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Now, more than ever, we are engaging people in all that America’s treasured institution has to offer in music, in person and online.

Smithsonian Music Volunteers