From Nothing to Something: Cigar Box Guitars

(In School)

National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM)

Provider Type
Program Type
Audience / Populations
Integrated Curriculum
History / Social Studies

Program Scheduling Details

Max # of Participants
1 Full Classroom (Appox. 30 Students)
Program Duration
45-50 minutes
Space Requirements
space where music and sound won’t disturb others
Tech Requirements
a long table near electrical outlet with 2 chairs
During School Hours
During the School Year
Contact for Details
Future fees negotiable, pending grant funding
Special Considerations
advanced collaboration required; please contact
Scheduling / Booking Contact
Kim Johnson
(615) 301-8724
Program Activities / Description
“From Nothing to Something (FN2S): Cigar Box Guitars” is a 50 minute program consisting of a featured artist who demonstrates the art of playing and making cigar box guitars. This artist will come into your classroom or location to present the music history, techniques, and other interesting stories/facts behind the instrument to your audience. The overall FN2S experience is designed to educate children and adults about how a group of people from different cultures created instruments from memories and limited resources. A century ago, Cigar Box Guitars were literally thrown away by people and discarded, but someone decided to create something wonderful out of them – music! Participants will be given a free cigar box and instructions to take home to make their own guitar. Also, participants will learn how these instruments have influenced the historical development of music genres such as Blues and Country to create America’s music. PRESENTATION DELIVERY: Each 50 minute program is conducted by a Museum Educator and featured artist. A basic program is as follows: - 10 minutes on history of the instrument and genres by Educator - 10 minutes of 2 song performances by presenter - 15 minutes of presenter explaining details & demonstrating techniques - 15 minutes of children either using their own instruments and/or having time to join with the presenter & use the instrument; asking questions - 10 minutes of wrap-up & evaluation