The Grammy Museum Experience is an interactive, experiential museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards which opened at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on October 20, 2017.
Here’s your chance to experience music and the GRAMMYs like never before! Get a closer look at GRAMMY history, including the trophy design & past winners, and even iconic artifacts like wardrobe & instruments. You’ll even be able to pick up an instrument or two to see if you have what it takes to be a winner! (Be sure to stick around for the video at the end of this post!)
The GRAMMY Museum first opened in Los Angeles, CA in 2008. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the history and significance of music. The music education aspect of Newark’s GRAMMY Museum Experience is clearly evident with interactive displays, Roland instruments scattered throughout the exhibit, and even a one-on-one lesson with Max Weinberg, the legendary drummer of the E Street Band!
Although the museum space is compact, every wall is used to provide something unique and educational. One of the first displays is a brief timeline of GRAMMY Awards trophies and their designs. Each era is represented with a trophy encased with a placard.
It was amazing to see how the design has changed throughout the 59 years of the GRAMMYs. And you’ll get to see how performances also have evolved, thanks to the great resources in this museum – try one of their many stations to listen & watch performances from over the years. Maybe you’ll even find your favorite artist or band featured on the walls! I did!
One of the great ways you can learn is with hands-on lessons. There are a number of ways to do this in the GRAMMY Museum… Step right up and sing along with Ray Charles & The Raelettes:
Or rock out with a few friends on the Roland Live stage! Playable instruments like drums, keyboards, electric guitar, turntables, keytar, etc.
I took the liberty of trying each instrument myself:
A section I particularly enjoyed was the “New Jersey Legends” showcase. Jon Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, the Jersey Boys, Whitney Houston… These are just some of the artists who started their careers in the Garden State.
As you can see, there’s a lot of wardrobe and memorabilia on display but, as a musician myself, I was particularly fond of the instruments. If that’s you too, then you’ll love the upright piano used by fun. at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards and the Prince tribute drum set used by Bruno Mars at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards:
Everything is displayed so stunningly that you’ll realize that I can only include so much on this post. But something I must include before I wrap up is the art.
While there are many photographs and quotes posted all around the museum, some of the most beautiful GRAMMY themed art is on display. First, be sure to check out decades worth of GRAMMY art posters:
It’s just so incredible to see the transformation of style and expression throughout the 59 years of the GRAMMYs thus far…
Then we have a very special display of the “Making of a GRAMMY”, featuring a video explaining the process as well as a “dissected” GRAMMY trophy:
Next, there’s this giant GRAMMY Award by artist Laurence Gartel. Using his distinctive psychedelic technique combining vinyl, glitter, and prismatic materials, Gartel’s work is sure to catch your eye!
And finally, I consider this to be the centerpiece of the entire GRAMMY Museum because it is front & center at the entrance. Seen from outside and in, this white GRAMMY is on display with alternating colored lights. Personally, I think it’s an iconic symbol representing the blank canvas on which all musicians can paint using various styles and genres. A wonderful piece to see both on your way in and out!
So no need to wait for the Annual GRAMMY Awards every January/February. Swing by the GRAMMY Museum Experience at Prudential Center. It’s chock-full of information and is an entertaining visit through and through!
For more information, visit www.grammymuseumexp.org.