When I hear the word "museum," I imagine walking around reading little captions on the walls. I wasn't ready for what was waiting for me at the Grammy Museum in Downtown L.A.. The Grammy Museum is so much more than a museum; it engages your sight, hearing, and touch--a full multi-sensory experience.
My friend Marlena and I had been talking about visiting the museum for a while now, so once school got out, we headed over for some music education.
As we entered the lobby, we were greeted by Keith Moon's drum set and a friendly docent who shuttled us up the elevator to the fourth floor. From there, we entered "The Grammy Room" where Grammys from past decades are on display. Through the Grammy Room is a larger space where we saw memorabilia and artifacts, including Taylor Swift's boots, Pavarotti's suit, and John Lennon's penned lyrics.
My favorite thing on this level was a touch/listening station. With headphones on, you look down at a touch-screen with different genres of music floating across it. "Two Tone," "Third Stream," "Hard Bop"--you can touch whatever genre catches your fancy and it will start playing the music and show a description of the genre. Around the description is a cloud of other genres related to the one you chose. You can select another genre, and so on, which will send you on a musical journey that can take you from "Art Rock" to "Zydeco." Seeing how many musical genres exist in the world was an ear opening experience for me.
Down a level, we found a stage set up with two electric drum kits and guitars. Surrounding the stage are hand drums and two keyboards. I had a blast playing along to different types of music and discovering what all the guitar pedals do. The third floor also holds tons of costumes, from Michael Jackson, J.Lo (the infamous green Grammy dress), Cee-Lo, Barbara Streisand, and more. There are even a bunch of listening booths where you can practice your mixing and mastering skills. Don't miss the booth next to the Michael Jackson gloves, where you can listen to different Grammy performances as if they were coming through a gramophone, an old record player, a stereo record player, a cassette recorder, mp3 earbuds and surround sound 5.1. Of course, surround sound trounced them all.
On the second floor there's a gift shop, the current Bob Marley exhibit (running till October 2), and the Clive Davis Theater. Click here to see all the upcoming events at the Clive Davis Theater.
Tickets to the museum are regularly $12.95 for adults, but with a KCRW discount, it is $10. The museum is located at L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd. Photography is not allowed in the museum.
Have you been to the Grammy Museum? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!