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23622
Tennessee

Signature City Nashville

Explore some of the musical highlights of Nashville, from Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame to the Grand Ole Opry, as you learn about the history of the “Nashville Sound.”
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Program No. 23622RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,849
Tennessee

Signature City Nashville

Explore some of the musical highlights of Nashville, from Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame to the Grand Ole Opry, as you learn about the history of the “Nashville Sound.”
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,849
Program No. 23622 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
1,849
Itinerary Note

Lodging for this departure will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center.

Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
1,849
Itinerary Note

Lodging for this departure will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center.

Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Starting at
1,849
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
1,849
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
1,999
May 8 - May 13, 2022
Starting at
2,059
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
2,059
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
2,059
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
2,059
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
2,579
Itinerary Note

Lodging for this departure will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center.

Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
2,579
Itinerary Note

Lodging for this departure will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center.

Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Starting at
2,579
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
2,579
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
2,749
May 8 - May 13, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
2,799

At a Glance

Nashville didn’t earn the nickname “Music City, U.S.A.” for nothing. All it takes is a stroll down Honky Tonk Row or a visit to the Grand Ole Opry to understand the impact this city has had on American music. Visit Studio B where Elvis mastered more than 200 songs. Stand in the wings where greats like Hank Williams and Louis Armstrong waited to go on stage. Learn about the musical contributions of black Americans, and see costumes and instruments used by some of country music’s greatest stars. Plus, you’ll have lots of free time to explore the many other facets of this iconic American city on your own.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 1.5-2 miles at moderate pace. Standing for on-site lectures on field trips. Frequent getting on/off coach. Stairs only in some historic buildings and homes.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Go backstage and on stage at the Grand Ole Opry and at Ryman Auditorium — the former home of the Opry — and see a live performance.
  • Step inside Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame to learn about the history of this utterly American genre.
  • Explore the National Museum of African American Music to learn more about the music created, influenced and inspired by African Americans.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Peggy Benton
Peggy has traveled extensively in the United States, Caribbean, and Eastern and Western Europe. She has been the owner, operator and USCG Licensed Captain of a 48' sailboat, chartered a yacht out of St. Thomas and Tortola and taught sailing and snorkeling. She has held leadership positions that include president of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, president of the St. Thomas-St. John Navy League and vice president of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas. She currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Peggy Benton
Peggy Benton View biography
Peggy has traveled extensively in the United States, Caribbean, and Eastern and Western Europe. She has been the owner, operator and USCG Licensed Captain of a 48' sailboat, chartered a yacht out of St. Thomas and Tortola and taught sailing and snorkeling. She has held leadership positions that include president of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, president of the St. Thomas-St. John Navy League and vice president of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas. She currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Profile Image of Terrie Dal Pozzo
Terrie Dal Pozzo View biography
Terrie was raised in New Orleans and moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands at the age of 18. She became the youngest woman in the Virgin Islands to obtain a Coast Guard license to operate motor and sailing vessels. Terrie skippered sailing vessels, taking guests on journeys through the Leeward Islands, teaching them to sail and snorkel and educating them on island life. She later lived in Kitzbuhel, Austria and Perth, Australia before returning to the Virgin Islands. She currently lives in eastern Tennessee.
Profile Image of Lisa Horngren
Lisa Horngren View biography
A lifelong fan of Johnny Cash, Lisa Horngren studied his records, biographies, articles regarding his life and career, and was a member of The Johnny Cash Fan Club. Closer musical ties began while playing and recording with Tommy Cash and Joanne Cash (Johnny’s brother and sister) as well as longtime members of Johnny Cash’s band with whom Lisa performed and toured. In addition to her strong ties to the early years of country music, Lisa plays basses, guitars, mandolin, banjo, autoharp, fiddle, and Swedish nyckelharpa.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Nashville Sound: An Illustrated Timeline
by Don Cusic
The Nashville Sound is a sound heard all around the world. It is not just the sound of country music; music from Nashville includes Big Band, rhythm and blues, gospel, Christian, jazz and classical. Nashville music goes back a long way and embraces artists and songs that have no borders. Music City U.S.A. isn't just a catchy slogan, it is an accurate description of the sounds of Nashville from Davy Crockett's fiddle to the Fisk Jubilee Singers to rock classics from Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers to the Nashville Sound of Jim Reeves and Eddy Arnold and beyond. The Nashville Sound is a rainbow of music. Nashville Sound: An Illustrated Timeline explores Nashville's rich history in music that encompasses not only country music but also gospel music, contemporary Christian music, rhythm and blues, rock n roll and classical music. Nashville is a musical gold mine and this book follows the development of music and the music industry in Nashville from the nineteenth century until today.
Nashville Songwriter: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits
by Jake Brown
Nashville Songwriter gives readers the first completely authorized collection of the true stories that inspired hits by the biggest multi-platinum country superstars of the last half century—recounted by the songwriters themselves. Award-winning music biographer Jake Brown gives readers an unprecedented, intimate glimpse inside the world of country music songwriting. Featuring exclusive commentary from country superstars and chapter-length interviews with today’s biggest hit-writers on Music Row.
The African-American History of Nashville, Tennessee, 1780-1930: Elites and Dilemmas (Black Community Studies)
by Bobby Lovett
Bobby L. Lovett presents a complex analysis of black experience in Nashville during the years between 1780 and 1930, exploring the impact of civil rights, education, politics, religion, business, and neighborhood development on a particular African-American community. This study of black Nashville examines lives lived within a web of shifting alliances and interests—the choices made, the difficulties overcome. Fifteen years in the making, illustrated with maps and photographs, this work is the first detailed study of any of Tennessee’s major urban black communities. Lovett here collects, organizes, and interprets a large, rich body of data, making this material newly accessible to all interested in the black urban experience.
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6 days
5 nights
9 meals
5 B 1 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Nashville, TN
D
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Walking approximately 1/2 mile roundtrip to/from dinner; less than 1/2 hour; flat terrain.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the conference room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously). Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a popular Nashville BBQ restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Field Trip
Nashville, TN
B,D
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 mile total throughout the day; periods of standing up to 1 hour at a time in museums; some inclines on roads in town. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 10 miles total; about 1.5 hours, with stops for field trips.

Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room.

Morning: Arriving by motorcoach, we will visit Studio B – originally RCA Studios – home of thousands of hits that helped to define the “Nashville Sound.” Chet Atkins was one of the originators and Elvis mastered more than 200 songs here. Our docent will share many of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of this unique space where so much history has been created using the pianos, mics, and accessories on site. We will continue our morning on the motorcoach with an introductory driving field trip through the heart of downtown Nashville. A local expert will provide enlightening and entertaining commentary as we ride, learning about colorful history, and seeing distinctive architecture. Highlights we will see include historic Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Honky Tonk Row, the original Ernest Tubb Record Shop, the Tennessee state capitol building, and more. As we drive through Music Row, we’ll hear about aspects of the recording industry from songwriting to record producers, famous recording studios, and the performance rights organizations ASCAP & BMI that monitor airplay of songs all over the world so the songwriters get paid. We’ll also learn about Tennessee’s rich history with a drive through Centennial Mall Park to see the world’s only exact-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Nashville’s Parthenon dates from 1897. We’ll conclude our drive at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Lunch: There are several restaurants that surround the Country Music Hall of Fame and are within easy walking. There are also some restaurants located within the CMHOF. We will have a list available for you and our group leader will be happy to assist you with a restaurant of your choice.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll enjoy time with educational audio devices for independent exploration of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a non-profit educational organization that includes the Taylor Swift Education Center, as well as permanent and rotating special exhibitions. There are stage costumes, instruments, photographs, and many artifacts highlighting the history of country music and musicians. Since 1961, the Country Music Association (CMA) has recognized performing artists and others who have made significant contributions to country music throughout their careers. The first inductees were Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams. There are now more than 100 who have been recognized with country music’s highest honor, each commemorated with a bronze plaque in the Hall of Fame Rotunda that includes Thomas Hart Benton’s iconic painting “The Sources of Country Music” — his final work. You can spend all afternoon in this museum, just listening to the music and viewing the exhibitions. We will be able to stay as long as we like and not be rushed with this independent self guided look at the Country Music Hall of Fame. If we are feeling the need for a break, the hotel is located just across the street.

Dinner: At a specially selected restaurant off Broadway, we’ll walk to dinner.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to walk back to the hotel with the group or stick around to enjoy more of Nashville’s nightlife.

DAY
3
Johnny Cash, Behind The Scenes Grand Ole Opry & Show
Nashville, TN
B
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 mile; about 1 hour; periods of standing; flat terrain. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 30 miles; about 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: In the conference room, we will hear from an expert about the life and times of “The Man in Black,” Johnny Cash. Afterwards, the remainder of the morning will be free for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Rendezvousing at an appointed time at the hotel, we’ll travel via motorcoach to the Grand Ole Opry House for a look backstage and behind the scenes led by a knowledgeable historian. Through expert commentary, we’ll learn about the history of the Opry and hear stories featuring the country music greats of past and present. We will also get to go onstage for a first-hand look at the tiered auditorium from the performers’ perspective, see backstage including the artists’ entrance, and stroll the halls filled with memorabilia.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: After dinner, we'll walk across the street for a performance of the Grand Ole Opry, one of America’s great live music shows. It began as a radio broadcast in 1925 and became a national phenomenon. Generations of singers, players, and comedians have performed here forging country music's legacy, just as a new generation of performers in country, bluegrass, comedy, gospel and more are moving it on. We have prime seats in the Gold Circle Section of the hall. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. When confirmed, the information will be posted on the Road Scholar website under this program number and will also be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
4
Ryman Auditorium, African American Music Museum, Free Time
Nashville, TN
B
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles total throughout the day; periods of standing up to 1 hour at a time at each location.

Breakfast: At hotel.

Morning: We'll start the morning off with a walk to the Ryman Auditorium where we will go on an expert-led field trip. It began in 1892 as a gospel tabernacle, then a showcase for attractions from John Philip Sousa to Teddy Roosevelt to Mae West. When the Grand Ole Opry landed in 1943, the Ryman became the tabernacle of country music, featuring everyone from Roy Acuff to Hank Williams. After the Opry moved, everything went dark and for a time it looked as if the Ryman might even be demolished. But it was saved by community spirit, completely renovated, and again hosts some of the biggest acts in show business. A docent will lead our exploration through dressing rooms decorated with vintage photos and memorabilia of those who have performed here depending on availability. lights. Leaving the auditorium and walking across the street, we will make our way to the National Museum of African American Music where we will enjoy a self-directed exploration through Nashville’s newest cultural institution. It is dedicated to preserving the legacy and celebrating the accomplishments of the many music genres that have been created, influenced, or inspired by African Americans. The exhibition galleries — integrating history and interactive technology — follow the “Rivers of Rhythm Pathway” to tell the story African Americans have played in creating what we call the American soundtrack that connects the people and music of our nation. As we walk, we will listen to the evolution of the sounds and learn about the legacy of these great artists.

Lunch: On your own to sample more of the regional fare.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to explore local honky tonks and other downtown Nashville venues. The Group Leader will be happy to offer a list of suggestions.

DAY
5
Belle Meade Plantation, Wine Tasting, Free Time
Nashville, TN
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 mile; about 1.5 hours at Belle Meade; some uneven terrain. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 10 miles roundtrip; about 1 hour.

Breakfast: At hotel.

Morning: Traveling by motorcoach, we’ll make our way to Belle Meade Plantation, a living vestige of a bygone era, for an expert-led field trip. The original Harding family farm began in the early 1800s and developed over several decades. The mansion we see today, built in Greek Revival style, was commissioned in 1845. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces fought in the front yard. A docent will lead our exploration around the grounds before facilitating a tasting of delicious wines on site.

Lunch: In the 1800s Carriage House of the Belle Meade Plantation.

Afternoon: We will then travel back to the hotel via motorcoach. The remainder of the afternoon will be free.

Dinner: At hotel. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Nashville, TN
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: At hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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