There is a building on the campus of the University of South Dakota that holds many treasures. This building is the National Music Museum.  The National Music Museum showcases over 1,000 instruments. Upon entering the museum, be sure to pick up a multi- media device that will enable you to hear the sound that the instruments make and provide you with verbal presentations along with videos on how the instruments are play.  Also, at the information desk is a “treasure hunt” for the children as they go through the University of South Dakota Museum. Melissa loved finding the things in this booklet and sharing the information with all of us.

The University of South Dakota National Museum contains a self-guided tour.

We spent over 3 hours listening, learning, and looking at all different types of instruments from all over the world. (A note to the Full Time RV Mom’s – This is a great Roadschooling adventure. Check out the National Music Museum web page. Look under “FAQ” tab for the “school tours” tab. Click on this tab and you will find Pre and Post worksheets to use with your visit.) The staff was very polite and the museum is very kid/family friendly. Admission to the University of South Dakota museum is FREE for children/students and $10.00 per adult. However, on Fridays admission is free for everyone.

Enter here to discover one treasure after another.

Chest Organ at University of South Dakota
This gem is a Chest Organ. It takes two people to play it by pulling on the strings.
University of South Dakota contains Antonio Stradivari's violin and guitar.
On the left, “The Harrison” Violin made by Antonio Stradivari dated 1693. On the right, “The Rawlins” Guitar made by Antonio Stradivari dated 1700. There are only 4 Stradivari Guitars known to exist today. This museum contains one of them.
University of South Dakota contains an Armonica.

This is a Glass Armonica made in France around 1785.

The Armonica was actually invented by Benjamin Franklin because he attended a concert where someone was playing glass bowls and he thought there had to be an easier way to display the bowls while they were being play. Franklin had a glassblower make him 36 bowl which increased in size all with a hole in the center. He placed them in a row with an iron spindle through the center. The iron spindle was rotated with a foot pedal like an old fashion sewing machine. This Glass Armonica had a crank handle on the side instead of a foot pedal. The player of the Armonica would touch his finger in water, which was stored in a swallow well in front of the bowls, and rotate the spindle. It would make a delightful ringing sound.
If you love musical instruments there is a hidden treasure that you should not miss in South Dakota.Click To Tweet
University of South Dakota museum
Barrel Cello
University of South Dakota has hidden treasure
Instrument played by the Korn Kobblers in 1938 – 1954. The spittoon in the right-hand corner has a treasure hidden inside. When you visit the museum find out what special sound it made.
Discover a treasure at the University of South Dakota
This instrument has a story to tell. To uncover the story, take a trip to the University of South Dakota National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD.

Melissa and I could have stayed longer at this great treasure hidden in the southeast corner of South Dakota but everyone else was ready to leave, so, we all left on a good note.


First Published July 26, 2011



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