Taylor Swift: Shake It Off at the GRAMMY Museum with LA Kids
The opening of the new Taylor Swift Experience, combined with the presence of 'tweens in my world, made a vist to the GRAMMY Museum at LA Live an absolute imperative this past weekend. Luckily we're big fans of the GRAMMY Museum at Mommy Poppins; hey, any museum that keeps the whole family singing and dancing all the way through is worth the price of admission in my book. I've enjoyed recent exhibits aimed at the parental generation, like Ringo Starr: Peace and Love and California Dreamin'. And while I don't fit the demographic of the "Swifties," I was quite willing to suffer through a little Top 40s stuff to rack up a couple of Cool Mom points.
It turns out no suffering was required. I may have arrived in a cloud of toleration, but I left a total Taylor fan! (And it's not just because that tune Shake It Off will now never leave my head.)
The exhibit area at the GRAMMY Museum is on the second floor, next to the gift shop, while a standard, chronological tour through the music of recent generations - and its corresponding awards - starts on the fourth floor and works downward. This is worth mentioning only because if your kids, like the ones with me, are all about the Swift, then it's best to head straight for the second floor. There, visitors learn more about Taylor than anyone short of her mother could know. The tour starts with a color-changing dance floor set to the song that the gift shop workers will never, ever shake off if they live to 100. Visitors can then check out an array of her fabulous dresses and costumes (boy is that one tall, thin girl!) along with photos, videos, and memorabilia from her personal collection. The exhibit literally begins with images from the day she was born, hitting pretty much every birthday (or first day of school) since. And as a mom, I was increasingly struck by thoughts of "Look at that girl go!" She's a moving example of going for a dream and achieveing it, that's for sure.
Other interactive treats include sound mixing boards where kids can listen to Taylor's tracks and remix them to their taste, and a sound booth for singing and recording one's own version of We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together, to match Taylor's video. The Clive Davis Theater features a film about her career, compiling her astonishingly many GRAMMY acceptance speeches. And again, as a mother, I found myself choking up, thinking what a fine job someone did bringing up this talented, humble, gracious, hard-working girl. I confess, I had never thought too deeply about her before, and I certainly never realized what a serious musician she is, in an age when most pop stars don't play a note. I left with a new appreciation and respect for this young super star. In fact, I left liking her so much that I'll have to be careful not to open my mouth too much, or I might make her appear uncool by association. I am still a mom, after all.
We also took a spin through the other floors before leaving, because you can't hit the GRAMMY Museum without hitting the drums. I appreciate the many interactive permanent exhibits at the GRAMMY, for the subtle doses of music education that they slip in each time we visit. The older my son gets, the more he avoids the appearance of tolerance for my music, but will he or nill he, it slips in as he's pulling levers and pounding keyboards at LA's Mecca of Music.
GRAMMY Museum Hours & Prices:
Adults $12.95; Children (6-17) $10.95, (under 6) free