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The Guitars! iPod Touch Experience

by Dolly Hayde, Eiteljorg Visitor Experience Fellow | Apr 29, 2013

Here at the Eiteljorg, we care deeply about “Telling Amazing Stories,” but like anybody, we learn a lot of what we know through listening to you. As an Eiteljorg Visitor Experience Fellow, I get to read comment cards given to us by our visitors. My role is to analyze feedback from specific exhibits and programs.

Right now, I’m working on analyzing the Guitars! Roundups to Rockers iPod experience! When our visitors tour Guitars! they have the opportunity to listen to nearly three hours of extra guitars content, like guitar technique demonstrations and historic recordings on iPod Touch devices.  I give visitors a map of the exhibit and ask them to draw their paths. Next, I have them talk a little about how using a playlist shaped their time in the gallery. I also ask them which tracks they enjoyed most, and why.  I have never had more fun with an interview question. Here’s a look at the many names that come up:

The thing about music is that it acts as a direct line to emotions and memories - the territory of most really good stories. By talking to visitors during this evaluation, I’ve learned that it’s not just “Purple Haze;” for some, it’s a rich memory of what it was like to be at Woodstock.  As someone who doesn’t play guitar, I’ve been painstakingly given a whole new appreciation for the inspirational qualities of “Eruption.” I have had the peculiar joy of watching a 12-year-old guitarist’s face light up when talking about playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” 

As you might expect, most people tell me about their favorite songs and artists. I really like hearing visitors talk about what they know and love, but the most exciting stories are the ones about discovery. Musicians in awe of hearing a harp guitar for the first time and fans intrigued by the sounds of new Western heroes remind me of the power listening has to explain, confirm, and inspire.

You might wonder what we do with your feedback. Here’s the short answer: Our staff members collect and organize them, then pass individual answers on to particular departments as needed. Your input can explain issues, confirm needs, and inspire new offerings. Simply put, it helps us understand how to improve our own storytelling.

So, which track from the iPod playlist did you like best, and why? Leave a comment here or, better yet, come tell us in person. We look forward to hearing your stories.


Dolly Hayde
Eiteljorg Visitor Experience Fellow


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