Bluegrass Classes



Let the Old Town School help you start playing a truly American style music.

The Old Town School is proud to be the home of the largest and most cohesive bluegrass program in the city. Our staff of incredible bluegrass musicians will take your playing to the next level!

Be sure to read the class descriptions to see the needed level of proficiency on your instrument of choice.

NEW CLASS! Bluegrassical Ensemble »

Flatpickers of Guitar, Mandolin, and Bass learn melodic lines and pieces from classical composers. From Bach to Bartok and beyond the class will learn the technique and timing of simple pieces using modern flatpicking and crosspicking techniques

Bluegrassical Ensemble »   Jon Wall »   

Free Bluegrass Jam »

For anyone who wants to pick and sing! On the last Sunday of the session Bassists, Fiddles, Mandolins, Flatpick Guitars, Bluegrass Banjos, and Bluegrass Ensemble students are invited to join an informal bluegrass jam with our faculty. It's free and open to prospective students, current students, former students, and anybody else who just wants to pick. All levels are welcome.

Free Bluegrass Jam »   

List of All Bluegrass Courses for Adults (25 found)

Introduction to the Banjo

Banjo  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Monday, Tuesday or Thursday with Jim Becker, Jonas Friddle or Matt Brown

For anyone attracted to the 5-string banjo but not sure which style to try first, this is for you!

21st Century Banjo Repertoire

Banjo  |  Group ClassAdvancedNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday with Matt Brown

Learn to play some of your favorite contemporary songs on the banjo!

Bluegrass Banjo 1

Banjo  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday or Thursday with Chris Walz or Dave Bragman

The first of five classes in the Bluegrass Banjo series that will take you through the techniques needed to play in a bluegrass style.

Bluegrass Banjo 1 Repertoire

Banjo  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Thursday with Chris Walz

Now you've got some chords, right hand rolls, and tunes under your fingers, Bluegrass Banjo 1 Repertoire will teach tunes that will strengthen your bluegrass skills.

Bluegrass Banjo 2

Banjo  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Thursday with Chris Walz

Pick up some advanced rolls and tunes, as well as rhythm and back-up playing.

Bluegrass Banjo 2 Repertoire

Banjo  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Ian Wilson with your contact information.

Bluegrass Banjo 3

Banjo  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Ian Wilson with your contact information.

Bluegrass Banjo 4 - Earl Scruggs

Banjo  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Ian Wilson with your contact information.

Bluegrass Banjo: Advanced Skills

Banjo  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

New Americana Ensemble

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $200 ($190 members)

Monday with Alton Smith

Hey Ho and all points in between

Bluegrass Ensemble

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $216 ($206 members)

Monday with Colby Maddox or John Huber

Bluegrassical Ensemble

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $200 ($190 members)

Monday with Jon Wall

Come unveil a fresh synthesis of bluegrass and classical music for fretted instruments.

Folk Songs: Carrying History Forward

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $200 ($190 members)

Thursday with Peggy Browning

A fun and rewarding ensemble class for all levels of player

Vintage Country Ensemble

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $200 ($190 members)

Wednesday with Gail Tyler or Paul Tyler

Fiddle 2 Repertoire

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday or Sunday with Paul Tyler, Colby Maddox or Jordan Wankoff

Fiddle 2 Repertoire is the next step to Fiddle 3. Practice correct bowing, scale knowledge, and other Fiddle 2 skills.

Flatpicking 1 - Rhythm

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday with Chris Walz

Get a grip on your pick and work your rhythm chops.

Flatpicking 2 - Technique

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday with Chris Walz

Let's get melodic

Flatpicking 3 - Repertoire

Guitar  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday with Chris Walz

Let's develop soloing skills

Bluegrass Guitar Repertoire

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Introduction to the Mandolin

Mandolin  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Mandolin 1

Mandolin  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Monday with Colby Maddox

Learn Mandolin fundamentals like left hand fretting, using a pick, and basic chords and melodies.

Mandolin 1 Repertoire

Mandolin  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday or Wednesday with Colby Maddox

Take Mandolin 1 Repertoire if you have experience with a stringed instrument and you are comfortable learning melodies by ear and with tablature.

Mandolin 2

Mandolin  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Tuesday with Colby Maddox

Take Mandolin 2 to learn more challenging tunes and songs from a variety of traditions by ear and with tablature.

Mandolin 2 Repertoire

Mandolin  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

Wednesday with Colby Maddox

Take Mandolin 2 Repertoire to polish your skills, learn more songs from a variety of traditions and begin learning how to arrange and improvise.

How to Write a Fiddle Tune

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $196 ($186 members)

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000