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

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 (30 found)

Introduction to the Banjo

Banjo  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday or Thursday with 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!

Bluegrass Banjo 1

Banjo  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Chris Walz

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  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Dave Bragman

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  ·  $184 ($174 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  ·  $184 ($174 members)

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

Bluegrass Banjo 3

Banjo  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Dave Bragman

Put all the pieces together - the right hand rolls and changing them inside of one measure, back up and fill in licks, and vamping positions with chops and rolls.

Bluegrass Banjo 4 - Earl Scruggs

Banjo  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Chris Walz

Earl Scruggs was the father of Bluegrass Banjo and this class will study the tunes from the album “Foggy Mountain Banjo”.

Bluegrass Banjo Mini-Camp: Beginner/Intermediate

Banjo  |  WorkshopBeginnerNew!

210 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $80 ($76 members)

Sunday with Bill Evans or Alan Munde

CALLING ALL BLUEGRASS BANJO PLAYERS: Join legendary players and teachers Alan Munde and Bill Evans as they teach two 75-minute workshops and lead a jam and final Q&A with all students before their evening concert. You don't want to miss this!

Bluegrass Banjo Mini-Camp: Intermediate/Advanced

Banjo  |  WorkshopIntermediateNew!

210 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $80 ($76 members)

Sunday with Bill Evans or Alan Munde

CALLING ALL BLUEGRASS BANJO PLAYERS: Join legendary players and teachers Alan Munde and Bill Evans as they teach two 75-minute workshops and lead a jam and final Q&A with all students before their evening concert. You don't want to miss this!

Bluegrass Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo

Banjo  |  Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Bluegrass Ensemble 1

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday with Keith Baumann or John Huber

Learn the basics of playing and singing for bluegrass.

Bluegrass Ensemble 2

Ensemble  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday with Colby Maddox or John Huber

Work on advanced skills in playing rhythm behind instrument solos and vocals.

Johnny Cash's List Ensemble

Ensemble  |  Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Tuesday with Bob Goins or Ed Holstein

Get on board and learn 100 songs in the next 4 sessions

Songs From The Holler

Ensemble  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Peggy Browning

From North Carolina to Kentucky, we'll study some of the tunes and pickers from the Appalachian region.

Fiddle 2 Repertoire

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday or Thursday with Colby Maddox or Steve Rosen

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

Bluegrass Fiddle

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

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

Chop, Pad and Shuffle For Fiddle & Mandolin

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Colby Maddox

This class is for mandolinists or fiddlers who would like to discover the world of rhythm that their instrument offers.

Four-Stringed Improvisation - Fiddle and Mandolin

Fiddle & Cello  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

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

Bluegrass Guitar Rhythm and Song

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Chris Walz

This class will cover the correct pick grip, pick control, bass runs, and Bluegrass rhythm licks.

Introduction to Flatpicking

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

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

Flatpicking Repertoire

Guitar  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Chris Walz

Build up your flatpick skills with advanced fiddle tunes, and learn note for note solos by some of the bluegrass greats.

Bluegrass Guitar 1

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with John Huber

You will expand your understanding of how the guitar fits in this genre concentrating on both rhythm & lead.

Bluegrass Guitar 2

Guitar  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

This class rotates with Bluegrass Guitar 1. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Bluegrass Guitar 3

Guitar  |  Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with John Huber

Build your songbag with this on-going class

Mandolin 1

Mandolin  |  Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Keith Baumann

Get started on the Mandolin with 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  ·  $184 ($174 members)

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  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday 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  ·  $184 ($174 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

Songwriting  |  Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Matt Brown

Want to write a fiddle tune? Let's figure out how it's done! (Not just for fiddlers)

Ole-Time Gospel

Voice  |  Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Sunday with Rita Ruby

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