Ensemble Classes



There is no “I” in band.

The best way to become a better player is to play with others. The ensemble class gives you opportunities to play with other people on a regular basis in a comfortable setting where folks can listen to and learn from each other.

To get the most out of the class, you'll need to be able to play your instrument at an intermediate level. For folks who have taken our core guitar programs - you'll fit right in most ensembles once you've taken Guitar 3. After that, the sky is the limit.

Drummers are encouraged to bring their own cymbals and snare. Vocalists are encouraged to bring their own microphone and microphone stand. Electric guitar players are to bring a small, 10 Watt practice amp. Banjo players are encouraged to bring tuners.

Many ensemble classes conclude with a public performance either in the confines of the School or at a local venue. Check out the different ensemble genres on the right of the page.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble »

We're bringing the Cotton Club to Lincoln Ave. and it's going down on Tuesday nights. If you used to play in high school or college jazz ensemble, you'll fit right in. There's plenty of opportunity to improve your jazz improvisation and play with like-minded participants. Open to intermediate and advanced players who can read music.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble »   Jack Cassidy »   

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »

A new night and a new time. Gypsy Jazz Ensemble returns!
Sometimes called the Hot Club of Lincoln Square this vibrant ensemble will afford players a chance to really stretch out and share ideas with fellow jammers. Led by multi-instrumentalist Michael O'Toole, we invite guitarists, horn players, reeds, violinists, and more to produce some HOT gypsy jazz.
Mondays at 8:00PM.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »   Michael O'Toole »   

Live Double Album Ensemble »

Work on live performances from some of the most celebrated artists in popular music. We will spend the next 2 sessions on "Rock of Ages" by the Band. Presented in all it's splendor by Steve Levitt. Mondays at 6:30 PM

Steve Levitt »   Live Double Album Ensemble »   Rock of Ages »    »   

The '60s Classics Ensemble »

Get on board for a mind-blowing journey through a musical decade that remains a major influence on popular culture. Bring your Fender, your farfisa, your green tambourine, your mini skirt or love beads. The party ain't over 'til it's over. You want Kinks, Temptations, Satisfaction or maybe the Singing Nun? The possibilities are endless. Classes are held Wednesdays at noon or late Saturday morning after cereal and cartoons. Taught by the Human Jukebox: Steve Levitt.

‘60s Classics Ensemble »   Steve Levitt »   Billboard's Top Hits of the '60s »   

Godfathers of Funk and R&B »

Every session we learn and perform the music of seminal figures in the R&B genre. For session 5 we are concentrating on the main man of Motown William "Smokey" Robinson.. We will learn pop hits and deep cuts from this masterful songwriter and performer. Wednesdays at 8PM

Godfathers of Funk & R&B »   John Mead »   Smokey's website »   

Classic Album Ensemble: Paranoid by Black Sabbath »

Spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon learning to play the music on a classic album. Each session we approach a specific offering from the pop/rock genre. For Session 5, we are covering Paranoid. Join us to learn and play this classic album. Saturdays at 1:00 PM.

Classic Album Ensemble »   Charles Kim »   Paranoid »   

List of All Ensemble Classes (61 found)

Community Folk Orchestra

Group ClassOpen to AllNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $23 ($21.75 members)

Wednesday with Bau Graves

It's more immersive than a jam session, but less demanding than the CSO. Join the band. Drop in the week its convenient.

‘80s Alternative Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with John Mead or Andrea Bunch

Explore music that wasn't on MTV.

‘60s Classics Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday or Saturday with Steve Levitt

You call the tune; we'll learn the tune.

Daytime Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Friday with Steve Levitt

A splendid time is guaranteed for all
Session 5: “Please Please Me”
Session 6 “Meet The Beatles”

Prince Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Thursday with John Mead

This class is gonna party like it's 2099.

Tom Waits Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Monday with Alton Smith

We spending 2 sessions on Waits' remarkable songbook

Live Double Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Steve Levitt

Session 5 & 6: Rock of Ages by The Band

AC/DC Songbook

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 4 weeks  ·  $92 ($87 members)

Acoustic Eagles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Monday with Scott Besaw

You can check in anytime you like

All Originals Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Charles Kim

Play and arrange originals in a band setting.

Americana Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Skip Landt

This class emphasizes American popular music of the 1920s and 1930s but includes songs from the folk revival and beyond.

Art Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Bob Goins or Tommi Zender

“There's a new sensation a fabulous creation a danceable solution to teenage revolution.”

Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Steve Levitt

Having been some days in preparation a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
Session 5 “Please Please Me”
Session 6 “Meet The Beatles”

Beatles for Beginners

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Charles Kim

The music of the Fab Four simplified for those who have only played a short while.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Jack Cassidy

Think the Cotton Club comes to Lincoln Square.

Bluegrass Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Monday with Colby Maddox or John Huber

Blues Band - Live!

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $198 ($188 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Steve Hutchins

Form a blues band, rehearse, and perform in an authentic blues club.

Bob Dylan Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Saturday with Jimmy Tomasello

There's alway lots to discover when working with Bob Dylan's music.
Session 5: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Highway 61 Revisited

Boston Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Tuesday with Dan Fulkerson

“Don't Look Back”, “More Than A Feeling”, “Peace of Mind” and many more.

Brass Class: Holiday Cheer!

Group ClassIntermediate

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 4 weeks  ·  $72 ($62 members)

Monday with Evan Jacobson or Anna Jacobson

Celebrating Tradition

Group ClassOpen to All

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

Monday with Maura Lally or Peggy Browning

Make music together, creating your own arrangements while playing and singing folk music in the tradition of Frank Hamilton & Win Stracke, our School's founders.

Classic Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Saturday with Charles Kim

Learn an entire album. Session 5: Black Sabbath Paranoid

Concept-Soundtrack Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Steve Levitt

Session 5: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac a concept indeed…

Early Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Paul Tyler

Immerse yourself in real country music and join with other pickers and singers to make a band.

Modern Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Come explore your inner twang.

Decemberists Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Andrea Bunch

Discover the rich harmonies and textures of this wonderful group.

Tin Pan Alley Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Bau Graves

If your tastes run to schmaltzy waltzes and novelty numbers, this is the class for you!

Folk Songs: Carrying History Forward

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Thursday with Peggy Browning

A fun and rewarding ensemble class for all levels of player

Folk-Rock Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Wednesday with Tommi Zender

Work on licks, harmonies, arrangements and more.

Glam Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $194 ($184 members)

Saturday with Bob Goins or Jane Hanna

Come celebrate or be introduced to a host of characters, the Metal Guru, a Diamond Dog, and many more.

Godfathers of Funk & R&B

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with John Mead

Session 5 Smokey Robinson Session 6 Sam Cooke

Grateful Dead Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Steve Levitt

Our motto is “Don't tread on me.” Come join Uncle Steve's band.

Grunge Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Sunday with Shelley Miller

yeah yeah whatever

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Michael O'Toole

Come join the Hot Club of Lincoln Square.

Introduction to Bluegrass Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Monday with Keith Baumann or John Huber

Irish Session Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

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

Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday or Thursday with David Jennings or Jack Cassidy

You've learned the chops and charts and now it's time to play with others.

Advanced Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Thursday with Jack Cassidy

This ensemble is geared towards heavy hitters in the jazz idiom

Latin Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Sunday with Manny Bances

Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz performance will inform your jazz study.

Johnny Cash Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Bob Goins or Ed Holstein

Prison, trains love, death and much more

Jug Band Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Jonas Friddle

With roots in the blues, jazz and ragtime, jug band music includes some of the happiest songs you'll ever play.

Klezmer Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Stuart Rosenberg

Celebrate the expressive melodies of this Eastern European music of Jewish descent.

Latin Grooves and Roots Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Sunday with Manny Bances

Add some spicy flavorings to whatever style you play: Jamming with Latin Roots music and contemporary funky fusions.

Muppets Music Part 2

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 4 weeks  ·  $92 ($87 members)

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

Near Eastern Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Ronnie Malley or Alex Farha

Neil Young Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Cathy Norden or Tom Ryan

Celebrating the Icon of Folk and the Godfather of Punk.
Session 5 Buffalo Springfield Session 6 CSNY

New Lost City Ramblers Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Matt Brown

Celebrate the musicianship, scholarship, and corny jokes of the legendary old-time string band that influenced Ry Cooder, Chris Darrow, and Jerry Garcia.

New Orleans Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Jon Spiegel

From Ragtime to the Radiators and all flavors in between.

Old Time Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday or Saturday with Paul Tyler, Steve Rosen or Jim Becker

Play in an Old Time string band with fellow students. You'll learn new tunes, and brush up some traditional favorites.

Old-Time Revival Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Jonas Friddle or Anna Jacobson

The beautiful sounds of traditional American music are being revived and reinvented by contemporary bands. Come play the songs!

Phish Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Jon Wall

You asked for jam band - we've got “the” jam band ensemble.

Poets of Pop Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Bill Brickey

We're paying attention to both lyrics and groove.

Pop Divas Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Sunday with John Mead or Andrea Bunch

A room full of stars. Join the constellation.

Reggae Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Gregg Ostrom

Come get you some ska, rocksteady, roots reggae, and dancehall from the great nation of Jamaica.

Rock Instrumentals Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Gregg Ostrom

Sleepwalk, Wipeout and lots more.

Rockabilly Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Join this rootsy band comprised of a combination of R&B mixed with country influences.

Rolling Stones Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Jimmy Tomasello or John Mead

Session 5: Sticky Fingers and more

Soul Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Alton Smith or Bill Brickey

Join one of the longest running ensembles at the school.

Women's Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Andrea Bunch

Come together to celebrate popular music by women from all eras.

Women's Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Saturday with Shelley Miller

Rockin' music for women by women.

Black Keys Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Dan Fulkerson

Explore the rich blues rock repertoire of this acclaimed duo from Ohio.

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