Musicianship Curriculum



Go beyond the basics and learn the nuts and bolts of music.

A series of classes for players at our Guitar 2 Repertoire level or above who want to solidify their musical skills and take their playing to the next level. We suggest starting with Guitar Fingerboard Theory. Trust us, spend a year or more going through these classes and you'll come out a new player.

If you play already, we offer many opportunities to get better, play with others, and create your own music.
Click to download a schedule listing of classes, days, and teachers.

The path you take is up to you but feel free to write our program manager Jimmy Tomasello at jtomasello@oldtownschool.org or call 773.751.3371.

Guitar Fingerboard Theory a MUST! »

A highly recommended class for all students of the guitar. Examine the fundamentals of music theory from the perspective of the guitarist. Let our skilled instructors share insights into building scales and chords and finding ways to move up the neck of your instrument. Open to students at the Guitar 2 level and above.
Available Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:30 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM, and Mondays and Fridays at noon.

Guitar Fingerboard Theory »   

Guitar Study Hall & Placement Center »

Mondays at 5:30 PM or Wednesdays at 5:30 PM

Don't know which level to enroll in? Bring questions about your skill level or any items on the guitar that you are being challenged by. Available to current students, former students or future students, our resident guitar sherpa, Steve Levitt is there to help you on your journey. Find him Mondays at 5:30 PM in the West building in room B7 aka "The Levittorium." On Wednesdays at 5:30 PM, the wisdom flows in the East building in room E229.

Steve Levitt »   

Play It By Ear »

It's not magic but applied science. Mozart claimed that he tell the effect of every note he wrote. You can learn to hear chord changes, anticipate melodies and recognize sequences. Jon Spiegel is a brilliant musician who has played in orchestra pits, concert halls, niteclubs and festivals in Chicago and across the country. Get the inside story from an inside artist.We meet on Thursdays at 7PM.

Jon Spiegel »   Play It By Ear »    »   

Building Chord Vocabulary »

Learn to talk the talk and walk the walk by increasing your chord vocabulary. Sure you can respond immediately to major and minor chords but what do you do when an Ebm7b5 pops up in a tune? Do you stop playing open up an app and look it up? This class will help develop a deeper understanding of chords, substitutions, color tones, augmentations and more. all this and the songs to play them with.

Steve Hutchins »   Building Chord Vocabulary: Beyond Bar Chords »   Building Chord Vocabulary: 7ths and Extended Triads »   

List of All Guitar Specialty Classes (57 found)

Essential Apps for Musicians

Group ClassOpen to All

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $147 ($137 members)

Thursday with Dona Benkert

Discover the world of apps that can make you a better musician…

Bass Groove Lab

Group ClassIntermediate

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $147 ($137 members)

Monday with Harlan Terson

An hour long lab to make you “badder”

Guitar 4ever with Holstein

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Saturday with Ed Holstein

The one and only legendary folk icon, Ed Holstein holds court for acoustic guitarists.

RPA Ensemble aka Dawson's Guitar 4Ever

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Thursday with Steve Dawson

A group of 4ever students under Dawson's leadership

Guitarra En Español 1

Group ClassBeginner

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

Wednesday with Jose Murillo

A bilingual experience developing basic skills in Latin style playing. Una experiencia bilingüe que desarrolla maneras básicas de tocar el estilo latino.

Guitarra En Español 2

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Jose Murillo

A bilingual experience building repertoire in Latin music. Una experiencia bilingüe que desarrolla el repertorio de la música latina.

Basics of Electric Chicago Blues Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Steve Hutchins

Learn lead and comping techniques of the major players of the Chicago blues style.

Guitar Fingerboard Theory

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday, Tuesday, Friday or Sunday with Dan Fulkerson, Randy Morris, Steve Levitt or Michael O'Toole

This class is highly recommended for all guitar students. Make it a point to enroll at some point in their musical journey.

Lead Guitar Basics

Group ClassIntermediate

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Beginning Music Reading for Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Saturday with Tony do Rosario

Master musical language by learning to read and write

Rhythm Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Dan Fulkerson

Focus on one of the most essential elements of playing guitar and music itself.

Acoustic Slide Guitar

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

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

Sunday with Donna Herula

Add a new dimension to your guitar playing This Session we'll focus on Furry Lewis' style and repertoire.

Blues Guitar Basics 1

Group ClassBeginner

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

Tuesday with Steve Levitt

Build skills and repertoire within the blues idiom.

Blues Guitar Basics 2

Group ClassIntermediate

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Building Chord Vocabulary: 7ths and Extended Triads

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Steve Hutchins

The stronger your vocabulary the better you can speak the language of music.

Building Chord Vocabulary: Beyond Barre Chords

Group ClassIntermediate

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Classical Guitar Basic Repertoire

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Jacob Sweet

Fun easy pieces to add pizzazz to your style.

Advanced Fingerboard Theory

Group ClassAdvanced

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Applying Fingerboard Theory

Group ClassIntermediate

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. 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 Fingerpicking

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Monday with Alvin McGovern

Put down your plectrum and let's work with both hands.

Fingerpicking 1 Repertoire

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Randy Morris

Your fingers can be trained to be an orchestra - a band in the hand.

John Martyn Fingerstyle Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Fingerstyle Repertoire

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Randy Morris

Develop a songbag of solo accompaniments and instrumentals in a variety of styles.

Guitar and Vocal Studio

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Elaine Moore

Grab that guitar and sing and play with others.

Introduction to Jazz Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Tony do Rosario

Time to take your playing to a whole other level.

Jazz Guitar 1

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Saturday with Tony do Rosario

Take your time to absorb the fundamentals of jazz guitar.

Jazz Guitar 2

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Wednesday with Tony do Rosario

Build your repertoire from session to session.

Pop Guitar Techniques and Arrangements

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Chris Corsale

If you feel like it's time to add a few bells and whistles to your playing, then this is the class for you.

Early Country Guitar 1

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Matt Brown

Play guitar like influential old-time and early country artists such as Maybelle Carter, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Delmore Brothers.

Early Country Guitar 2

Group ClassIntermediate

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

This and other musicianship classes are offered in rotation thru the year. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Overdrive 1 Electric Guitar Styles

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday or Thursday with Dan Fulkerson

Make the transition from acoustic to electric.

Overdrive 2 Electric Guitar Styles

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Dan Fulkerson

Enhancement medication for the electric guitarist.

Extended Play

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday with Mary Peterson, Dan Fulkerson, Tommi Zender or Chris Corsale

Make a long term commitment to improving your guitar playing skills

Hard Rock and Metal Unplugged

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Dan Fulkerson

All the licks, all the tricks - but with minimal hearing loss.

Flatpicking 1 - Rhythm

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

Group ClassIntermediate

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

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

Flatpicking 3 - Repertoire

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

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.

Acoustic Blues Guitar 1

Group ClassBeginner

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

Saturday with Paul Kaye

Build a solid foundation

Acoustic Blues Guitar 2

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 Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Acoustic Blues Guitar 3

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Saturday with Paul Kaye

With an emphasis on building a repertoire, this class continues to develop the style and techniques of the acoustic blues guitarist.

Blues Fingerstyle 1

Group ClassBeginner

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

Monday with Chris Walz

You'll get a taste of the Blues with Blind Boy Fuller, Tommy Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and others.

Blues Fingerstyle 2

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.

Blues Fingerstyle 3

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Monday with Chris Walz

A Compendium Of The Blues

Essential Blues-Rock Electric Guitar 1 Skills

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Sunday with Chris Winters

Expand techniques and your personal riff artillery within the framework of songs and progressions in the blues/rock idiom.

Essential Blues-Rock Electric Guitar Repertoire

Group ClassAdvanced

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

Sunday with Chris Winters

An ongoing class which develops repertoire in the blues/rock genre.

Introduction to Brazilian Guitar

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Luciano Antonio

Learn this specific style of playing and it will inform all of your guitar playing from now on.

Brazilian Guitar Repertoire

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 Flamenco Guitar

Group ClassBeginner

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

Wednesday with Mehran Jalili

Examine the basic chords and rhythmic attacks of flamenco.

Flamenco Guitar 1 Skills

Group ClassBeginner

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

This class is offered on a rotating basis. If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Guitar Program Manager Jimmy Tomasello with your contact information.

Flamenco Guitar 2 Repertoire

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Wednesday with Mehran Jalili

Develop a strong repertoire in this exciting musical idiom.

Beatles Acoustic

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Tuesday with Tommi Zender

Helter Skelter to Hare Krishna all acoustic

Dan's Rhythm Method

WorkshopIntermediate

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $25 ($24 members)

Saturday with Dan Fulkerson

Let's count to four all together, and get this thing right!

Guitar Study Hall

Group ClassOpen to All

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $0 ($0 members)

Monday or Wednesday with Steve Levitt

A free Q & A with one of the school's renown guitar gurus. COME BY AND WE'LL HELP PLACE YOU IN THE PROGRAM

Making Chord Transitions Easier

WorkshopBeginnerNew!

90 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $25 ($24 members)

Sunday with Charles Kim

Scales With Colors

WorkshopIntermediate

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $25 ($24 members)

Saturday with Dan Fulkerson

Discover a new way to learn, practice, and use scales in your guitar playing!

Play It By Ear

Group ClassIntermediate

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

Thursday with Jon Spiegel

Train your ears to figure it out.

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