Workshops

Join us for an upcoming workshop! Your date with the arts.

Workshops are special, one-time experiences of music and dance with master teachers at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Low in time commitment but high in artistry, workshops are timely, engaging, and dynamic sessions targeted to serve participants with varied interests and goals.

The typical duration of a one-day workshop is an hour and a half to two hours, but we also offer intensives and multi-day or multi-week options. Workshops costs are dependent on length, specialty, and teaching artist, and some are funded by grants to make them low-cost to you. Each week we host something or someone new, so check back often!

Fri. January 27, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Winter Beatles »

Warm up this winter by playing & singing songs by Lennon, McCartney & Harrison. Get out, play music, be social. This is always a good time, guaranteed for all!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. January 28, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. in this two-hour workshop, Louie will cover the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Emphasis will also be given to the basics of coupling, floorwork, and turns. This class is ideal for couples who are either preparing for their own wedding or those wanting to dance with ease at any party or occasion. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. January 28, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Swing Dance: Brush-Up Workshop »

Brush up on your Swing in this low-commitment, one-day workshop! Stop by on a Saturday afternoon to work with Louie on your swing turns, plus pick up a few new ones to liven up your dancing - you'll add turns like the "Charleston," "Texas Tommy" and "Slingshot." Sign up with or without a partner, we’ll figure it out!

IntermediateProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. February 03, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words and Music: The Songwriter’s Circle »

Come share your song, new or old, all-done or somewhere in between. Listen and respond to the work of your peers in a supportive and creative community of artists.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$10 ($7 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. February 03, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL- Love Songs »

Join Dan Fulkerson to learn some of the best love songs to sing and play for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Don’t cram the night before, let Dan help you get prepared and have fun while you’re at it!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. February 03, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Barn Dance! »

Join the Fiddle Club of the World for a Barn Dance! Square dances for all, with fun calls and friendly instruction by Paul Tyler. Music by the Fiddle Club Orchestra. No experience or partner necessary. Bring your friends.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$10 ($10 members)

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Sat. February 04, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Magic of Chord Twins for Ukulele »

You want to go beyond the standard three chords but you're not sure how. You love Jazz, Blues and Latin styles but you don't think you're up to the challenge. Well, this is the workshop for you! Join renowned ukulele master, James Hill, before his performance at the Old Town School as he shows you an often-overlooked "ukulele loophole" that lets you quickly and easily sound like a pro! Discovering chord twins will change the way you play.

Open to AllProgram: Ukulele
Class is full.
Sat. February 04, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Washboard Workshop: “Grab A Board & Rub” »

Become a washboard percussionist in this engaging workshop led by washboard wizard Barb Silverman. Take the challenge and rub your way to stardom!

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 05, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: The Beginning »

Celebrate Black History Month and explore the origin of tap dance, its roots in Africa and its multicultural blend in the New World. Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Part 1 of the 4-week Black History Month special, “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops! Register for all four weeks in February for a discounted price.

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 05, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
West African Kora and Mandinka Music »

Join dynamic duo, Sousou and Maher Cissoko, members of a legendary jali or griot family from Senegal, for a unique workshop in West African Mandinka music. Focus will be on the importance of the kora (West African harp) in addition to the rhythms, instrumentation, and vocal styles that make this musical tradition so special. Participants will learn a song or two from the traditional Mandinka repertoire.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. February 09, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Soundtrack for a Revolution Film Screening »

We are happy to be offering a free screening of the documentary film, “Soundtrack for a Revolution”. Come learn about the important role of song in the Civil Rights Movement. Soundtrack for a Revolution The story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. A unique mix of historical documentary and contemporary musical performance, the film features new performances by top artists including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Andrew Young and dozens more.

Open to AllProgram: Administrative

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 11, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. in this two-hour workshop, Louie will cover the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Emphasis will also be given to the basics of coupling, floorwork, and turns. This class is ideal for couples who are either preparing for their own wedding or those wanting to dance with ease at any party or occasion. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 11, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Understanding the Major Pentatonic Scale »

What's the point? Why is this scale so much more useful than other major scales? Dan has the attitude and the secrets to help you understand how to decipher a major scale into pentatonic scales. You'll walk out of this workshop with a better understanding of the guitar neck.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 11, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cajun and Zydeco Dance »

Let the good times roll! Learn to partner dance like the Cajuns have since 1721 in southwest Louisiana. In this workshop, you will learn the traditional Cajun two-step and waltz, plus the more contemporary Cajun jitterbug step. As a bonus, you'll be introduced to the faster, looser Zydeco two-step! Celebrate Mardi Gras by getting onto the dance floor! No partner necessary to register.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 11, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Understanding the Minor Pentatonic Scale »

The minor pentatonic scale is THE pinnacle scale for blues, hard rock, and heavy metal and has been used in some of the most famous guitar riffs of all time. Dan will cover all five patterns of the minor pentatonic scale and dissect famous riffs to help you cultivate your relationship with this mesmerizing scale. You’ll walk out of this workshop with a better understanding of the guitar neck.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 12, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Javanese Gamelan »

Join Friends of the Gamelan on the Sunday following their World Music Wednesday performance for a hands-on workshop to introduce the sounds and playing techniques of Javanese gamelan music.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 12, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: From the Plantation to the Theater »

Celebrate Black History Month and explore the origin of tap dance, its roots in Africa and its multicultural blend in the New World. Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. In this workshop, learn how a plantation dance moved through blackface minstrel shows to vaudeville. Part two of the 4-week special “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops! Register for all four weeks in February for a discounted price.

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 12, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. March 12, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. April 09, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. May 14, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Monthly Harmonica for Beginners- 4 month series »

Busy schedule? Here's your chance to take Harmonica for Beginners on a once a month basis for four months, checking in with the instructor with questions in between meetings. This class will cover basic harmonica skills, including those required for playing blues, country, folk, gospel, and other music, and creating the distinctive tonal and rhythmic sounds for which the harmonica is known. Ear players welcome. 10 hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C. Classes will meet Sunday February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14.

BeginnerProgram: Harmonica

$160 ($150 members)

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Sun. February 12, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fretboard Geography: Simplifying the Guitar Neck »

This fun workshop will help expand your knowledge of notes, chords, and keys, for use in performing the songs you love, accompanying others, or creating your own music.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 18, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Poised for Performance - Intro to the Alexander Technique »

The Alexander Technique has helped people connect to their body and breath, to relieve stress, and to reduce unnecessary tension for over a century.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$30 ($28 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 19, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: The Golden Age »

Celebrate Black History Month and explore the origin of tap dance, its roots in Africa and its multicultural blend in the New World. Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Focus on ways that Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies changed the course of Tap Dancing to a mainstream, respected art form and popularized it all over the world. Part of the 4-week special “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops! Register for all four weeks in February for a discounted price.

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. February 23, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Soundtrack for a Revolution Film Screening »

We are happy to be offering a free screening of the documentary film, “Soundtrack for a Revolution”. Come learn about the important role of song in the Civil Rights Movement. Soundtrack for a Revolution The story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. A unique mix of historical documentary and contemporary musical performance, the film features new performances by top artists including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Andrew Young and dozens more.

Open to AllProgram: Administrative

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 25, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Arranging for the Hammered Dulcimer »

Learn a wide variety of techniques used in arranging and accompaniment/backup. All levels are welcome.

Open to AllProgram: Dulcimer

$30 ($29 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 25, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Old Time Banjo: Beyond the Bum-Ditty »

Explore the versatile nature of old-time banjo and go beyond the bum-ditty. Kolodner walks the line between the rhythmic and melodic styles of clawhammer banjo playing with an emphasis on pushing the boundaries of what is considered "traditional."

IntermediateProgram: Banjo

$30 ($29 members)

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Sat. February 25, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Old Time Fiddle with Rachel Eddy »

This fiddle workshop will focus primarily on how to help your fiddling sound better and more driving. It will be geared toward learning how to use bow pulses, bowing phrases, and note combinations to give fiddle tunes a shape.

IntermediateProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$30 ($29 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 26, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: Styles of Today and Tomorrow »

Celebrate Black History Month and explore the origin of tap dance, its roots in Africa and its multicultural blend in the New World. Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Get a better understanding of contemporary Tap styles including flatfooted buck dancing, jazz tap, Broadway tap and hip-hop beats. Plus, a look into the future of Tap. Part of the 4-week special “Roots of Tap” series of participatory history workshops! Register for all four weeks in February for a discounted price.

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 26, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Japanese Folk Songs for Guitar »

Japanese folk songs of the 1800's were written for traditional instruments of the time. These songs have subtle, but beautiful haunting melodies. And, they sound great on the guitar. All levels of participants are welcome – let’s learn something different!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($25 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 03, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words and Music: The Songwriter’s Circle »

Come share your song, new or old, all-done or somewhere in between. Listen and respond to the work of your peers in a supportive and creative community of artists.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$10.00 ($7 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 03, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL- Best Songs of TV and Film »

Join Dan Fulkerson to learn to play some of those TV and film songs that are always stuck in your head. He’ll share selections from “Cheers”, “The Jeffersons”, “Good Times”, “Wonder Woman”, and much more!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 11, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. in this two-hour workshop, Louie will cover the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Emphasis will also be given to the basics of coupling, floorwork, and turns. This class is ideal for couples who are either preparing for their own wedding or those wanting to dance with ease at any party or occasion. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 11, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Country Dancing! »

Learn some fun country dances with Louie Stallone, starting with the basic two-step, which you can dance in pairs or by yourself. We’ll then break down a few classic line dances, and maybe one or two you’ve never seen before. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and there’s no need for a partner, but bring ‘em if you got ‘em!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. March 19, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Big Bill Broonzy Guitar Instrumentals- Part I »

1920’s and 30’s blues guitar players were known for including exciting instrumentals in their repertoire. These fingerpicking instrumentals showcased the virtuosity of the guitar and kept the party going all night long. Chicago’s Big Bill Broonzy was no exception. In this workshop Eric will break down Broonzy’s instrumental the Stove Pipe Stomp.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 25, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dan’s Rhythm Method »

Admit it: Playing guitar in a rhythmic fashion can feel very awkward. Fear not! It happens to the best of us, so don't let rhythm challenges stop your musical journey. Let Dan help set you straight - straight fours, straight eights, you name it. Concentrate on your strumming, and improve your performance in many ways.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 25, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Scales With Colors »

Join Dan Fulkerson, rock and pop guitar guru, as he demonstrates his unique method of learning scales and soloing. Dan will provide crayons and paper as part of the process. Come as you are, and leave a better musician! All levels are welcome.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 08, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. in this two-hour workshop, Louie will cover the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Emphasis will also be given to the basics of coupling, floorwork, and turns. This class is ideal for couples who are either preparing for their own wedding or those wanting to dance with ease at any party or occasion. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. April 09, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Demystifying the Voice »

Voice specialist Dr. Rachael Gates will cover topics from Anatomy through Z-packs in this practical presentation on vocal health. Learn what is actually happening when you "lose your voice,” hear vocal myths debunked, explore diet and lifestyle choices to improve performance, understand common voice pathologies, find out about surgical techniques and precautions to take before undergoing general anesthesia, and discover ways to optimize your speaking voice.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW

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