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!

Sat. February 25, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 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)

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Sat. February 25, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 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 · 4545 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)

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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)

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Sun. February 26, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fingerpicking For Absolute Beginners »

Learn simple thumb- and- one finger approaches to fingerpicking that can eventually turn in to more complex accompaniment. No fingerpicking experience is necessary; you'll start fingerpicking—simple techniques and patterns that you can use right away! You'll learn simple arpeggios, alternate bass patterns, and a “Travis picking” pattern. If you've already tried fingerpicking, Charles can help you with simple tips to help you with your tone, speed and coordination. And keep in mind that you can start fingerpicking even if you've learned only a few chords!

BeginnerProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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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)

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Sun. February 26, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Making the Switch from Guitar to Bass »

So you've been playing guitar, but you also want to begin to handle the low end, play with drums, and anchor a band. The bass guitar is a different musical animal from the guitar, but you've already got some of the crucial information under your belt with your guitar skills. Let Charles show you how to go the rest of the way in this handy workshop! Learn the right way to use hit the strings, fret bass notes, and how to listen to a rhythm section. You'll also learn simple and flexible rhythms, patterns, and bass lines to get you started. Double your instrumental range in one workshop!

Open to AllProgram: Bass

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. March 03, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Argentine Chacarera Dance »

Join Paola Bordon and Daniel Noce for a unique workshop exploring the Chacarera, a typical Argentine folk dance. Distinguished by its unique syncopated rhythm, the Chacarera is a lively group partner dance. Come learn about Argentina’s unique cultural heritage!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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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)

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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)

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Fri. March 03, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Advanced Tango Technique »

Join Melanie Klaric and Mariano Bejarano for a unique workshop in advanced Tango technique.

IntermediateProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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Sun. March 05, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Bluegrass Jam »

Open to anyone who wants to pick and sing. On the last Sunday of each 8-week session, Basses, Fiddles, Mandolins, Flatpick Guitars, Bluegrass Banjos, Singers, 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.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

FREE!

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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)

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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)

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Sat. March 18, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Harmony Singing »

For you who always wanted to sing harmony, and for those who want to expand your ability, come on to this easy yet delightfully challenging Harmony Singing Workshop with songstress Barb Silverman.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. March 18, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Wiggleworms Drop-In Class: Exceptional »

Is your child sensitive to noise but loves music? Are you concerned that your child’s still developing ability to communicate affects his/her participation in a group class? Did you ever wonder if Wiggleworms was a good fit for you child? Exceptional Wiggleworms is specifically designed to support children with a range of sensitivities and their families! Music opens communication and language development as it accesses the entire brain in a way that words alone cannot. In this co-taught Wiggleworms class, teaching artists weave together the positive experience of music and multisensory learning to explicitly build social-emotional and communication skills.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms

$20 ($20 members)

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Sun. March 19, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Teen Town Hall Meeting »

Open to AllProgram: Teen

FREE!

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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)

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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)

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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)

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Sat. March 25, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan -Hugh O'Donnell »

This 4 week workshop series taught by Aislinn Gagliardi, will cover the diverse life and works of the 17th c. Irish harper and composer Turlough O'Carolan. Each week students will learn a distinctly different tune and its historical/cultural background, alongside relevant anecdotes of this prolific composer's life. This week we will cover the piece, “Hugh O'Donnell”.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. March 31, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Songs of the Women’s Movement »

Celebrate Women’s History Month by singing and playing the songs of the 1970s Women’s Movement with acclaimed local singer songwriter and founder of the National Women’s Music Festival, Kristin Lems. Kristin will sing and teach the defining songs of the Movement by artists like Malvina Reynolds, Peggy Seeger, Cris Williamson, Holly Near, and some of her own! Hear historical and personal anecdotes from this dynamic time of struggle and change. Bring an instrument or bring your voice. Open to all ages and levels.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

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Sat. April 01, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan- Carolan’s Quarrel with the Landlady »

O'Carolan. Each week students will learn a distinctly different tune and its historical/cultural background, alongside relevant anecdotes of this prolific composer's life. This week we will cover the piece, “Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady”.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. April 06, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cuban Salsa- Rueda de Casino »

Developed in the 1950s, rueda de casino (wheel of salsa) is a dance genre shaped by several African rooted traditions found in Cuba, including son and rumba. Couples dance in a circle, guided by a leader who indicates when to execute synchronized movements. Register yourself and a partner or come alone and meet someone new!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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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
Sat. April 08, 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)

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Sat. April 08, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan- Dolly MacDonough »

This 4 week workshop series taught by Aislinn Gagliardi, will cover the diverse life and works of the 17th c. Irish harper and composer Turlough O'Carolan. Each week students will learn a distinctly different tune and its historical/cultural background, alongside relevant anecdotes of this prolific composer's life. This week we will learn the piece, “Dolly MacDonough”.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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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)

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Sat. April 15, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan Series- Dr. John Stafford, or Carolan's Receipt »

This 4 week workshop series taught by Aislinn Gagliardi, will cover the diverse life and works of the 17th c. Irish harper and composer Turlough O'Carolan. Each week students will learn a distinctly different tune and its historical/cultural background, alongside relevant anecdotes of this prolific composer's life. This week we will learn the piece, “Dr. John Stafford, or Carolan's Receipt”.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. April 20, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sabar Dance Workshop »

Sabar is a traditional dance from Senegal, West Africa. This dynamic style incorporates rhythmic combinations of jumping, hip twisting, high-knee lifting, and arm swinging and is always accompanied by crisp snapping drum rhythms played by live drummers. This complex, high-energy dance is known to get people hooked. Come learn the basics with longtime Old Town School dance faculty member and Senegal native, Idy Ciss.

IntermediateProgram: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

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Fri. April 21, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Partner Yoga »

Come enjoy partner yoga! Have some laughs and learn how to give and receive support in this fun yoga flow workshop. Partner yoga can offer great releases for your back and neck, relaxing stretches for legs and arms, strong core work and balance practice. You’ll be free to breathe deep and do what feels right for you in each pose. Andrea is an expert at offering variations of poses for everybody’s body; she is a doctor of physical therapy, and has been teaching yoga for 17 years. Feel free to bring a buddy, or come on your own. Open to new and experienced yoga practitioners.

IntermediateProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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Sat. April 22, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Revolution - An All Abilities Exploration »

Join BACKBONES, an organization connecting people with spinal cord injury and their families, along with Momenta Dance, an all abilities dance group, for this special workshop exploring dance and movement.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

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Fri. April 28, 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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The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000