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. September 04, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. September 04, 7:00 PM – 9:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle »

The song’s the thing; the words and the music - the fingerprint - we live and learn - sing and dance, and listen... and enrich one another along the way! 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. Bring your voice and what you play on (we have a piano, so you don't have to bring one of those). We meet (mostly) each month for THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. September 04, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL: Pop-Up Choir »

Folks of all singing levels are welcome to come together and experience the joy of harmony singing - to pop music! We'll start with some vocal warmups and harmony singing exercises. Then, we'll all learn a couple of modern pop tunes arranged for vocal harmony. Can't read music? Totally New to singing? No problem, join us! Andrea Bunch has been teaching music and singing for 15 years. She creates a fun atmosphere where people can make music, have some fun, and learn a thing or two.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. September 12, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

A great date or first “step” for couples who’d like to feel comfortable and have fun on the dance floor!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. September 12, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Cajun and Zydeco Dance »

From the steamy Cajun swamp to the dance floor, this partner workshop will allow you to dance to some of the best bands around!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. September 12, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Reel Masters: Edden Hammons »

In this series of workshops, we delve deeply each time into the repertoire and style of one legendary old-time fiddler. Together we will listen to a source recording, analyze the bowing, and craft our own rendition, replete with variations, of a tune played by that particular master musician. This workshop will hone listening and other musicianship skills as well as the obvious fiddle techniques that will be our focus as we sit knee-to-knee, virtually, with these titans.

AdvancedProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$30 ($29 members)

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Sun. September 13, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Django’s Rhythm »

Add a new strumming style to your trick bag.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($25 members)

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Tue. September 15, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Rhythms of Africa and University of Gnawa »

Join the international Moroccan artist Aziz Sahmaoui and his group of Senegalese musicians for a workshop exploring rhythms and melodies (vocal and instrumental) from North and West Africa. The group will also demonstrate traditional and spiritual music from various regions of the African continent. Please bring a hand drum (e.g., darbuka, djembe, frame drum, hand percussion), a principal melodic instrument, or just yourself to participate in the workshop.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

FREE!

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Thu. September 17, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Qawwali Music Workshop and Jam »

Join internationally acclaimed superstars Ghayoor Moiz Mustafa Qawwal & Brothers for a workshop on Qawwali - a traditional spiritual music found in India and Pakistan. The artists use music as a spiritual force – playing instruments and singing repetitive phrases like a mantra with the goal of moving the participant and the audience towards a state of spiritual enlightenment. The workshop will be followed by a jam with the group and attendees. Bring your instruments and voices to participate and transcend through the music.

Open to AllProgram:

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sun. September 20, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Strumming Secrets »

Now that you've learned your first few chords, figure out how to make your rhythm sound more solid. This workshop will help you quickly figure out strumming patterns, syncopation, singing and playing together, and how to make your rhythms more interesting and inspired. A workshop for beginners and old pros alike!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. September 21, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Tue. September 22, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
N'goni Music Workshop - The African Banjo »

Join the international Moroccan artist Aziz Sahmaoui for a workshop on the N'goni - a stringed lute instrument that is the African relative to the banjo. Explore techniques and methods of the instrument and its relation to African and other musical styles. The warm tone and timbre of the N'goni also makes it relevant for other instruments to participate in the workshop including guitar, bass, mandolin, and more. All other plucked or picked string instruments are welcome as well. *Old Town School’s Michael Miles will be accompanying Aziz with the American Banjo.

Open to AllProgram:

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Mon. September 28, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. October 02, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. October 02, 7:00 PM – 9:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle »

The song’s the thing; the words and the music - the fingerprint - we live and learn - sing and dance, and listen... and enrich one another along the way! 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. Bring your voice and what you play on (we have a piano, so you don't have to bring one of those). We meet (mostly) each month for THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. October 05, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. October 08, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Robert Johnson Slide Guitar with Rory Block »

This will be a very special workshop given by one of the greatest living exponents of the Robert Johnson slide guitar style - Rory Block. Rory defines her workshop style this way - “I do workshops the same way I do my shows- without a set list. It's all about technique and a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the style- while at the same time emphasizing the inspiration, passion and power that the music requires. It's always customized to the students, and I let questions and personal goals set the direction and pace of the class. Bring a good fitting slide, because we will focus on getting great slide sound and finding the comfortable "zen" spot to make it work in the coolest and funkiest way. We also dissect and learn what I call the "musical keys" (informational keys) to the classic Robert Johnson songs- licks and series of notes used again and again in his songs which you will be able to apply to various Johnson songs in open tunings. For mid through advanced players, but people who just want to check out the ideas, hear the stories, and find a starting point for slide, are welcomed!”

Program: Guitar

$40 ($40 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. October 10, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

A great date or first “step” for couples who’d like to feel comfortable and have fun on the dance floor!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. October 10, 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
Sun. October 11, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Making Friends with Barre Chords »

The lament of the guitarist after the first couple of classes: “ARGGHH, barre chords!” Have no fear - there is hope! In this workshop, you’ll develop the muscles and theory to play bar chords across the neck and learn how to move fluidly from open chords and other chord forms. Also learn partial bar forms so you can play your favorite songs while you're developing your technique. Barre chords without frustration!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. October 12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. October 19, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. October 26, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. November 02, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. November 06, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. November 06, 7:00 PM – 9:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle »

The song’s the thing; the words and the music - the fingerprint - we live and learn - sing and dance, and listen... and enrich one another along the way! 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. Bring your voice and what you play on (we have a piano, so you don't have to bring one of those). We meet (mostly) each month for THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. November 09, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 14, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

A great date or first “step” for couples who’d like to feel comfortable and have fun on the dance floor!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cajun and Zydeco Dance »

From the steamy Cajun swamp to the dance floor, this partner workshop will allow you to dance to some of the best bands around!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. November 15, 2:00 PM – 3:30 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)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. November 16, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. November 23, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. November 30, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
JUMP RHYTHM® Technique »

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. December 04, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. December 04, 7:00 PM – 9:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle »

The song’s the thing; the words and the music - the fingerprint - we live and learn - sing and dance, and listen... and enrich one another along the way! 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. Bring your voice and what you play on (we have a piano, so you don't have to bring one of those). We meet (mostly) each month for THE SOCIAL - Words & Music: The Songwriters’ Circle.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 05, 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. December 05, 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
Sun. December 06, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Strumming Secrets »

Now that you've learned your first few chords, figure out how to make your rhythm sound more solid. This workshop will help you quickly figure out strumming patterns, syncopation, singing and playing together, and how to make your rhythms more interesting and inspired. A workshop for beginners and old pros alike!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 12, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

A great date or first “step” for couples who’d like to feel comfortable and have fun on the dance floor!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 12, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Swing Dance: Brush-Up Workshop »

Polish your swing dance moves in this two-hour workshop!

IntermediateProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW

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