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!

Sun. February 14, 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: From the Plantation to the Theater »

Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Part two of the four-week Black History Month special, “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops!

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 14, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples- Valentine’s Special! »

Dance the day away with your valentine! Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. This Valentine’s Special will include flowers and chocolate for each couple!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. February 19, 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: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 20, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. February 27, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Basic Folk Harmonica- Two Part Workshop »

This two week workshop introduces students to playing the harmonica: hand positioning, getting clear single notes, chords, accompaniment, solo playing, playing songs and tunes and note-bending.

Open to AllProgram: Harmonica

$70 ($65 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 20, 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.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 20, 1:30 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Middle Eastern Belly Dance »

In this introductory workshop students will learn basic steps and several belly dance combinations. You will perform warm-ups, stretching and strengthening exercises in addition to isolation techniques. No experience necessary.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 20, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. February 27, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Basic Blues Harmonica- Two Part Workshop »

This two part workshop is an introduction to playing the blues, including 12 bar blues pattern, chords and note-bending.

Open to AllProgram: Harmonica

$70 ($65 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 20, 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. Come as you are, and leave a better musician!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 21, 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: The Golden Age »

Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Part three of the four-week Black History Month special, “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops!

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 21, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Open Tunings: The Guitar in Open G with Nathaniel Braddock »

Learn the fundamentals of this fascinating approach to guitar, and the songs that popularized the tuning across multiple genres. This is the first in a series of workshops on open tunings.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$30 ($28 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 21, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Exploring the Guitar with Modes with Nathaniel Braddock »

Explore your understanding of scales and harmony while opening up your access to the fingerboard! This workshop presents a set of shapes that break you from your normal patterns and opens up your ears.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$30 ($28 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. February 22, 6:30 PM – 7:40 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Songs, Scales, and Rhythms from Mauritania, Africa »

Join superstar Noura Mint Seymali and her musicians for a presentation of traditional and contemporary music from Mauritania and northwest Africa.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble
Class is full.
Thu. February 25, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Guitar Styles from Mauritania, Africa »

Join Jeiche Ould Chighay, guitarist for visiting artist Noura Mint Seymali, for a guitar workshop on the music of Mauritania, Africa. Learn scales and techniques for this modal style of music from northwestern Africa.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sat. February 27, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Jazz Guitar Clinic with Mike Moreno »

World renowned jazz guitarist Mike Moreno will discuss single line improvising, solo guitar playing, composition, and working as a sideman at this clinic for all levels.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($25 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 28, 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Roots of Tap: Styles of Today and Tomorrow »

Tap Dance is known today as America's true folk dance. Part four of the four-week Black History Month special, “Roots of Tap” series of participatory dance history workshops!

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. February 28, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Slidin’ The Blues with Jim Kahr »

Chicago's legendary blues recording artist Jim Kahr returns to the Old Town School to present an unplugged acoustic guitar workshop on “Bottleneck Slidin’”.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$45 ($40 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 04, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - 21st Century Pop and R&B »

Justin. Cee-Lo. Alicia. Beyonce. Amy. This is the century that pop singers took over, and believe it or not there are a bunch of great songs in the mix! We'll take a more folk-y approach to some of these summer hits and break 'em down. Come ready to do some singing - all instruments welcome!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 04, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Dylan Songbag “Desire” »

To celebrate Bob Dylan's 75th Birthday, we are offering a monthly Dylan-themed Social every first Friday of the month. The 90-minute event will cover a different album each month as well as an handful of thematically related songs from the Bard. This event will be hosted each month by Jimmy Tomasello who has taught the Bob Dylan Ensemble here at the School since 1989. Bring your guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and voice. We will kick off on March 4th with Desire from 1976 along with songs played during the 1975/76 Rolling Thunder Tour.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 04, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Songs of the Women’s Movement with Kristin Lems »

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

$20 ($15 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. March 04, 7:30 PM – 10:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL- Words & Music: The Songwriters’ 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
Sat. March 05, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Introduction to Irish Tin Whistle for Kids »

Join Patrick Cannady of the Chicago Pipers for a fun workshop on the Irish Tin Whistle. Learn how to hold and play the whistle with good posture and breathing, learn whistle maintenance and setup, and how to play a scale and simple tune like an Irish polka or march.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program:

$15 ($14 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 05, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. April 02, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. May 07, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. June 04, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Monthly Harmonica for Beginners- 4 month series »

BeginnerProgram: Harmonica

$145 ($135 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 12, 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. 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.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 12, 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
Sun. March 13, 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. March 19, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. March 19, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. March 20, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. March 20, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way. Fiddle students of all levels are particularly encouraged to participate.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. April 01, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL- Dylan Songbag “Love and Theft” »

To celebrate Bob Dylan's 75th Birthday, we are offering a monthly Dylan-themed Social every first Friday of the month. The 90-minute event will cover a different album each month as well as an handful of thematically related songs from the Bard. This event will be hosted each month by Jimmy Tomasello who has taught the Bob Dylan Ensemble here at the School since 1989. Bring your guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and voice. April will feature Dylan’s 2001 release Love and Theft and other tongue and cheek tunes.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 02, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Learn a Pair of Fingerstyle Instrumentals »

Blending melody, rhythm and chords together gives a full instrumental solo sound. We’ll learn a couple of classic songs this way using fingerstyle techniques. Blaise will guide you through each song emphasizing techniques and style - hammer-ons and pull-offs, slides and slurs; all following tab notation.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. April 03, 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
Sat. April 16, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 16, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. April 17, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. April 17, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way. Fiddle students of all levels are particularly encouraged to participate.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. April 17, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
American Roots Music with Stephen Wade »

Members of the American Roots Music faculty host a workshop introducing this special Labor Day program in the Colorado Rockies. The OTSFM's very own Stephen Wade will head up the workshop with the help of teaching artists Matt Brown and Peggy Browning. We'll work on some tunes to get us playing together, and finish with a short presentation highlighting both offerings and activities at the renowned Rocky Ridge Music Center. All acoustic instruments and voices welcome.

Open to AllProgram: Banjo

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Mon. April 18, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Stretching Techniques for Kids »

IntermediateKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$15 ($14 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. April 21, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Broadway Dance for Kids »

IntermediateKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$15 ($14 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 06, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL- Dylan Songbag “Blonde on Blonde” »

To celebrate Bob Dylan's 75th Birthday, we are offering a monthly Dylan-themed Social every first Friday of the month. The 90-minute event will cover a different album each month as well as an handful of thematically related songs from the Bard. This event will be hosted each month by Jimmy Tomasello who has taught the Bob Dylan Ensemble here at the School since 1989. Bring your guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and voice. May will feature Dylan’s 1966 release, Blonde on Blonde and a selection of love songs.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 14, 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. 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.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 14, 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. May 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 ($25 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 21, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 21, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Adults »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop. For the first hour dancers and musicians will work separately using CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second hour dancers and musicians will work together to learn how dance and music can come together to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. May 22, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the dance portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. May 22, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Music Composition with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Kids »

This is the music portion of a two-part dance and music composition workshop for kids. For the first half hour dance and music students will work separately learning CRDT’s signature blend of choreography, music composition and improvisation. For the second half hour all of the students will work together to learn how dance and music can combine to celebrate individuality, cooperation and communication in a fun way. Fiddle students of all levels are particularly encouraged to participate.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. June 03, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Dylan Songbag “2016 Tour of Japan Highlights” »

To celebrate Bob Dylan's 75th Birthday, we are offering a monthly Dylan-themed Social every first Friday of the month. The 90-minute event will cover a different album each month as well as an handful of thematically related songs from the Bard. This event will be hosted each month by Jimmy Tomasello who has taught the Bob Dylan Ensemble here at the School since 1989. Bring your guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and voice. June will feature highlights from his 2016 Spring Tour of Japan.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. June 05, 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. June 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. 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.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$45 ($43 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. June 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

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