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!

Tue. May 03, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. May 05, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. May 05, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Afro-Caribbean Percussion with Pibo Marquez »

Join Pibo Marquez, world renowned Venezuelan percussionist, for a workshop on the use and application of the congas within the folklore of the Caribbean. Learn how the conga drum is used in the traditional music of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Cuba.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. May 06, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

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

The Gather-All is a family jam for musicians of all ages and abilities. Practice songs you know and learn to play some new ones in a welcoming and fun environment. You don't have to be in a class at Old Town School to join this music-making experience! The Gather-All is held from 6:30pm-7:30pm. ALL ages, instruments, and abilities are invited and encouraged to come!

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 06, 7:00 PM – 9:50 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: Voice

$10 ($7 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: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 06, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL: Purple Prince Pop Up Choir »

This week we will be honoring the memory of Prince by singing a selection of his songs together. 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. May 07, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dans 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. May 07, 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. May 07, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Washboard Workshop: "Grab A Board & Rub" »

Become a washboard percussionist in this delightful hands-on workshop taught by Old Town School’s washboard wizard Barb Silverman.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Tue. May 10, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. May 12, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. May 12, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Songwriting with Mouths of Babes »

Join Ty and Ingrid of Mouths of Babes for this workshop in songwriting. When you're writing songs, it makes sense to start with what you know best: yourself! But what would it be like to branch out and write songs that aren't purely autobiographical? We'll explore the art of embodying another person and writing from their point of view, as either a first or third person narrator. This class is a great way to get outside the box!

Open to AllProgram: Songwriting

$40 ($38 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- A Cappella Pop-Up Choir »

Come sing folk and pop favorites, both new and old, and discover lesser-known treasures in this interactive workshop. Engage in unique a cappella arrangements in a singing adventure that starts with unison singing and moves into group techniques like rounds and harmonies. You’ll also learn elements of basic movement and percussion techniques for singers. The only requirement is a love of singing and the only instrument you need is your own voice!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Laugh Lines »

Have you ever wanted to make your own comic strip? Do you already make comics, but are looking for some tips on drawing more dynamic characters? In this drawing workshop, we'll experiment with character design and draw our very own 4 panel comic strips!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Owning the Open Mic with Andrew Sa »

Make any stage your home in this interactive workshop that takes the anxiety and mystery out of performing for a crowd. Open mic host Andrew Sa will cover how to choose the right songs/material for you, find your ideal mic and stage setup, display stage presence while still being yourself, and get comfortable with your audience. Great for all types of performers: music, spoken word, comedy, and everything in-between!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Songcraft: Song Creation Piece by Piece »

What makes a great song? Is it a catchy melody? A rhyme? The message? We will explore all of these aspects and what tools we can use in our own songwriting. Bring pen and paper and (optional) your favorite instrument to write with.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- What Every Guitar Player Needs to Know »

Get to know your guitar better and start sounding like a pro! In this interactive workshop for beginner and intermediate students, you’ll discover some of the most common and effective ways that guitarists take their playing to the next level.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Words of Wisdom with Gregory Geffrard »

Bring out your voice and views on the world in this performance poetry class. Ultimately, we’ll work together to write and perform a class poem focused on the concept of passing wisdom on to our future selves with the knowledge we possess in the present.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- A Cappella Pop-Up Choir »

Come sing folk and pop favorites, both new and old, and discover lesser-known treasures in this interactive workshop. Engage in unique a cappella arrangements in a singing adventure that starts with unison singing and moves into group techniques like rounds and harmonies. You’ll also learn elements of basic movement and percussion techniques for singers. The only requirement is a love of singing and the only instrument you need is your own voice!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Laugh Lines »

Have you ever wanted to make your own comic strip? Do you already make comics, but are looking for some tips on drawing more dynamic characters? In this drawing workshop, we'll experiment with character design and draw our very own 4 panel comic strips!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Owning the Open Mic with Andrew Sa »

Make any stage your home in this interactive workshop that takes the anxiety and mystery out of performing for a crowd. Open mic host Andrew Sa will cover how to choose the right songs/material for you, find your ideal mic and stage setup, display stage presence while still being yourself, and get comfortable with your audience. Great for all types of performers: music, spoken word, comedy, and everything in-between!

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Songcraft: Song Creation Piece by Piece with Liz Chidester »

What makes a great song? Is it a catchy melody? A rhyme? The message? We will explore all of these aspects and what tools we can use in our own songwriting. We will also collaborate on a group song or on individual piece. Bring pen and paper and (optional) your favorite instrument to write with.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- What Every Guitar Player Needs to Know »

Get to know your guitar better and start sounding like a pro! In this interactive workshop for beginner and intermediate students, you’ll discover some of the most common and effective ways that guitarists take their playing to the next level.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
Teen Takeover- Words of Wisdom »

Bring out your voice and views on the world in this performance poetry class. Ultimately, we’ll work together to write and perform a class poem focused on the concept of passing wisdom on to our future selves with the knowledge we possess in the present.

Open to AllProgram: Teen

$20 ($19 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
Tue. May 17, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Wed. May 18, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Mexican Fiddle Tunes »

Join Maria McCullough for a workshop in fiddle tunes from Mexico. During the workshop you will learn to play and sing tunes as well as learn about the regions of Mexico where the tunes originate.

Open to AllProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. May 19, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 20, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre - Open Company Class »

AdvancedProgram: Dance

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 20, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Political Cartooning »

Laugh, draw, and create with OTSFM comics teacher, Corinne Mucha as we explore how comics can be used as commentary. Students will play with writing and illustration as they experiment with the art of satire and hyperbole. We'll learn the basic steps of creating a comic as we make our own original editorial cartoons, discuss the history of political cartoons, and examine how static images and words are used to express opinions in modern media.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$20 ($15 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. Dancers and musicians will work separately and 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 – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Introduction to Steel Pan »

Students will get a hands on experience with Caribbean music and percussion specifically the steelpan, Trinidad and Toago's national instrument.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$30 ($28 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
Sun. May 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fretboard Geography: Simplifying the Guitar Neck »

Whether you are an experienced singer/songwriter or a beginning player, the guitar fretboard can be intimidating to learn. It doesn't have to be and you don't need a whole semester of music theory to start to unlock it. 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. It’s also a great pre-curser or review for ongoing study of Fingerboard Theory.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 28, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Flamenco Guitar Workshop with Juanito Pascual »

In this interactive workshop Juanito Pascual will share his passion for teaching the art of flamenco, offering insights into his approach for development of key technical and rhythmic skills used in flamenco guitar.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 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
Fri. June 10, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

The Gather-All is a family jam for musicians of all ages and abilities. Practice songs you know and learn to play some new ones in a welcoming and fun environment. You don't have to be in a class at Old Town School to join this music-making experience! The Gather-All is held from 6:30pm-7:30pm. ALL ages, instruments, and abilities are invited and encouraged to come!

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Music

$5 ($5 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
Sun. June 19, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 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!

REGISTER NOW

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