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 01, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dennis Cahill Accompaniment: Starting with Chords »

This workshop will focus on harmonic structures in chords; how to hear and understand how they are formed, and use them in all kinds of musical situations.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. February 06, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
The Gather-All »

Join the jam! You don't have to be in a class at Old Town School to join this music-making experience for all ages.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Ensemble

$5 ($5 members)

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Fri. February 06, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - California Songs »

Warm up this winter by joining us to play & sing songs associated with California for The Social, lead by Old Town School teaching artist Tommi Zender. Participants will take home a full packet of fun tunes from different decades & musical genres to sing and play!

Open to AllProgram:

$15 ($10 members)

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Fri. February 06, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM · 4544 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 Songwriter's Circle.

Open to AllProgram:

$10 ($7 members)

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Sun. February 08, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dennis Cahill Accompaniment: Rhythm Comes to Life »

This workshop focuses on rhythm in music; making it come to life and be “conversational” in relation to phrasing melodies.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. February 08, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fretboard Geography: Simplifying the Guitar Neck »

More fun than grammar school maps! And more useful, too.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. February 14, 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Dance Basics for Couples »

Special Valentine’s Edition! Just added! 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. February 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
Class is full.
Sat. February 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Cajun and Zydeco Dance »

Just in time for Mardi Gras! 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. February 15, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dennis Cahill Accompaniment: Left and Right Hand Technique »

Techniques; both left hand and right hand (or vice versa for lefties). We’ll also review concepts from previous workshops in the series.

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. February 15, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Folk Jam Workshop: Leading & Following »

Play well with others! Join this hands-on workshop with Jam master Mark Dvorak. Nobody in the Midwest has led more jam sessions and singalongs than Mark, dating back to the 1980s, through the legendary Folk Club Sessions, and the Thursday Night Special here at the Old Town School.

Program: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. February 20, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - From Singing Soldiers to Tin Soldiers: American Antiwar Songs »

War has a way of bringing people together in song, for better or worse. Here is a chance to learn a few songs to help you through the next armed conflict that big business and Uncle Sam serve up to us. Antiwar activist Bill Ayers, author Ron Cohen, and a select regiment of Old Town School teachers (Jimmy Tomasello and John Mead), will be on hand to teach and discuss the wealth of peace songs have emerged out of every military conflict involving the United States. Copies of Ron's newest scholarly history, “Singing for Peace, Antiwar Songs on American History” will be available for purchase and signing.

Open to AllProgram:

$15 ($10 members)

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Sun. February 22, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Making the Switch from Guitar to Bass »

Double your instrumental range in one workshop!

Open to AllProgram: Bass

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. February 28, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Dan’s Rhythm Method »

Let’s count to four all together, and get this thing right!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. February 28, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Scales With Colors »

Discover a new way to learn, practice, and use scales in your guitar playing!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. March 01, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Bluegrass Jam »

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

FREE!

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Fri. March 06, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Color Songs »

Join Dan Fulkerson and a group of like-minded musicians and singers to sing and play songs with color in their names. All instruments (you bring your own) welcome, guitar tabs, and lyrics will be provided. Paint some pretty pictures with music this cold and gray season!

Open to AllProgram:

$15 ($10 members)

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Sat. March 07, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. March 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Washboard Workshop: “Grab A Board & Rub” »

In just two Saturday afternoons, you can learn the basics and be playing the washboard! Join Barb for fun, rhythmic music-making in a group setting.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$55 ($53 members)

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Sat. March 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. March 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Country Dancing! »

Country line dancing - the perfect way to get a move on for singles or couples. So get your boots a scootin’ to the Old town School of Folk Music for a fun workout on the dance floor!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. March 15, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fingerpicking For Absolute Beginners »

Fingerpicking can be easy with these simple tips to help you start!

BeginnerProgram: Guitar

$25 ($25 members)

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Fri. April 03, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Almost #1: Songs that topped at 2 »

Dan Fulkerson delivers some of the very best songs that didn’t quite chart at number one! Sing and play some great tunes with a group of like-minded musicians and singers. All instruments (you bring your own) welcome, guitar tabs and lyrics will be provided.

Open to AllProgram:

$15 ($10 members)

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Thu. April 09, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Latin/Jazz Dance Technique »

Celebrate Chicago Dance Month by exploring traditional jazz technique blended with a variety of Latin dance forms in this workshop with Valerie Alpert.

BeginnerProgram: Dance

$15 ($14 members)

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Sat. April 11, 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. April 11, 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. April 12, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Getting Ready for the Gig »

You've got songs ready to go, but how do you make the most out of your time, and your band’s rehearsal time? Join this workshop with veteran performer to learn real-world tips you’ve never learned in class!

Open to AllProgram: Songwriting

$25 ($24 members)

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Mon. April 13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Contemporary Dance Workshop »

Celebrate Chicago Dance Month in this contemporary dance workshop with one of Chicago’s dance master choreographers: Kevin “Iega” Jeff from Deeply Rooted Productions.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$15 ($14 members)

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Thu. April 23, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Go-Go Dance Workshop »

Join this fun and all-inclusive dance workshops to learn steps and a combination you can do anywhere, to rock or pop music!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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Thu. April 30, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
We Got Rhythm – And So Do You! »

Join this workshop in making joyously rhythm-charged body music with Chicago’s “miracle of inventive energy,” JUMP RHYTHM Jazz Project! Taught by Billy Siegenfeld, JUMP RHYTHM Jazz Project’s Artistic Director.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$15 ($14 members)

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Sun. May 03, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Strumming Secrets »

Beginners and pros: Make your rhythm sound more solid in this afternoon workshop.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 09, 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. May 09, 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
Sat. May 23, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Old Time Banjo: Beyond the Bum-Ditty »

Explore old-time clawhammer banjo with Brad Kolodner, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world.

IntermediateProgram: Banjo

$30 ($29 members)

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Sun. May 31, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Effect Pedals and Electronics for Guitars »

The modern guitar is not just a guitar and amp any more!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. June 13, 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. June 13, 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
Sat. August 08, 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. August 08, 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
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 · 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
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
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. 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
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