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 25, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM · 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!

Program: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

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Sun. February 25, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Songs and Stories of African People »

Join Shanta Nurullah, Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, storyteller, and Old Town School teaching artist for a family event celebrating the songs and stories of people of the African Diaspora.

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program:

$15 ($15 members)

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Fri. March 02, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
First Friday - March Workshops, Jams & Ensemble Performances »

The $15 entry fee entitles participants to jams, workshops, AND the ensemble performances. Voice of the People Jam with Andrea Bunch and Bill Brickey, Intro to Fingerpicking with Randy Morris, African Rhythms for Beginners with Gros Ngolle-Pokosi, Pop-Up Community Choir with Rebecca Toon.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$15.00 ($15.00 members)

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Fri. March 02, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - 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 ($7 members)

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Fri. March 02, 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave
First Friday - March Ensemble Performances Only »

Check out Old Town School’s amazing ensembles! $5 entry fee gets you in to see the show!
1. OTS Community Choir
2. Afrobeat Ensemble
3. Here and Now Ensemble
4. ‘90s Ensemble
5. Soul Ensemble

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$5 ($5 members)

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Sat. March 03, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. April 07, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. May 05, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. June 02, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Monthly Harmonica for Beginners - 4 Month Series »

Busy schedule? Here's your chance to take Harmonica for Beginners on a once a month basis for four months, checking in with the instructor with questions in between meetings.

BeginnerProgram: Harmonica

$160 ($150 members)

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Sat. March 10, 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. March 10, 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 11, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Exceptional Wiggleworms! Drop-In Class »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms

$20 ($20 members)

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Fri. March 16, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Pub Songs »

Prepare for St. Paddy’s Day with Dan Fulkerson. Sing and play tunes new and old that are perfect for the pub!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

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Sat. March 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Taiko Drumming »

In this introductory workshop, participants will pick up taiko fundamentals including history of the taiko, gripping the sticks, stance, kata (movements and body positioning), basic timing and taiko rhythms.

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. March 17, 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)

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Sat. March 17, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Music of Andalusia & the Mediterranean »

Join members of the Spanish-based group, La Banda Morisca, for a workshop in music from around the Mediterranean. The workshop will touch on on Greek, Byzantium, Persian, Turkish and Andalusian musical styles highlighting their similarities and unique features.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

FREE!

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Sat. March 17, 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.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. March 24, 3:30 PM – 5:15 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Relax On Stage »

Join Old Town School teaching artist, Barbie Silverman for this special offering. Discover the tools that help you address an audience in an intimate, humorous and relaxed way.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. March 25, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Afro-Venezuelan Dance »

Join Afro-Venezuelan percussion and dance ensemble, La Parranda El Clavo, for this special workshop before their evening performance with Betsayda Machando.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($20 members)

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Sun. March 25, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Crushing and Destroying 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.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. March 25, 2:45 PM – 4:45 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Embodied Musician - Intro to the Alexander Technique »

The Alexander Technique has helped people connect to their body and breath, to relieve stress, and to reduce unnecessary tension for over a century. Bring your sense of play and curiosity, and don’t miss the opportunity to experience this work usually available only on the conservatory level!

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$30 ($28 members)

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Sun. March 25, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles - The Early Years »

Learn the techniques and tricks of how John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison sculpted lyrics, chords and melodies into timeless classes. This time we’ll focus on the early years!

Open to AllProgram: Songwriting

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. March 29, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Latvian Folk Songs and Dances »

Join Imanta Dimanta un draugi (“ImantaDimanta and Friends”), for this special workshop after their World Music Wednesday performance! The workshop will showcase the many aspects of Latvian song and dance traditions.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

FREE!

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Fri. March 30, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Broadway Dance for Kids »

Come have fun kicking up your heels to music from popular Broadway shows!

IntermediateKids Group Class – Program: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. March 31, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
The Joy of Old Time Music »

Learn some Old Time fiddle tunes and sing songs with bunch of like-minded folks. There’s nothing like it!

IntermediateProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$15 ($15 members)

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Sat. March 31, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Washboard Workshop: “Grab A Board & Rub” »

Become a washboard percussionist in this engaging workshop led by washboard wizard Barb Silverman!

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. April 05, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Afro-Contemporary Dance™️ »

This class is an Afro-Diaspora movement practice that fuses Africanist movement vocabulary, Chicago House and modern dance forms. If you love Afro-House music you will enjoy this class!

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

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Fri. April 06, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - 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 ($7 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 07, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Flamenco Dance - Bulerias »

Join Old Town School teaching artist, Maya Tatiana for this special workshop focusing on bulerias, a special Flamenco dance form associated with Jerez de la Frontera.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 07, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Turlough O'Carolan: George Brabazon, 1st Air - G Major »

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. This week we’ll learn George Brabazon, 1st Air - G Major.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

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Sun. April 08, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. April 15, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. April 22, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. April 29, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Beginning Throat Singing Technique »

Learn the enchanting and mysterious art of throat singing! Join Tamir Hargana, originally from Mongolia for this four-part workshop exploring traditional and contemporary throat singing from the Central Asian steppes.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$100 ($90 members)

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Thu. April 12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sabar Dance Workshop »

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)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 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. 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 14, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Uncharted Waters: Musical Map-making & Notation »

Explore interpreting, arranging, and chart-making in this special workshop!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

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Sat. April 14, 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. April 14, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Irish Step (soft shoe) »

Join Old Town School Teaching Artist, Nora Kerr for this special workshop. Experience the fun and precision of Irish step dancing in this introductory workshop. You’ll be introduced to traditional soft shoe dances including reels and jigs.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

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Sat. April 14, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Turlough O'Carolan: John Drury, 1st Air - D Major »

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. This week we’ll learn John Drury, 1st Air - D Major.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 21, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Fiddle and Banjo Duets »

Learn to play fiddle and banjo tunes in close rhythmic agreement, synchronizing the two parts by matching phrasing and note choices.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$35 ($33 members)

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Sat. April 21, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Turlough O'Carolan: Dolly MacDonough - E Minor »

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. This week we’ll learn Dolly MacDonough - e minor.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 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. April 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Capoeira »

Dance to live music! Get introduced to Capoeira in this special workshop. With roots in Africa and Brazil, Capoeira is a fighting dance: a play of wit, style, speed, strategy, and soul. Incorporating traditional Brazilian music, Capoeira is an acrobatic physical movement that is both dance and martial art.

BeginnerProgram: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

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Sat. April 28, 11:00 AM – 1:00 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)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 28, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
HOME: A House Dance Workshop »

Boogie McClarin guides an exploration of movement history, concepts, approaches and social dance practices that accompany the global phenomenon that born of Chicago's rich heritage- House Music and Dance Culture.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 28, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Improvising for Fiddle - It doesn’t have to be scary! »

Ever wonder if there are some tricks of the trade when it comes to improvisation? National champion and professional bluegrass fiddler Megan B. Lynch will share them with you in this workshop.

Open to AllProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 28, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Turlough O'Carolan: Mrs. Maxwell, 1st Air - D Major »

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. This week we’ll learn Mrs. Maxwell, 1st Air - D Major.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. April 28, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
So, What Does the Fiddle Do in a Jam Again? »

Often, fiddlers are left out of bluegrass, folk, and singer/songwriter jams. National Champion and professional bluegrass fiddler Megan Lynch is ready to change all that. Leave every jam feeling that you actually added something to the mix.

Open to AllProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. May 04, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - 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 ($7 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 12, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Country & Bluegrass Harmony: Strings and Vocals »

Be the band. Learn to sing lead and harmony parts, play backup or lead, or arrange songs. This workshop will help bring singers and instrumentalists together in harmony.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. May 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. 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. May 12, 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
Fri. June 01, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - 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 ($7 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. June 09, 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. June 09, 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