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!

Mon. July 06, 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Old Time Two-Finger Banjo Review Session »

A great way to keep your fingers moving in anticipation of classes starting up again in the fall while offering you a chance to meet other like-minded banjoists.

IntermediateProgram: Banjo

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. July 18, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
West African Dance from Togo »

Shake your whole body to traditional djembe and modern rhythms of West Africa, known for its music and dances that are easy and fun to learn. Masina’s workshop will focus mainly on traditional dances from Togo, featuring elements from Ewe, Kabye & Losso ceremonial dances.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$18 ($17 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. July 18, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Washboard Workshop: “Grab A Board & Rub” »

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

Open to AllProgram: Drumming

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. July 19, 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Blues Progressions and Soloing »

Get a solid handle on this universal music form from a seasoned, Chicago-born, blues veteran.

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$45 ($45 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. July 19, 3:30 PM – 5:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Slidin’ The Blues with Jim Kahr »

Dynamite blues instruction tailored to acoustic steel string pickers

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$45 ($45 members)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. July 27, 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Old Time Two-Finger Banjo Review Session »

A great way to keep your fingers moving in anticipation of classes starting up again in the fall while offering you a chance to meet other like-minded banjoists.

IntermediateProgram: Banjo

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Thu. July 30, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
OTS 101: Fiddle »

Join Maria McCullough for this fun introduction to fiddling - great for future fiddlers of all ages, even children 7 and up. Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

Open to AllProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$20 ($19 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. August 01, 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
How to Practice for Beginners »

This is a workshop to help students improve the task of practicing. Practicing is a skill that eludes many of us. We will use an open dialogue to learn about how each of us practice. I will share my views with three very important questions: What is practice? How much do I practice? What should I practice? This class is for any beginner or intermediate student that plays any instrument or style.

BeginnerProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. August 02, 12:30 PM – 1:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Jazz Guitar Basics: Preparation for taking "Introduction to Jazz Guitar" »

This is a workshop to prepare students that may be interested in taking Introduction to Jazz Guitar. This may help those who have taken the class and felt they needed more information to fill in the cracks. The class will touch on learning the fret board awareness, the major scale, intervals, and basic chord knowledge. Even if you are not interested in jazz this class will help your playing with these basic skills on the instrument.

BeginnerProgram: Guitar

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. August 07, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL: Hoop Dancing »

Welcome to "The Social" - on the first and third Friday each month Old Town School hosts workshop-style social events with faculty and visiting artists. Join Renee to learn tricks and basics of Hoop Dancing, including waist hooping, moving with the hoop, arm hooping and lifts, around and off-body tricks, walkthroughs, spins, passes, and combinations - whatever we don’t get to will be saved for next time! Hooping is great fun, great exercise, and a perfect activity for the summer concert season.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. August 07, 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
Fri. August 07, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL: Summertime Beatles »

Join us to sing and play songs by the Fab Four, lead by Old Town School teaching artist Tommi Zender. Participants will take home a packet of Beatles songs, along with selected 70’s solo-Beatles bonus tracks mixed in. Get out out of the house, meet people, and play music...It’s summer!

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. August 08, 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. August 08, 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. August 09, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 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
Sun. August 09, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Fingerpicking Blues and Rags »

Join celebrated blues guitarist Mary Flower for her return to Old Town School with this fingerstyle blues workshop for advanced beginning through intermediate and advanced students!

IntermediateProgram: Guitar

$35 ($34 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)

REGISTER NOW
Mon. September 14, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Jump Rhythm® Technique »

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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 »

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 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
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 »

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$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 »

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($10 members)

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

Join us in this workshop 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

$10 ($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