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!

Sat. October 21, 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM · West Loop
FREE Wiggleworms Sample Class »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
Class is full.
Sat. October 21, 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. October 21, 3:00 PM – 4:30 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)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. October 21, 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)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. October 27, 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM · Park Ridge
FREE Wiggleworms Sample Class »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sat. October 28, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Bowing 747: Ed Haley »

We'll learn a tune (replete with bowing) from virtuosic fiddler Ed Haley (1885-1951), and listen to several of his other tunes, including tunes that he composed. Haley was born in West Virginia and lived out his life in Kentucky. He was a prolific musician, and as a blind man, music was one of the few careers open to him and his wife.

AdvancedProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$25 ($24 members)

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Thu. November 02, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Special Thursday Jam - Welcome the New Song Book! »

Join us on November 2nd for a special Thursday Jam where Old Town School teaching artists will introduce the newest version of the Old Town School Songbook!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Fri. November 03, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words and Music: 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
Fri. November 03, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Autumn 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 Autumn in Chicago!

Open to AllProgram: Guitar

$15 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 11, 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM · West Loop
FREE Wiggleworms Sample Class »

Open to AllKids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms

FREE!

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 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. 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. November 11, 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. November 12, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Traditional Throat Singing of Central Asia »

Join Tamir Hargana, originally from Mongolia for this unique workshop exploring traditional and contemporary music from the Central Asian steppes. Tamir will demonstrate the technique of traditional throat singing (khoomii), and explain the background and differences between the Mongolian and Tuvan style. Participants will have a chance to practice the throat singing technique and work towards getting their voices to produce an overtone.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. November 12, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Poised for Performance - Intro to the Alexander Technique »

Is your body disconnected from your singing or playing? Do you want fuller, easier breathing? Do you suffer from stage fright? Has poor posture or chronic body tension been getting in the way of your freedom and expression as a vocalist or musician? 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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Mon. November 13, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Bowed String Technique »

Join world-renowned cellist and core member of The Silk Road Ensemble, Mike Block for this rare workshop. Mike will share his musical expertise focusing on bowing techniques such as chopping. He will teach participants a tune or two and leave time for a short performance/demonstration and Q & A. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity! Players of bowed stringed instruments of all kinds are encouraged to attend.

IntermediateProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$30 ($30 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 18, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Honky-Tonk Fiddle »

Learn the secrets of honky-tonk fiddling by dissecting an iconic fiddle solo from a legendary recording and discussing the elements one can use to improvise solos on country songs.

IntermediateProgram: Fiddle & Cello

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 18, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Intro to Free Improvisation »

Improvising on an instrument can sometimes feel intimidating, but there are ways to overcome this fear! In this workshop, participants will be introduced to ideas and exercises centered around creating music on the spot through free improvisation.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. November 18, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Canciones De Mi Padre »

Michael G. and Petie narrate and demonstrate the colorful music and history of their storied family. Dating back five generations to Federico “Fred” Ronstadt in the 1800s, music was and remains inextricably intertwined with their lives, reflecting their mixed Mexican, Southwestern and German roots. Bring your instruments and voices as the Ronstadt’s explore the century-plus range of styles: polka, mariachi, huapango, classical, folk, early rock, and the diverse original songwriting of today’s generation.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($25 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sun. November 19, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Singing A Capella: Rejoice in Voice »

In this workshop, voice is our only instrument! Together, we will create a glorious blend while hearing, finding and exploring harmonies, countermelodies, and filling out and arranging songs. Genres include folk, spirituals, rock, and pop. SATB welcome to take part and make more harmony with folks who love to sing together.

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Fri. December 01, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
THE SOCIAL - Words and Music: 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. December 09, 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. December 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. December 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.

Open to AllProgram: Dance

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 09, 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)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 16, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Christmas Carols for Banjo »

Learn how to play several Christmas carols on the banjo. Tab will be provided, all styles of picking the 5-string banjo will be welcome. Requests are welcome ~ please email Matt a week in advance to submit your ideas!

Open to AllProgram: Banjo

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 16, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Chilean Folk Music »

Join Jose Luis Contreras of the world-renowned group Chilean group, Illapu for a unique workshop exploring some of the legendary contemporary folk music of Chile.

IntermediateProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 16, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Traditional Andean Wind Instruments »

Explore the music of Andean melodic wind instruments, such as zampoñas (panpipes) and quenas (Andean flute) in this workshop with Jose Luis Contreras of the world-renowned Chilean group, Illapu.

Open to AllProgram: Ensemble

$25 ($24 members)

REGISTER NOW
Sat. December 16, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Pop-Up Caroling! »

Andrea Bunch is offering a special Pop Up Caroling event! Bring winter cheer to the Lincoln Square neighborhood with traditional and modern holiday favorites. All ages, all singers are encouraged to come caroling! Families welcome!

Open to AllProgram: Voice

$10 ($10 members)

REGISTER NOW

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