Ensemble Classes



There is no “I” in band.

The best way to become a better player is to play with others. The ensemble class gives you opportunities to play with other people on a regular basis in a comfortable setting where folks can listen to and learn from each other.

To get the most out of the class, you'll need to be able to play your instrument at an intermediate level. For folks who have taken our core guitar programs - you'll fit right in most ensembles once you've taken Guitar 3. After that, the sky is the limit.

Drummers are encouraged to bring their own cymbals and snare. Vocalists are encouraged to bring their own microphone and microphone stand. Electric guitar players are to bring a small, 10 Watt practice amp. Banjo players are encouraged to bring tuners.

Many ensemble classes conclude with a public performance either in the confines of the School or at a local venue. Please be advised if an ensemble choses to perform it will generally happen the last weekend of the class or the following week. Check out the different ensemble genres on the right of the page.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »

A new night and a new time. Gypsy Jazz Ensemble returns!
Sometimes called the Hot Club of Lincoln Square this vibrant ensemble will afford players a chance to really stretch out and share ideas with fellow jammers. Led by multi-instrumentalist Michael O'Toole, we invite guitarists, horn players, reeds, violinists, and more to produce some HOT gypsy jazz.
Mondays at 8:00PM.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »   Michael O'Toole »   Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Guitar »   

The '60s Classics Ensemble »

Get on board for a mind-blowing journey through a musical decade that remains a major influence on popular culture. Bring your Fender, your farfisa, your green tambourine, your mini skirt or love beads. The party ain't over 'til it's over. You want Kinks, Temptations, Satisfaction or maybe the Singing Nun? The possibilities are endless. Classes are held Wednesdays at noon or late Saturday morning after cereal and cartoons. Taught by the Human Jukebox: Steve Levitt.

‘60s Classics Ensemble »   Steve Levitt »   Billboard's Top Hits of the '60s »   

Wilco Ensemble »

After a 5 year hiatus, the Wilco Ensemble returns to our catalog. We'll meet on Tuesdays at 6:30 and celebrate the music and grooves of hometown favorites Jeff Tweedy and company. Open to all instruments and voices.

Wilco Ensemble »   Bob Goins »   Wilco In Concert »   

Afrobeat Ensemble »

Come learn the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, South Africa, and more in this invigorating ensemble class. We'll work together to learn the deceptively complex interlocking parts of this music, spanning the genres of Bikutsi, Makossa, Highlife, Soukous, and More. Wednesdays at 6:30.

Afrobeat Ensemble »   Emmanuel Ngolle Pokossi »   

List of All Ensemble Classes (58 found)

‘60s Classics Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Jimmy Tomasello or Cathy Norden

You call the tune; we'll learn the tune.

‘80s Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with John Mead

Celebrate a decade of multiplicity

‘90s Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Tuesday with Andrea Bunch

Whatever, dude. East Village, East London, Eastern Europe, East Building.

Ensemble Basics

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Charles Kim

Get your act together before joining an ensemble or group.

Acoustic Blues Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Saturday with Paul Kaye

Afrobeat Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with Emmanuel Ngolle Pokossi

Join with others to celebrate the music of a continent.

Americana Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Skip Landt

This class emphasizes American popular music of the 1920s and 1930s but includes songs from the folk revival and beyond.

New Americana Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Alton Smith

Hey Ho and all points in between

Miles Davis Ensemble

Group ClassAdvancedNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Jack Cassidy

Band Coaching Adult

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Saturday with Bob Goins

Beatles Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Tommi Zender

Deep cuts and favorites from from John, Paul, et al.

Daytime Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Friday with TBA

Good day sunshine… Session 1 Introducing The Beatles

Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with Tom Ryan

A splendid time is guaranteed Session 1 Introducing The Beatles


Beatles for Beginners

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Charles Kim

The music of the Fab Four simplified for those who have only played a short while.

Beginning Jazz Lab

Group ClassIntermediate

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $152 ($142 members)

Thursday with Jack Cassidy

This is the class to build your chops in.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $232 ($222 members)

Tuesday with Jack Cassidy

Think the Cotton Club comes to Lincoln Square.

Black Keys/White Stripes Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Dan Fulkerson

Bluegrass Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Monday with Colby Maddox or John Huber

Blues Band - Live!

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $232 ($222 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Steve Hutchins

Form a blues band, rehearse, and perform in an authentic blues club.

Brass Class: Holiday Cheer!

Group ClassIntermediate

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 6 weeks  ·  $120 ($110 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Ian Wilson with your contact information.

Brazilian Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Tuesday with Luciano Antonio or Heitor Garcia

Voices and instruments join together to play this infectious music.

Tom Petty Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with John Mead

Oh hell yes! Baby put on your party dress and join the band.

Celebrating Tradition

Group ClassOpen to All

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Monday with Maura Lally or Peggy Browning

Make music together, creating your own arrangements in the tradition of Frank Hamilton & Win Stracke, our School's founders.

Classic Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Saturday with Charles Kim

Session 6: “Raw Power” by The Stooges

Merge Records Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Saturday with Shelley Miller

Arcade Fire, Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel and more

Concept - Soundtrack Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Jimmy Tomasello

Session 1 “Stranger Things” Soundtrack

Modern Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Come explore your 21st century inner twang.

Eclectic Electric Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Wednesday with Steve Doyle or Tommi Zender

We can take this bus anywhere you want.

Women's Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Andrea Bunch

Come together to celebrate popular music by women from all eras.

Folk Songs: Carrying History Forward

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Peggy Browning

A fun and rewarding ensemble class for all levels of player

Folk-Rock Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with Tommi Zender

Work on licks, harmonies, arrangements and more.

Grateful Dead Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Jimmy Tomasello

Come join Uncle Steve's band

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Michael O'Toole

Come join the Hot Club of Lincoln Square.

Here and Now Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Andrea Bunch

Just what it says, contemporary music.

Husker Du Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Saturday with Shelley Miller

From “Everything Falls Apart” to “Warehouse:Songs and Stories”

Irish Session Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Irish Session Ensemble is offered during Sessions 2, 4, and 6. Keep playing in the off-session with Fiddle 4 Irish Forever or one of our other Celtic classes.

Jam Band Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Jon Wall

Let's kick out the jams and get better while we're at it.

Jazz Ensemble Improv 1

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Jack Cassidy

Now we're starting to really play this stuff!

Jazz Ensemble Improv 2

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Jack Cassidy

Let's get good and serious.

Latin Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Sunday with Manny Bances

Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz performance will inform your jazz study.

Jug Band Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with Jonas Friddle

With roots in the blues, jazz and ragtime, jug band music includes some of the happiest songs you'll ever play.

Klezmer Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Marianne Bossert

Celebrate the expressive melodies of this Eastern European music of Jewish descent.

Latin Grooves and Roots Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Sunday with Manny Bances

Add some spicy flavorings to whatever style you play: Jamming with Latin Roots music and contemporary funky fusions.

Near Eastern Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Monday with Ronnie Malley

Old Time Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Wednesday with Paul Tyler or Steve Rosen

Play in an Old Time string band with fellow students. You'll learn new tunes, and brush up some traditional favorites.

Old-Time Revival Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Tuesday with Jonas Friddle or Anna Jacobson

The beautiful sounds of traditional American music are being revived and reinvented by contemporary bands. Come play the songs!

Poets of Pop Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with Bill Brickey

We're paying attention to both lyrics and groove.

Punk Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Sunday with Shelley Miller

gabba gabba hey Session 1 2018: The ‘80s

R&B Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wednesday with John Mead

Immerse yourself into the work of an artist or musical movement.

Reggae Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Gregg Ostrom

Come get you some ska, rocksteady, roots reggae, and dancehall from the great nation of Jamaica.

Rockabilly Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Join this rootsy band comprised of a combination of R&B mixed with country influences.

Songwriter's Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Saturday with Charles Kim or Steve Dawson

A hands-on exploration of arranging and collaboration.

Soul Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $222 ($212 members)

Thursday with Alton Smith or Bill Brickey

Session 3: The music of Muscle Shoals- Aretha, Wilson, Clarence and more

Sunshine Pop

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Thursday with Cathy Norden

Vintage Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Windy City Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Wilco Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $206 ($196 members)

Tuesday with Bob Goins

If you feel like singing a song and you want other people to sing along…

Songs and Stories from a Chicago Folk Icon

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Sunday with Ed Holstein

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