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!

For Winter 2021, we're also offering shorter 4-week classes versions of classic classes! ▸

Fri. April 23, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Central) · Online

Dylan Songbag: Blonde on Blonde

This month as we approach the bard’s 80th birthday, we’ll play thru the 1966 masterpiece “Blonde on Blonde”. Though it’s a double album we’ll add a few more tunes from the period of that thin mercury sound. “You say you love me and you’re thinking of me but you know you could be wrong”. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. April 23, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM (Central) · Online

Songwriter’s Circle ONLINE with Daniel Connolly

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. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Sat. April 24, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Central) · Online

All You Need Is Patience: A Sondre Lerche Songwriting Workshop

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$35 ($30 members)
Sat. April 24, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (Central) · Online

Egyptian Belly Dance

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($23 members)
Sat. April 24, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (Central) · Online

Chuck Berry Songbag

We’ll dig in past Johnny B. Goode to learn his licks AND marvel at the concision and poetry of his storytelling. Charts and tabs will be provided. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. April 24, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (Central) · Online

How to Lead a Song with Chris Corsale

Whether at Second Half or out in the wild, leading others through a song is a great feeling. Be a better leader (and have happier followers) by learning a few simple ideas. [more info]

Beginner
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sun. April 25, 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM (Central) · Online

The Trouble with Tablature and Chord Charts

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. April 25, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Central) · Online

A History of Women In Country Music: A Workshop with Lawrence Peters

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. April 25, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM (Central) · Online

Deciphering Rhythm and Strumming

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. April 26, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Central) · Online

An Introduction to Tango Dance with Carla and Julio of Tango Lovers

[more info]

Beginner
Program: Dance
$25 ($20 members)
$30 ($25 members)
Fri. April 30, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Central) · Online

Intermediate Tango Dance Workshop with Carla and Julio of Tango Lovers

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Dance
$25 ($20 members)
Fri. April 30, 7:30 PM – 8:50 PM (Central) · Online

Tom Petty ‘70s Songbag

Back to the beginning with songs from Petty’s career-making first three albums. Refugee, American Girl, Don’t Do Me Like That, and lots of deep cuts. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. May 01, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Central) · Online

Key Elements of Tabla and Taal Workshop with Subrata Battacharya

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Drumming
$30 ($25 members)
Sat. May 01, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (Central) · Online

West African Dance Workshop

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($23 members)
Wed. May 05, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

History of Motown Series with John Mead: Beginnings

The history of an upstart Detroit rhythm-and-blues label from BEFORE the Hit Factory. Smokey Robinson and Mary Wells were there, and so was Barrett Strong, Shorty Long, and the Satintones. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. May 07, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

One Song One Night: Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond

That’s right. Learn to play the epic tribute to Syd Barrett the founder of the group. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. May 08, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (Central) · Online

Second Parts for Mandolin and Fiddle

[more info]

Intermediate
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
Fri. May 14, 7:30 PM – 8:50 PM (Central) · Online

Bill Withers Songbag

Learn a handful of songs from this great songwriter’s catalog. Hits and deep cuts, simple songs and a few jazz chords. We'll cover hits such as Lean On Me, Ain't No Sunshine, Lovely Day, Just the Two of Us, and Use Me -- as well as some of his deeper cuts.  We'll provide the charts so you can play and sing along. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. May 14, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

One Song One Night: The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin

Many frustrated guitarists have learned to play this Led Zeppelin classic in standard tuning and it never sounds quite like the original. We will learn it using the original Gsus4 open tuning, in a slightly edited down arrangement for solo acoustic guitar. This workshop is for intermediate/advanced players [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. May 15, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (Central) · Online

Melody for Mandolin, Fiddle, or Guitar

[more info]

Intermediate
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
Sat. May 15, 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM (Central) · Online

Washboard for All Workshop

[more info]

Program: Drumming
$25 ($25 members)
Wed. May 19, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

History of Motown Series with John Mead: The Sound of Young America

The Hits start coming! The breakthrough of the United States’ most successful black crossover record label, and the artists—the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Four Tops—AND the behind-the-scenes Holland/Dozier/Holland juggernaut—that made it happen. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. May 21, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Central) · Online

Dylan Songbag: 80th Birthday Celebration

May: We’re celebrating with a couple songs of Bob from each of the seven decades he has inspired and entertained us. If you want to lead a song let us know! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. May 22, 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM (Central) · Online

Gregg Allman Songbag

Beyond the instrumental fireworks, one of the elements that made the Allman Brothers great was their songwriting. Check in for a handful of Gregg’s handiwork—Melissa, Midnight Rider, Come and Go Blues, Dreams, and more. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Mon. May 24, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM (Central) · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Jolene by Dolly Parton

This song needs no introduction. Learn how to play it on the clawhammer banjo! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. May 24, 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM (Central) · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: I Feel Fine by Lennon & McCartney

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. I Feel Fine by Lennon & McCartney [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sat. May 29, 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM (Central) · Online

Everly Brothers Songbag

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Wed. June 02, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

History of Motown Series with John Mead: Psychedelic Soul

The Hit Factory adjusts to the changes of the late 1960s, and Motown gets funky, trippy, and socially conscious. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. June 04, 7:30 PM – 8:50 PM (Central) · Online

Rod Stewart/ Ronnie Wood Songbag

These two old friends created a great catalog of songs between them. We’ll play early Rod, solo Ronnie, and a few Faces tunes.   [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Mon. June 07, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM (Central) · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Wade In The Water (Traditional)

Learn this traditional American folk song in a wonderful clawhammer banjo arrangement. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. June 07, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM (Central) · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Let It Be by Lennon & McCartney (Part 1 of 2)

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. Let it Be by Lennon & McCartney a 2 part workshop [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Tue. June 08, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM (Central) · Online

Burlesque Chair Dance

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. June 11, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

Classic Album Songbag: Ziggy Stardust

The album that made Bowie and that gave the world the Spiders from Mars. Revisit this GREAT collection of songs. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Sun. June 13, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Central) · Online

Blues Worshop Series with Donna Herula: Blues Fingerstyle

Learn, "Who's Been Cookin' in My Kitchen," a fun and humorous solo, acoustic blues song that's a modern take on the classic blues women songs of the 1920's and 30's. With influences from Mississippi John Hurt's alternating thumb style, this fingerpicking song will make you smile, and even raise your eyebrow, with it's catchy melody and lyrics seeped in double meanings. The song is in standard tuning. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. June 14, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM (Central) · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash

Johnny’s hit song, arranged for clawhammer banjo. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. June 14, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM (Central) · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Let It Be by Lennon & McCartney (Part 2 of 2)

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. Let it Be by Lennon & McCartney a 2 part workshop [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Wed. June 16, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Central) · Online

History of Motown Series with John Mead: What’s Going On?

Motown responds to the 70s . . . by leaving Detroit, but also by unleashing the album-making talents of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, and discovering the Jackson Five before it passes into the disco era. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. June 18, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Central) · Online

Dylan Songbag: Rough and Rowdy Ways (one year later)

June: Let’s take a stab at playing this monumental album after listening to it for a year! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Sun. June 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Central) · Online

Blues Worshop Series with Donna Herula: Americana and Folk Slide Techniques

Slide guitar can add beauty and emotion to folk and Americana songs. Students will learn how to integrate both fingerpicking and slide guitar into their acoustic guitar playing. We will be reviewing, "Promise Me," a heartfelt song that uses alternating thumb, descending picking patterns, and slide guitar in this slow to moderately paced song in Open D Tuning. DADF#AD [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. July 11, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Central) · Online

Blues Worshop Series with Donna Herula: Chicago Blues Slide Technique

Learn early Chicago Blues style slide guitar reminiscent of Hound Dog Taylor. With driving rhythm and fun-to-play slide licks, we will be reviewing the upbeat duet, "I Can't Wait to See My Baby." This song can be played on electric guitar or electrified acoustic or resonator guitar. The workshop is appropriate for beginner to intermediate slide guitar players..  [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. July 25, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Central) · Online

Blues Worshop Series with Donna Herula: Instrumental Acoustic Slide

Learn a solo, acoustic blues instrumental that showcases numerous tricks and licks up and down the fretboard! This menacing song, "Black Ice," is in Open D Minor Tuning and incorporates alternating thumb, fast-moving slide guitar and various ascending and descending left-hand finger patterns. This workshop is best suited for intermediate to advanced fingerstyle and slide guitar players. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)