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 Fall 2020, we're also offering shorter 4-week classes versions of classic classes! ▸

Fri. October 30, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · Online

Songwriter’s Circle 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)
Fri. October 30, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

Dylan Songbag: Full Moon Edition

The full blue moon lands on Halloween this year and we’ll meet the night before to play songs of the Bobster that mention the moon and other lunacies. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. October 31, 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM · Online

Halloween Singalong

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$10 ($8 members)
Sun. November 01, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Creole Fiddle Workshop with Cedric Watson

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$40 ($35 members)
Wed. November 04, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM · Online

Still Got The Blues: A Workshop with Jorma Kaukonen

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
Class is full.
Fri. November 06, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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)
Fri. November 06, 7:30 PM – 8:50 PM · Online

Classic Rock Songbag: Layla and other tunes about Patti Boyd

One Woman, Two Best Friends, A handful of songs—Patti Boyd, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and more. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. November 06, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM · Online

Student Advisory Council Spotlight Night

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Administrative
Sat. November 07, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM · Online

New Fingerboard Mappings with Gary Lee Joyner: The DNA of Tuning

We will look at a couple elements of “standard” tuning that are keys to unlocking the confusing secrets of the fingerboard. Spoiler alert—they turn out to be not all that confusing or secret. This information applies at all levels of ability and in all styles. I [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sat. November 07, 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM · Online

New Fingerboard Mappings with Gary Lee Joyner: Applying Patterns

This session offers ideas to get you started designing personal and creative pieces of music, lines, licks, and rhythms by using chord forms,open strings and capos. Patterns can be created in your choice of flatpicking and fingerpicking options. The musical style you explore is up to you. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. November 08, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM · Online

Black Banjo Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: Black Banjo Repertoire

Some songs are common to the playlists of many of the Melanized USan banjoists we know of. Some we know were ubiquitous. Let’s look at the stories behind these common Black banjo tunes, and get to playing a few of them. Examples of tunes we might cover include Raise a Ruckus Tonight, Corinne, Fishing Blues, and Colored Aristocracy. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 08, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Blues Guitar Workshop with Corey Harris

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$40 ($35 members)
Sun. November 08, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · Online

Bird Blues and More with Steve Cardenas

There is so much musical language and vocabulary to be found in the various blues tunes of these legendary artists. Discussions will focus on the use of rhythm, melodic motifs and harmonic shifts inside of these blues tunes. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 08, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online

Chord Chemistry for Ukulele

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Ukulele
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 08, 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM · Online

Post-African Sing and Play Along Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: What the Chocolate Drops Play

The band that became the Chocolate Drops started in my garage. Let’s sing some of their fun tunes including Corn Bread & Butter Beans, Hit ‘Em Up Style, Why Don’t You Do Right?, Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind, Old Joe Clark. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 08, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · Online

John Lennon 80th Birthday Bash Songbag

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ukulele
$25 ($23 members)
Fri. November 13, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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)
Fri. November 13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

R&B Songbag ONLINE: Roots of the Stones

The Stones are an R&B band, and we’ll look at their soul sources—Sam Cooke, Don Covay, Bobby Womack—AND play a few Stones soul ballads. Northern AND Southern Soul! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. November 14, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · Online

Dance Basics for Couples

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. November 14, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Free Your Body, Free Your Sound: The Alexander Technique

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$22 ($20 members)
Sat. November 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · Online

Cajun and Zydeco Dance

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 15, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM · Online

Black Banjo Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: Finger Picking R & B on the Five-string Banjo

The classic clawhammer “bum-diddy” rhythm just doesn’t work on all songs. In this workshop, we’ll do left-hand chording and incorporate some more modern rhythm in the right, playing a ‘50s R & B classic, and one from Motown and Curtom. Examples of songs we might hit on include A Lover’s Question, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Hit ‘Em Up Style, (SItting on) The Dock of the Bay. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 15, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online

Ukulele Songbag: Songs of the ‘70s

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Ukulele
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. November 15, 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM · Online

Post-African Sing and Play Along Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: Songs of Subtle Resistance

Post-African people in all/any of the Americas found themselves under pressure to be working machines, and not people of culture. Part of that resistance and survival was the use of songs; some overt, some subtle. Let’s play a few: Raise a Ruckus Tonight, Run, Shine, Dancing in the Streets, Redemption Song, Guantanamera. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
$30 ($25 members)
Fri. November 20, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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)
Fri. November 20, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

Dylan Songbag: Dylan and the Grateful Dead

This month: Let’s give thanks and be grateful. Dylan Songs covered by the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia over the years and those special Dead songs that Bob has shared. [more info]

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

Laurel Canyon Songbag

California in the cloud. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. November 21, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM · Online

Springsteen Songbag ONLINE “Letter to You”

We will focus this songbag on the brand new album and a few choice favorites. .Charts will be provided. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sun. November 22, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM · Online

Black Banjo Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: African Songs on the Five-String Banjo

We all know the banjo’s ancestors reside in Africa. Given that, let’s play some songs from different parts of the Motherland - West, North and South Africa—on the banjo! For example, we might look at Jalidong, Faden Kele, Mbube, Fanga Alafia, Toura Toura Tour Kelilah, Mansana Cisse. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · Online

Counterpoint Concepts for Guitar with Sid Jacobs

This class will focus on simple devices you can immediately employ in your playing. Sid will provide every student with an in depth PDF packet of material that will keep you busy for some time. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($25 members)
Sun. November 22, 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM · Online

Post-African Sing and Play Along Workshops with Súle Greg Wilson: Traditional and Urban African Songs

The Africans who interacted with European colonizers absorbed the European’s instruments, and created their own music. Let’s play a few songs from those traditions: Kiya Kiya, Pata Pata, Grazin’ in the Grass, Mbube. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($25 members)
Sat. November 28, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM · Online

Tom Petty Songbag ONLINE

We’ll dip into the NEW batch of TP songs from his newly-restored version and expanded Wildflowers, his original conception [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sun. November 29, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · Online

Norwegian Fiddle Tunes Workshop with Vidar Skrede

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$35 ($30 members)
Mon. November 30, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series: Dancin’ In The Street

Written in 1964 and recorded by Martha and the Vandellas, as well as the Mamas & Papas, this song came to symbolize the 1960's. As a fingerstyle guitar piece it's just flies right off the guitar. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Tue. December 01, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · Online
Tue. December 08, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · Online

Eureka! Refining Your Songs with Robbie Fulks

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$100 ($95 members)
Tue. December 01, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · Online

Songwriting Insights with Robbie Fulks

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$40 ($35 members)
Thu. December 03, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM · Online
Thu. December 10, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM · Online
Thu. December 17, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM · Online

Mary Gauthier Workshops: Songwriting Toolkit Series

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Songwriting
$200 ($200 members)
$50 ($45 members)
Fri. December 04, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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)
$45 ($40 members)
$40 ($35 members)
Mon. December 07, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Minuet in G by J.S. Bach

Always wanted to play  Bach but have been afraid to try? This is the perfect tune to start with. We'll actually change it to the key of C, but the banjo sounds beautiful delivering Bach's brilliant melody written in 1725. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. December 07, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series: My Girl

With its iconic bassline, this was just one example of Motown's magical response the Beatles. Fingerstyle guitar allows you to lay down that bassline and weave the melody on top. A thrilling guitar experience. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Fri. December 11, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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. December 12, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · Online

Dance Basics for Couples

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. December 12, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · Online

Country Dancing!

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. December 13, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online

Ukulele Songbag: Songs of the ‘80s

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Ukulele
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. December 14, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Freight Train and New River Train

Classic train songs packed together with the clawhammer groove. In this workshop we'll lay out the basic melodies and add elements of improvisation as well. Freight Train was written by Elizabeth Cotten, and she played it on her guitar. New River Train is just a great tune with one foot in the bluegrass world and the other on the run. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. December 14, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series: Christmas Time is Here

Staying home for the holidays is the perfect time to step into this magical tune that has come our way care of Charlie Brown and Vince Guaraldi. It is a beautiful and not too difficult piece for fingerstyle guitar. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Fri. December 18, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 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)