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. August 18, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Round Peak Clawhammer Banjo

This workshop will introduce you to the wonders of the Round Peak style of clawhammer banjo playing which is associated with Charlie Lowe, Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Dick Freeman, Kyle Creed, and younger players such as Paul Brown, Riley Baugus, and Dirk Powell. [more info]

Advanced
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. August 18, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

How to Fiddle The Kentucky Waltz

Learn Matt's arrangement in D major of Bill Monroe's iconic melody. We'll play double stops, shift to third position (gasp!), and play just a few notes that aren't normally found in D major. No shifting experience is required. Familiarity with the key of D will be very helpful. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. August 19, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Ukulele Jam

Calling all ukulele players! Come sing and play your cares away at this free jam. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ukulele
Thu. August 23, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Tony Allen Masterclass: Afrobeat Drumming

Learn the secret of Afrobeat with master drummer, Tony Allen. Regarded Learn the secrets of Afrobeat with the rhythmic architect behind classic Fela Kuti songs, master drummer Tony Allen. Allen will get behind the drum kit and break down the rhythmic fundamentals of Afrobeat drumming with focus on how the drums interplay with the bass, guitar, keyboards, and horns in an Afrobeat ensemble. The class is for music students and professional musicians as well as music enthusiasts. “Perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived.” - Brian Eno [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$35 ($35 members)
Fri. September 07, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - 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. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$10 ($7 members)
Fri. September 07, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

First Friday - September Ensemble Performance Only

Check out Old Town School’s amazing ensembles! $5 entry fee gets you in to see the show! Details to come soon! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$5 ($5 members)
Fri. September 07, 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

First Friday - September Jams, Workshops & Ensemble Performances

The $15 entry fee entitles participants to jams, workshops, AND the ensemble performances. Details to come soon! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$15 ($15 members)
Sat. September 08, 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. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. September 08, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Country Dancing!

Learn some fun country dances with Louie Stallone, starting with the basic two-step, which you can dance in pairs or by yourself! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. September 15, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Turlough O'Carolan Series : Carolan’s Cup (B Minor)

This week the group will learn Carolan’s Cup in B Minor. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. September 21, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriting Seminar: Approaches to Inspiration

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Songwriting
$110 ($90 members)
Sat. September 22, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Folk Dances of the Arab World

Join Karim Nagi, world-renowned Egyptian folk-dancer & musician for this three hour workshop exploring different Folk Dances from around the Arab world. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. September 22, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

How to Build Vocal Harmony

Jump in with your singing comrades to learn to build simple two-part harmonies, stack three-part harmonies, and design weaving counterpoint harmonies typical of Swing and Doo Wop style. We will pull songs from 50 years of country and pop repertoire so there's something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginning singer or a seasoned pro, we will unite our voices for a stirring and mellifluous blend. Join Barb Silverman who for decades has performed and harmonized on national radio, regional festivals and Chicago stages and has led harmony workshops throughout the region. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. September 28, 7:30 PM – 9:00 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! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$15 ($10 members)
Sat. September 29, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Turlough O'Carolan Series : Bridget Cruise, 3rd Air and Eleanor Plunkett (both in G Major)

This week the group will learn Bridget Cruise, 3rd Air and Eleanor Plunkett both in G Major. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. October 05, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - 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. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$10 ($7 members)
Sat. October 06, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Turlough O'Carolan Series : Kean O’Hara, 1st Air (D major)

This week the group will learn Kean O’Hara, 1st Air in D major. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. October 12, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Chuck Berry and the Beatles

Join us for this intriguing social discussion! Professor Moptop has a specialty in Beatles knowledge, however the story of Rock and Roll is wide and expansive, and long before the Fab Four, there were several important rock and roll icons who inspired them, to inspire several generations of musicians and fans. With his examination of Chuck Berry, and his relationship to the formation of the Beatles music the Professor begins his series of lessons on the roots of the Beatles with an extremely detailed look at one of rock and roll's true originals. Since 1999 Gregory Alexander has presented Beatle University each week on WXRT's Breakfast With The Beatles and has accumulated a massive amount of knowledge involving not just the four youngsters from Liverpool, but popular music long before them and far beyond as well, offering College level knowledge for the novice fan, or the seasoned and well read long time Beatle fan. The Professor always says "there is always something new to learn" and then proves it by consistently delivering a different perspective on otherwise familiar material. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$15 ($10 members)
Sat. October 13, 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. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. October 13, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Turlough O'Carolan Series : Loftus Jones (A Major)

This week the group will learn Loftus Jones in A Major. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. October 13, 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! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 14, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Easy Cajun and Creole Fiddle Tunes

Want to get a little of that Louisiana sound in your fiddle playing? Stick around for the jam afterward and play your new tunes with other musicians including a Cajun accordion player! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. October 20, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Old Time Fiddle and Banjo Mini Camp

In this workshop, award-winning players and master teachers Adam Hurt and Megan Lynch Chowning will help you improve your individual skills on your instruments in separate fiddle and banjo workshops. Then students will all come together and work on creating the best possible fiddle and banjo sound - one of the greatest things in traditional music! [more info]

Beginner
Program: Ensemble
$60 ($58 members)
Fri. November 02, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - 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. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$10 ($7 members)
Sat. November 10, 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. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. November 10, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun and Zydeco Dance

Let the good times roll! Celebrate Mardi Gras by getting onto the dance floor! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. December 07, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - 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. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$10 ($7 members)
Sat. December 08, 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. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. December 08, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Country Dancing!

Learn some fun country dances with Louie Stallone, starting with the basic two-step, which you can dance in pairs or by yourself! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)