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. September 22, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. October 20, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. November 17, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. December 15, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Monthly Harmonica for Beginners - 4 Month Series

Busy schedule? Here's your chance to take Harmonica for Beginners on a once a month basis for four months, checking in with the instructor with questions in between meetings. Classes will meet Saturday, September 22nd, October 20th, November 17th and December 15th. [more info]

Beginner
Program: Harmonica
$160 ($150 members)
Wed. October 17, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Cabaret Connexion - Song Shop

Join Claudia Hommel and Elizabeth Doyle for this special workshop exploring cabaret singing as a preview to Cabaret Connexion, a week-long cultural and musical exchange between French and American cabaret singers happening from October 28th through November 4th. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$10 ($10 members)
Fri. October 19, 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM · Lake Forest

FREE Wiggleworms Sample Class - Lake Forest

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
Class is full.
Sat. October 20, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. October 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Hip-Hop Techniques: Lyrics & Production

Learn how to make beats, write lyrics, and create your own hip-hop song completely from scratch! Whether you’ve already tried your hand at music production and lyric writing or you’re a complete beginner, this two-part workshop led by Chicago emcee and producer, Jovan Landry, will bring you on a journey to discover the essence of hip-hop, a global phenomenon born in the United States. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$50 ($45 members)
Sat. October 20, 2:00 PM – 5:00 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)
Sat. October 20, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Celebrating Traditions Community Reunion

"Celebrating Tradition Community Reunion" A gathering of friends, new and old, to reconnect and make good sounds. Make music with others as we create new arrangements to some core Celebrating Tradition class songs. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. October 20, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Flamenco Dance Master Class with Eduardo Guerrero

Join us for this special opportunity to experience a class taught by one of Spain’s most renowned Flamenco dancers, Eduardo Guerrero direct from Cadiz, Spain. Eduardo Guerrero, critically acclaimed flamenco dancer and choreographer, uses his eclectic style, combining classical and contemporary Spanish dance, ballet, and contortion to express the depth of passion and skill exhibited in the many styles of this beloved, Spanish art form. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Dance
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. October 20, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Flamenco Guitar Master Class with Compania Flamenco Eduardo Guerrero

Join us for this special opportunity to experience a flamenco guitar master class taught by Juan Jose Alba, integral member of Compania Flamenco Eduardo Guerrero. This group of elite musicians and dancers, including Eduardo Guerrero himself, captivates audiences as they convey all of the different feelings of this temperamental and passionate dance. Don’t miss this chance to learn with some of the world’s Flamenco greats! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. October 27, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Jazz Open Session with Bassist/Composer Ben Allison

Get a chance to play duo, trio or quartet with one of NYC's most renowned bassists and band leaders. Ben Allison will discuss the skills and qualities needed for playing in a group setting. Participants will also learn some of the techniques and approaches Ben uses to get a unique sound from his band. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$30 ($28 members)
Sun. October 28, 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? In this workshop you will learn two or three easy Cajun and Creole fiddle tunes. Hear a little history and learn some of the bowing and ornamentation that gives the music its characteristic sound. 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)
Fri. November 02, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

First Friday - Jams & Ensemble Performances

The $15 entry fee entitles participants to jams, workshops, AND the ensemble performances. This month, try out a Dylan Singalong with Jimmy Tomasello, a Dan Jam with Dan Fulkerson, and more! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$15 ($15 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)
Fri. November 02, 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

First Friday - Ensemble Performances Only

Check out Old Town School’s amazing ensembles! $5 entry fee gets you in to see the show! This month, check out the Dylan Ensemble, Pearl Jam Ensemble, Jazz Improve Ensembles, and Songs of Struggle, Protest, and Hope! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$15 ($15 members)
Mon. November 05, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Hip-Hop and the Art of Sampling

Join Coolout Chris, one of Chicago’s hip-hop veterans, for this unique workshop exploring hip-hop and the art of sampling. Participants will learn about the five elements of hip-hop including historical and cultural context and focus specifically on the role that sampling has played in hip-hop production. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 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, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Arabic Music Master Class with Simon Shaheen

Join us for this unique master class with world-renowned musician and founder of Arabic Music Retreat at Mt. Holyoke College, Simon Shaheen before his solo performance at the Old Town School of Folk Music. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$35 ($32 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)
Sat. November 10, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Presence, Poise and Patter On Stage

Join Old Town School teaching artist Barbie Silverman for this special offering. Discover the tools that help you address an audience in an intimate, humorous and relaxed way. We will explore improvisation games, sharing short segments of your life stories and anecdotes to come up with ways to both set your audience at ease and keep your spontaneity intact. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 11, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

The Music of Blind Blake: Ragtime & Blues

This workshop will explore the toe-tapping guitar style of Blind Blake, one of the greatest and most influential of the ragtime/blues pickers. Participants will learn basic arrangements of Blake’s tunes, including Diddy Wah Diddy, West Coast Blues, Guitar Chimes and others. In addition, the workshop will cover his left and right hand techniques, ragtime chord voicings, double thumb, thumb rolls, and more. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Wed. November 14, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Hip-Hop and the Art of Sampling

Join Coolout Chris, one of Chicago’s hip-hop veterans, for this unique workshop exploring hip-hop and the art of sampling. Participants will learn about the five elements of hip-hop including historical and cultural context and focus specifically on the role that sampling has played in hip-hop production. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. November 16, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Acoustic Blues Guitar Clinic: American Roots 

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$110 ($100 members)
Sat. November 17, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Improve Your Bluegrass Fiddle Solos

Want to make your bluegrass fiddle solos better? We'll discuss and explore several ways to make your playing both idiomatic and memorable. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. November 17, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Learn a Kenny Baker Fiddle Tune

In this workshop we will tackle “Denver Belle”, one of Matt Brown’s favorite Kenny Baker tunes. [more info]

Advanced
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. November 17, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Fingerstyle Guitar of Jim Croce

It has been 45 years since the tragic loss of an extraordinary singer/songwriter/guitarist Jim Croce at age 30, but he left an indelible mark in the music world with his colorful blues shuffle infused character songs and his exquisitely beautiful ballads. Learn a few of his tunes in this workshop! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. December 01, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Embodied Musician - Intro to the Alexander Technique

Do you want to get out of your head and into your body? The Alexander Technique has helped people connect to their body and breath, to relieve stress, and to reduce unnecessary tension for over a century. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. December 01, 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. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. December 01, 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. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$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)