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!

Fri. September 20, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Dylan Songbag: Blood on the Tracks NYC Sessions

Dylan wrote most of the songs in an open D tuning which we will learn and explore. Bring a capo. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($15 members)
Sat. September 21, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Understanding the Major Pentatonic Scale

All five major pentatonic positions will be covered in this class. You'll walk out of this workshop with a better understanding of the guitar neck. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. September 21, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Understanding the Minor Pentatonic Scale

Dan will cover all five patterns of the minor pentatonic scale and disect famous riffs to help inspire your respect for memorizing this scale. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. September 22, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan Series

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. September 23, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. September 23, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Tue. September 24, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM · 1456 East 70th Street (Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative)

Haitian Folkloric Dance Workshop with HaitiDansCo

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
Wed. September 25, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Caribbean Guitar with Reverend Robert

Learn calypso, mento, ska, and reggae. Use the great strumming patterns and rhythms of the Caribbean to play in traditional styles of Trinidad, Jamaica, and other islands. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Thu. September 26, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Afro-Cuban Dance Workshop with Edson Cabrera

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Sun. September 29, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan Series

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. September 30, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. September 30, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. October 04, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

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)
Sun. October 06, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Mountain Style Fiddle Workshop with Bruce Molsky

Bruce's fiddle workshop brings players together to look at the intricacies of the old mountain style, which predates bluegrass and country western styles heard on early radio and television. The workshop takes a detailed, hands-on approach to old time fiddle, and the class will cover a couple of tunes in during the session. For each tune we'll go a phrase at a time, first simply with melody, then adding bowing, and finally piecing things together, all the while being mindful of the elements that make up the music, like rhythm, intonation, syncopation, dynamics, etc. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$50 ($45 members)
Sun. October 06, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Music & Life of Turlough O'Carolan Series

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 06, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Crushing Chord Transitions

Minimize the frustration with chords and sail smoothly through your songs! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 06, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Strumming Secrets

This workshop will help you quickly figure out strumming patterns, syncopation, singing and playing together, and how to make your rhythms more interesting and inspired. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. October 07, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. October 07, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. October 11, 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

One World, Many Rhythms with Sammy Figueroa

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$25 ($23 members)
Fri. October 11, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Dylan Songbag: Folk Standards Thru The Years

We’ll learn and play some traditional folk music song that the Bobster has covered over the years. Concert recordings will be offered in addition to the charts. Expect some Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Cotton, Blues and gospel gems. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$20 ($15 members)
Sat. October 12, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Embodied Musician - Intro to the Alexander Technique

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. October 12, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Dance Basics for Couples

Swing and sway to the blues, rockabilly, and the sounds of the big bands. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. In this two-hour workshop, Louie will cover the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Emphasis will also be given to the basics of coupling, floorwork, and turns. This class is ideal for couples who are either preparing for their own wedding or those wanting to dance with ease at any party or occasion. Spend some time with your honey, get moving, and have fun! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. October 12, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 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. We’ll then break down a few classic line dances, and maybe one or two you’ve never seen before. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and there’s no need for a partner, but bring ‘em if you got ‘em! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. October 12, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

How to Build Vocal Harmony

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 13, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Mambo & Cha-Cha-Cha

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 13, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Introduction to Mexican Ensemble: 6 años - 99 años

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Ensemble
$15 ($15 members)
Mon. October 14, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. October 14, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. October 18, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Latin Rhythms Songbag

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. October 19, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Drop-In Halloween Art Workshop: Marigolds, Mariposas, and Masks

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Art
$15 ($15 members)
Sat. October 19, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Drop-In Halloween Art Workshop: Marigolds, Mariposas, and Masks

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Art
$15 ($15 members)
Sat. October 19, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

The Ragtime Blues of Rev. Gary Davis

[more info]

Program:
$25 ($25 members)
Sun. October 20, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Beyoncé on the Banjo with Matt Brown

Ever wondered what one of Beyoncé's songs would sound like when played on the banjo? Join teacher Matt Brown and find out! This workshop is for intermediate to advanced banjoists (either bluegrass or old-time) who are comfortable reading tab, playing basic chords, and are willing to bring and use a capo. Have a request for a particular Beyoncé song? Send Matt a note by October 10 to have your choice considered. mbrown@brownsdream.us [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$20 ($15 members)
Sun. October 20, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Two-Finger Banjo Intensive with Matt Brown

Get a deep dive into the thumb-lead, two-finger banjo style that Matt Brown loves and taught at the Old Town School for seven years. You'll be plucking the strings with your thumb and index finger. No picks required. This workshop is well suited for those who didn't have a chance to take his two-finger banjo class as well as those who did ~ Matt will have new arrangements to teach. Comfort in G/A tuning as well as double C/double D tuning will make the workshop way more enjoyable. It will also help to know how to slide, hammer-on, and pull-off. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$20 ($15 members)
Sun. October 20, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Fiddle & Banjo: Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs with Matt Brown

Join fiddler Matt Brown and banjoist Andy Malloy to learn the ins and outs of the Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs duet sound. Fiddlers will spend the first portion of the workshop with Matt learning a tune, while the banjoists will hang out with Andy learning the banjo approach, then we'll all play together at the end! Though we'll focus on one particular tune, the concepts addressed will be applicable to any number of fiddle & banjo duets you'd like to try with your favorite duet partner. [more info]

Advanced
Program: Banjo
$30 ($20 members)
Sun. October 20, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Expanding Chord Voicings

The chords covered are "modified" open string chords, "modified" barre chords, drop 2 chords and drop 3 chords. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 20, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Fretboard Geography: Simplifying the Guitar Neck with Tommi Zender

This fun workshop will help expand your knowledge of notes, chords, and keys, for use in performing the songs you love, accompanying others, or creating your own music [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 20, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Making the Switch from Guitar to Ukulele

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 20, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Radically Honest Songwriting w/Emily Ann Peterson

In this workshop, attendees will unfold the reasons why radical honesty can be a songwriter's most beloved tool for conveying their boldest truth through art. https://www.emilyannpeterson.com/ [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Songwriting
$30 ($28 members)
Sun. October 20, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Chord Chemistry for Ukulele

[more info]

Open to All
Program:
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. October 21, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. October 21, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Thu. October 24, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Afro-Cuban Dance Workshop with Victor Ramirez

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Sun. October 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun Vocal Workshop

Learn to sing some classic Cajun songs with Angela Bowman. The workshop will cover some of the essential qualities of Cajun singing and will discuss the Cajun French dialect by learning some common words and phrases. This will be then be applied to learning a few easy songs. The workshop will coincide with a Cajun fiddle workshop. Both will meet for a free Cajun jam immediately after! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. October 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 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. This workshop coincides with a Cajun Vocal Jam. 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)
Sun. October 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Getting Started in the Music Business: Build a Band, Promote Shows, Get Involved

Join us on as Ben Wright of the Henhouse Prowlers shares tips on starting and keeping a band together, booking and promoting shows, and ideas on how to contribute to the world of music even if you don’t want to perform. The music industry is exciting, fun, and sometimes a real pain in the butt. Get a head start on it by hearing about the journey of a band that started right here in Chicago, complete with soaring successes AND bone-headed mistakes. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$15 ($10 members)
Sun. October 27, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun Jam

All instruments are welcome to join in on this special free jam exploring Cajun and Creole music! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Fiddle & Cello
Mon. October 28, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. October 28, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Thu. October 31, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Classical and Mediterranean Guitar with Giovanni Seneca

[more info]

Intermediate
Program:
$30 ($28 members)
Fri. November 01, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Sat. November 02, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

How to Think Like A New Yorker Cartoonist and Why with Pat Byrnes

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Art
$50 ($45 members)
Mon. November 04, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 04, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. November 08, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriting Seminar: There’s Only One You. Dreams, Senses and Self

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Songwriting
$110 ($90 members)
Fri. November 08, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Autumn Beatles Songbag

An autumn array of tunes by the lads of Liverpool. Participants take home a generous packet of songs! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$15 ($14 members)
Sat. November 09, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Fingerpicking Townes Van Zandt

So join us to explore the work of this brilliant inspiring songwriter, and learn some new fingerstyle techniques that will enhance your guitar playing! [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 10, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Melodies, Bass Runs and Riffs for Guitarists

This workshop will enhance your tone production, speed, accuracy and overall technique with playing individual notes [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 10, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Fingerpicking For Absolute Beginners

You'll learn simple arpeggios, alternate bass patterns, and a “Travis picking” pattern. [more info]

Beginner
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. November 11, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 11, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. November 15, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Dylan Songbag: Nobel Prize Worthy Songs

This month we’ll play a dozen or so songs which we believe are worthy of Nobel recognition. Some of the obvious ones and some deep cuts. Shakespeare’s in the alley. Bring a capo [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($15 members)
Mon. November 18, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 18, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 25, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 25, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 02, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 02, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. December 06, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

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)
Sat. December 07, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Embodied Musician - Intro to the Alexander Technique

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$30 ($28 members)
Mon. December 09, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 09, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. December 13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Dylan Songbag: Christmas and The Chairman

We’ll learn few of Dylan’s holiday arrangements as well as a handful of his Frank Sinatra covers from earlier this decade. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($15 members)
Mon. December 16, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 16, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. January 10, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Fri. February 07, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)