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! ▸

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, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Jambalaya by Hank Williams

This classic Hank Williams song was #1 hit in 1952 spending 14 weeks at the top of the chart. This is played by every beginning guitar students, but the tune sounds way better (with respect) on the banjo because you can deliver that cajun groove.    [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. November 30, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: 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
Class is full.
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
Class is full.
$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)
Fri. December 04, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

New York City Songbag

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
$45 ($40 members)
Sat. December 05, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM · Online
Sat. December 12, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Magic of the Nutcracker Dance Workshop

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Dance
$50 ($45 members)
$40 ($35 members)
Sun. December 06, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · Online

Fingerpicking The Holidays

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. December 06, 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online

Melodies, Bass Runs and Riffs for Guitarists

You’ll also learn how to go back and forth between chords and melodies, bass runs and riffs seamlessly. [more info]

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

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: 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)
Thu. December 10, 8:30 PM – 9:50 PM · Online

Holiday Instrumental: The Peanuts Theme for Guitar

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. December 11, 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM · Online

Ukulele Holiday Jam!

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Ukulele
$20 ($18 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)
Fri. December 11, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · Online

Songwriting Rules with Steve Dawson: 11 on the 11th

Join one of the songwriting gurus of the Old Town School as he elaborates on his 11 Rules of Songwriting. Be inspired by a true craftsman. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Songwriting
$25 ($23 members)
Fri. December 11, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

‘90s Songbag

The 90s were a return of sorts to the 70s—a little of everything. Dip into a handful of dark, groovy classics from the end of the century—Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Pumpkins, Belle and Sebastian, Nick Cave, Matthew Sweet, the Afghan Whigs, Yo La Tengo, and more—relive the weird and the wonderful. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Fri. December 11, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · Online

Early Winter Beatles Songbag w/Tommi Zender

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 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)
$40 ($35 members)
$25 ($23 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, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Deb Talan Songwriting Workshop

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$40 ($35 members)
$40 ($35 members)
Sun. December 13, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM · Online

Peter Bernstein Jazz Guitar Workshop

Peter will share some of his views on playing jazz guitar in a group and solo situation. He will also shed some light on topics such as chord voicings and improvising over standards. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($25 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)
$40 ($35 members)
Sun. December 13, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · Online

Crushing Chord Transitions

Minimize the frustration with chords and sail smoothly through your songs! Open to any level of guitarist, from beginning to advanced. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($18 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 with Michael J. Miles: 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
Class is full.
Tue. December 15, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: 2nd Section of 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 ($24 members)
Fri. December 18, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · Online

Dylan Songbag: Together Through Life

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 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)
Fri. December 18, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM · Online

Xmas Rock & Soul

You better watch ou:t Elvis, Phil Spector, Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder—let’s play through some of the REAL holiday classics. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. December 19, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Ask the Dawg - A David Grisman Mandolin Encounter

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Mandolin
$50 ($45 members)
Wed. January 06, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM · Online

Just My Way: Advanced Fingerstyle Guitar with Jorma Kaukonen

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$100 ($95 members)
Sun. January 10, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · Online

DADGAD Guitar in Irish Music with Ed Boyd of Lúnasa/Flook

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$40 ($35 members)
Sat. January 30, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM · Online

Free Your Body, Free Your Sound: The Alexander Technique

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$25 ($23 members)
$30 ($25 members)
Mon. February 01, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Afro-Latin Grooves

Based on the free app, AfroLatin Drum Machine, which everyone should get regardless - we will step into the musical percussive world on the other side of "old time" and "bluegrass." These Afro-Latin grooves will expand your playing and rhythmic understanding. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. February 01, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Lean On Me

This song is an anthem for troubled times--and beautifully moving even as an instrumental. Bill Withers passed less than year ago and leaves a grand musical legacy. See also "Ain't No Sunshine on Feb 8 [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. February 08, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Little Martha by The Allman Brothers Band

This is a classic guitar instrumental that sits quite perfectly for clawhammer banjo.  If you like the Allman Brothers and play the banjo, this one's for you. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Mon. February 08, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

Classic hit song from the legendary Bill Withers who passed less than a year ago. See also "Lean on Me" on Feb 1. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Mon. February 15, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM · Online

Clawhammer Banjo Workshops with Michael J. Miles: Sleepers Awake by J.S. Bach

While some of J.S. Bach's works are on the acrobatic side when it comes to playing them, this one is truly one of the most beautiful and not so impossible to play. [more info]

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

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is a wondrous soul who played the very first concert in Maurer Hall. Here is a classic tune of hers, played by many because it is rich and deep, with that twinge of mystery that fingerstyle guitar helps illuminate. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)