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. June 22, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Pop Up Choir : Celebrate Pride!

Folks of all singing levels are welcome to come together and experience the joy of singing in harmony. We always have a great time, and this month we're singing great tunes that celebrate Gay Pride! The workshop includes vocal warmups, harmony singing exercises and learning tunes arranged for vocal harmony. Andrea Bunch has been teaching singing and music for 18 years. She creates a celebratory atmosphere where people can make music, have some fun, and learn a thing or two. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$15 ($10 members)
Thu. June 28, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Bebop Jazz Guitar Workshop

Bruce Forman presents a jazz guitar workshop where he will discuss demystifying and decoding the bebop language for guitar and discuss strategies for unleashing your imagination in regards to effective, expressive and fun forays into musical improvisation. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Thu. June 28, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 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. June 30, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Jazz Singing Basics

In this workshop students will participate in singing and performing classic jazz standards. Singers will have the opportunity to learn two jazz standards focusing on phrasing, lyrical delivery, swing feel and basic improvisation techniques. Listening and group participation analyzing some of the greatest jazz singers of our time. [more info]

Beginner
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. July 06, 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)
Thu. July 12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

How to Fiddle The Tennessee Waltz

Learn to play Matt's fiddle arrangement, inspired by Roy Acuff's classic recording of "The Tennessee Waltz," in the key of C major. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Wed. July 18, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Wed. July 25, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Wed. August 01, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Andean Folk Music Ensemble - 3 Week Workshop

Join Jose Luis Contreras of the world-renowned Chilean group, Illapu for a unique 3-session workshop exploring some of the legendary contemporary folk music of the Andes. People who play stringed instruments, wind instruments, hand percussion, and vocalists are invited to come together to learn arrangements of pieces by such artists as Inti Illimani, Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Illapu and others. Over three weeks, the ensemble will work on mastering two or three pieces and perform them for friends and family in an informal showcase at the end of the last class. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Ensemble
$90 ($80 members)
Sun. July 22, 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. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Thu. July 26, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Sabar Dance Workshop

Sabar is a traditional dance from Senegal, West Africa. This complex, high-energy dance is known to get people hooked. Come learn the basics with longtime Old Town School dance faculty member and Senegal native, Idy Ciss. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Fri. July 27, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Summertime Beatles

Old Town School teaching-artist Tommi Zender will lead folks through summertime-ready songs by the Fab Four. It’s like a beach campfire sing-a-long without the sand & fire. Participants take home a generous packet of songs! Advance sign-up recommended. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$15 ($10 members)
Sat. July 28, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Paul Simon Fingerstyle Classics

In this workshop you will examine two classic Paul Simon fingerstyle guitar arrangements, The Boxer and Scarborough Fair. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. July 28, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

National Dance Day - Kizomba Fundamentals

Join us to celebrate National Dance Day! This workshop will cover fundamental dance vocabulary for kizomba. Kizomba, also called cabo zouk and passada, is a social dance form that emerged in the 1980s in Angola, Cabo Verde, and other sites in the Lusophone African diaspora. Students will learn fundamentals related to technique, timing, and improvisation. No partner needed! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
Sat. July 28, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

National Dance Day - Intro to Swing Dance

Join us to celebrate National Dance Day! Get introduced to this great American dance style! Swing and sway to the sounds of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Glenn Miller- the classic big band sound. Come alive with the east-coast style 6- and 8-count swing, and lots more. Make those floorboards bounce. No partner necessary! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
Sat. July 28, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Harmony Singing

For you who always wanted to sing harmony, and for those who want to expand your ability, come on to this easy yet delightfully challenging Harmony Singing Workshop with songstress Barb Silverman. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. July 29, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. August 05, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. August 12, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sun. August 19, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Beginning Throat Singing Technique

Learn the enchanting and mysterious art of throat singing! Join Tamir Hargana, originally from Mongolia for this four-part workshop exploring traditional and contemporary throat singing from the Central Asian steppes. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$400 ($360 members)
Sun. July 29, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Horton Dance Technique

Horton technique emphasizes the whole body using an anatomical approach to dance that includes flexibility, strength, coordination and body and spatial awareness to enable unrestricted, dramatic freedom of expression. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. July 29, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Muppet Music!

Learn your favorite childhood tunes from the Muppet Show, the Muppet Movie and Sesame Street! Any instruments or singers welcome! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. August 03, 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. August 04, 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. August 04, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Learn a Kenny Baker Fiddle Tune

In the inaugural edition of "Learn a Kenny Baker Fiddle Tune," we'll tackle Matt Brown’s second favorite Kenny Baker tune, "Grassy Fiddle Blues." Be ready for a challenging and fun time! [more info]

Advanced
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. August 04, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Advanced Jazz Singing Master Class

The total performance - Typhanie will lead a master class in jazz singing. This workshop is a performance, be prepared to sing and improve your skills! [more info]

Advanced
Program: Voice
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. August 04, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

First Base Bottleneck Blues: Intro to Slide Guitar

In this workshop, you will learn all you need to know to begin and advance your slide guitar playing and emotional expression. The workshop will introduce the songs and licks of blues slide guitar masters Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell. [more info]

Beginner
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. August 12, 1:30 PM – 2:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Moroccan Chaabi Dance

Learn the African roots of belly dance! This workshop will explore one of North Africa's popular traditional dances, Moroccan Chaabi. While Moroccan Chaabi has some superficial similarities with Middle Eastern belly dance, such as movements of the hips and waist, Chaabi is decidedly African. As is common with African-rooted dance traditions, Moroccan Chaabi is body positive (the bigger the better!), women-centered, improvisational, and communal. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Sun. August 12, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Algerian Chaoui Dance

Learn the African roots of belly dance! This workshop will explore an indigenous North African dance form the Amazigh (often referred to as berber) ethnic group of Eastern Algeria called the "Chaouiya" (pronounced Sha-wee-ya). This dance is quite unique as most of it happens in your belly! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Sun. August 12, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 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. Bring your sense of play and curiosity, and don’t miss the opportunity to experience this work usually available only on the conservatory level! [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($28 members)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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, 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)
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)