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. December 22, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Voice of the People Holiday Caroling

Come caroling with Voice of the People! Mary Peterson and Andrea Bunch lead a joyful excursion to spread songs and cheer to the Lincoln Square neighborhood. All ages welcome. No experience needed! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$5 ($5 members)
Sat. January 12, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. January 19, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. January 26, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sat. February 02, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Intro to Bagpipe - 4 Week Practice Chanter Workshop

This four-week introductory workshop will focus on giving the students a strong technical introduction to the practice chanter of the Great Highland Bagpipe. [more info]

Beginner
Program:
$120 ($110 members)
Fri. January 18, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Recordings from Nashville

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll cover recordings from Nashville such as Blondes, Johns and the Skyline. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. January 19, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

How to Build Vocal Harmony

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. January 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Fingerpicking the Fox Chase

Eric breaks down the the fox chase rhythm used by Brownie McGhee and many other acoustic blues musicians. Using the song "Destination Unknown" Eric will show how a one chord song can create driving rhythms, call and response patterns, chord voicings and unique bass riffs. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Wed. February 06, 7:00 PM – 9:00 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. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. February 09, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Arab Percussion : Tablah, Darabuka & Dumbek

The Arabic goblet drum is know under the names tablah, darabuka, derbeke & dumbek. It is found in both folk music & dance music. In this workshop, several rhythms from around the Arab world (North Africa, Near East & Gulf) will be learned. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. February 09, 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. February 09, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Live Lit Storytelling

Storytelling is the latest craze to hit bars, clubs, halls, and theatres! In this lively workshop, Stephanie Rogers, producer of Story Jam, will teach you the basics of live lit storytelling. Students will identify their best stories, then craft them for performance with the group. We’ll open up with some fun exercises, then explore all of the elements of great storytelling, while honing our own personal narratives. Story Jam Studio™ instructor, Stephanie Rogers, has a degree in theatre from Northwestern, and is this close to finishing a master’s degree in writing from National Louis. She produces a live lit and music show, Story Jam, and has performed in hundreds of venues as an actor, musician, and storyteller. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Theater
$45 ($42 members)
Sat. February 09, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Arab Percussion : Riqq (Tambourine)

This Riqq (sometimes spelled Riq or Rik) is a tambourine that is found in most Arab classical, folk or ritual music. The epic songs of legendary Egyptian singers like Umm Kalsoum & Abdel Halim Hafez feature the Riqq as the lead percussionist. Famous rhythms will be learned, along with their decorative embellishments. The class will conclude with the students playing along with a classic song. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. February 09, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun and Zydeco Dance

Let the good times roll! Learn to partner dance like the Cajuns have since 1721 in southwest Louisiana. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. February 09, 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Washboard Workshop: “Grab A Board & Rub”

Become a washboard percussionist in this engaging workshop led by washboard wizard Barb Silverman! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. February 15, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Love Songs of the 60’s and 70’s

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll cover his love songs of the 60’s and 70’s. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. February 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Black Banjo Repertoire: African and Post-African Tunes, Their Context, and How to Play Them

Join Sule Greg Wilson for this special offering! Few people know that a big chunk of Americana has Black roots. Many great European American players—Boggs, Carter, Monroe et al— were inspired by or learned from African Americans. In this session, participants will learn some African songs, with a goal of understanding the roots of the roots. Participants will also discuss and play tunes that many already know, looking at them in regards to their “Black Roots”, historically, and/or stylistically. It’s a time to talk, listen, share, jam, and grow. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. February 16, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

American Percussion: Washboard, Bones, Tambo, and Brushes

Join Sule Greg Wilson for this special offering! Lots of folks today are strapping on washboards or clackin’ bones to be part of the Old Time music scene. Sule will delve into the history of these American percussion traditions and demonstrate traditional playing styles and rhythms on washboard, bones, tambourine— as well as Jazz Brushes technique, and a touch of body percussion! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. February 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Traveling in Others’ Shoes: Performing “Someone Else’s” Music

Join Sule Greg Wilson for this unique offering! You know: there’s “sharing”; and there’s the “borrowing” of music and techniques we hear so much about. There’s also “homage” and “imitation” and “appropriation”. There’s “learning”; there’s “loving”; and there is “stealing”; yes? In this partially-guided discussion, we’ll examine our own and historical relationship to USan music repertoire, review some legal and moral precedents, and talk about the yearnings of our souls. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. February 17, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Soft Shoe: A Soulful Percussive Dance

Join Sule Greg Wilson for this special offering! Motown choreography, created by Cholly Atkins, a master of Class Act Tap, inspired the world to dance Soul. In this workshop, participants will experience the approach to physicality that underpins the Post-African percussive dance tradition, via Tap Dance’s funky folk form of steppin’: Soft Shoe. We’re gonna have a funky good time (and even learn what that means!). [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($12 members)
Sat. March 09, 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. March 09, 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. March 15, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Love Songs of the 80’s and Beyond

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll cover his love songs of the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. March 16, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Old Time Clawhammer Banjo

Come learn a new tune! We will focus on concepts you can apply to tunes you already know and your playing in a broader way. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Banjo
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. March 16, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Old Time Fiddle

This workshop will explore the definition of old time fiddle as we learn and listen to tunes from different regional styles from Appalachia to the Mid West to Texas. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Fiddle & Cello
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. April 13, 10:00 AM – 12:00 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. April 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. April 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. April 19, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Shakespeare's In The Alley

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll cover Shakespeare's In The Alley: The Bard on the Bard, Tempest and more! [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. May 11, 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. May 11, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun and Zydeco Dance

Let the good times roll! Learn to partner dance like the Cajuns have since 1721 in southwest Louisiana! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Fri. May 17, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Bob’s Birthday Celebration!

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll celebrate Bob’s birthday (78 and counting!) by singing songs of empowerment! [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)
Sat. June 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. June 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. Learn to be comfortable with fundamental moves on the dance floor. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Fri. June 14, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

THE SOCIAL - Bob Dylan Songbag: Traveling Wilburys: What happened to Volume 2?

Join us for a Bob Dylan Songbag Series. Every month, Jimmy Tomasello will cover different parts of Bob’s vast repertoire. Lyrics and chord charts provided. This month we’ll go over the Traveling Wilburys. What happened to Volume 2? [more info]

Open to All
Program:
$20 ($18 members)