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!
The month of September marks the anniversary of the original recordings that became the Blood on the Tracks album. Dylan wrote most of the songs in an open D tuning which we will learn and explore. Bring a capo. In addition, we’ll throw in a few deep cuts [more info]
Join the legendary guitarist and educator make the most of what you’ve got to arrange simple song to make them interesting and compelling! [more info]
Get the lowdown on how it’s done from a seasoned professional. [more info]
Theory and Composition with Python combines the heart and soul of music with the infinite creativity of computer programming, and opens the door for a new generation of exploration and evolved music. [more info]
Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want. We’ll approach Smokey Robinson’s classic “I Second That Emotion” [more info]
Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want. Carole KIng is truly one of America's greatest songwriters, and this is one of her greatest songs released in 1971 with this modulation that is exquisitely inventive. Give it a try. [more info]
Robben address ways to break out of old pentatonic habits and open you and your guitar up to further musical possibilities. He will take questions from participants on any subject they wish to discuss, be it playing or his musical life and experiences. [more info]
Take a look at the styles of one of the seminal figures of fingerpicking; the late great John Fahey. [more info]
Learn about Drake's unique guitar tunings as we explore songs from this musician's all-too-short career [more info]
Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want. Penned in 1932 and sung by all the greats, this song lends itself perfectly to instrumental fingerstyle guitar. Give it a try. [more info]
Some songs are common to the playlists of many of the Melanized USan banjoists we know of. Some we know were ubiquitous. Let’s look at the stories behind these common Black banjo tunes, and get to playing a few of them. Examples of tunes we might cover include Raise a Ruckus Tonight, Corinne, Fishing Blues, and Colored Aristocracy. [more info]
The band that became the Chocolate Drops started in my garage. Let’s sing some of their fun tunes including Corn Bread & Butter Beans, Hit ‘Em Up Style, Why Don’t You Do Right?, Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind, Old Joe Clark. [more info]
The classic clawhammer “bum-diddy” rhythm just doesn’t work on all songs. In this workshop, we’ll do left-hand chording and incorporate some more modern rhythm in the right, playing a ‘50s R & B classic, and one from Motown and Curtom. Examples of songs we might hit on include A Lover’s Question, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Hit ‘Em Up Style, (SItting on) The Dock of the Bay. [more info]
Post-African people in all/any of the Americas found themselves under pressure to be working machines, and not people of culture. Part of that resistance and survival was the use of songs; some overt, some subtle. Let’s play a few: Raise a Ruckus Tonight, Run, Shine, Dancing in the Streets, Redemption Song, Guantanamera. [more info]
We all know the banjo’s ancestors reside in Africa. Given that, let’s play some songs from different parts of the Motherland - West, North and South Africa—on the banjo! For example, we might look at Jalidong, Faden Kele, Mbube, Fanga Alafia, Toura Toura Tour Kelilah, Mansana Cisse. [more info]
The Africans who interacted with European colonizers absorbed the European’s instruments, and created their own music. Let’s play a few songs from those traditions: Kiya Kiya, Pata Pata, Grazin’ in the Grass, Mbube. [more info]