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Teachers at the Old Town School

Chris Walz

Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin

Bluegrass, Blues Slide, Fingerstyle

In 2016, Chris celebrated 20 years of teaching at The Old Town School Of Folk Music!

Chris first got interested in the guitar as a teenager through the music of the early Country Blues players like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell. He plays and teaches this style to this day. Always interested in Bluegrass as well, he developed his flatpicking skill and wound up spending three and a half years touring the world with the bluegrass band The Special Consensus. Chris has been at the Old Town School of Folk Music since 1996 and divides his time between performing and teaching.

“I've been teaching both guitar and five string banjo for more than 20 years. Since 1996 I've been a teacher at The Old Town School Of Folk Music. I teach all levels from beginners to advanced experienced. The real satisfaction I get is when I'm able to get a student to execute something they didn't think they could do. I work with both tablature and by ear, but mostly what I try to do is get my students to think for themselves.”

Started at the Old Town School in January of 1996


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 01/03/2022

Mondays 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Tuesdays 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Tuesdays 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Wednesdays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursdays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 02/28/2022

Mondays 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Tuesdays 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Tuesdays 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Wednesdays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursdays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Group Classes for the session beginning 01/03/2022

Heroes of Flatpicking with Chris Walz

$206 ($186 members)

01/04/2022 – 02/22/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · Online


Group Classes for the session beginning 02/28/2022

Blues Fingerstyle 2 with Chris Walz

Take the fingerpicking, deep boogie rhythms and regional styles of Country Blues you’ve learned in level 1, and concentrate on open tunings and bottleneck slide in level 2. We will spend 4 weeks in open D tuning, and 4 weeks in open G tuning. The tunings will be taught in class. Tunes by Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and others will be covered. You should be comfortable with basic Travis-style finger- picking patterns.

$206 ($186 members)

02/28/2022 – 04/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Blues Fingerstyle 3: Decades of Acoustic Blues with Chris Walz

Fingerstyle Blues 3 classes will take a different decade each session. The classes can be taken individually, or as a series. Session 2 will start with the 1920's when the first Country Blues recordings were made. We will look at both men and women recording artists. Session 3 will be the 1930's Country Blues in the Depression. Session 4 will be the 1940's looking at some Library of Congress recordings. Session 5 will be the 1950's when many of the Country Blues players tried plugging in, yet played the same way. Ending in session 6 will be the 1960's when many of the early Blues artists were re-discovered. 

$206 ($186 members)

02/28/2022 – 04/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Mondays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · Online

Flatpicking 1 - Rhythm with Chris Walz

Bluegrass guitar depends on solid rhythm. This class will help you develop strong right hand rhythm techniques in bluegrass guitar. We will cover the correct pick grip, pick control, runs, and rhythm licks. Proper tone, use of the capo, and playing in different time signatures, keys, and tempos will also be covered

$206 ($186 members)

03/01/2022 – 04/19/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Heroes of Flatpicking with Chris Walz

Come and examine the players who helped create the style of Bluegrass Guitar known as 'Flatpicking". In eight weeks we will examine eight heroes who still influence to this day including Doc Watson, George Shuffler, Dan Crary, Norman Blake and others. Let's see what these great players still have to teach us.

$206 ($186 members)

03/01/2022 – 04/19/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · Online

Guitar 3 with Chris Walz

GUITAR 3: SKILLS Move on to the next plateau with bar chords and movable shapes. Build dexterity with basic fingerpicking and flatpicking. Develop techniques and memorization and adding dynamics to song arrangements. Begin to develop your own musical voice and expand comfort with your instrument. Students of Guitar 3 and Guitar 3 Rep achieve the following: Major and Minor Bar Chord Shapes on strings E & A The chromatic alphabet along strings E & A A usable appreciation of I IV V in any key Single Note Tab reading Simple Fingerpicking Extended mastery of slash chords and chord coloration Memorization skills The desire to keep playing AND MUCH MORE!!!!

$214 ($194 members)

03/02/2022 – 04/20/2022 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 6:00 PM – 7:20 PM · Online

Bluegrass Banjo 1 with Chris Walz

$214 ($194 members)

03/02/2022 – 04/20/2022 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · In-Person @909 W Armitage Ave

Bluegrass Banjo 2 with Chris Walz

$214 ($194 members)

03/03/2022 – 04/21/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 5:30 PM – 6:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Bluegrass Banjo 1 Repertoire with Chris Walz

$214 ($194 members)

03/03/2022 – 04/21/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Earl Scruggs: New Treasures with Chris Walz

$206 ($186 members)

03/03/2022 – 04/21/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 8:30 PM – 9:50 PM · Online