Otsfm logo

Teachers at the Old Town School

Laird Patten


Laird’s first memory of bluegrass music comes from his grandfather, who shared with him recordings of the many artists he listened to as a boy on Chicago’s WLS National Barn Dance. On a family vacation together, Laird and his grandfather encountered a banjo in a music store, and with a bit of encouragement from grandpa, Laird walked out with banjo in hand! Years later, Laird has continued to hone his skill as a player; playing everywhere from busking subway station platforms to sharing bills with bluegrass legends like Larry Sparks. Most recently, Laird has been recording and performing with Chicago based bluegrass band Andy Miller & the 145s. 

Laird's biggest delight in teaching banjo is sharing the sense of discovery and accomplishment with his students as they learn the instrument. Laird’s first goal for his students is to quickly develop the skills necessary to play with other musicians!

Still eager for knowledge, Laird continues his personal practice through private lessons, as well as taking on new instrumental challenges. He continues to push his vocal and guitar abilities, but also has been enjoying learning the dobro in the hopes to add it to his repertoire.

Started at the Old Town School in January of 2014