Teachers at the Old Town School

Sue Demel

Songwriting, Voice

Techniques - Harmony, Improvisation, Performance

Sue Demel, known for her "out-the-box" harmony singing & songwriting has developed some helpful and creative private & group classes. Her hands on approach takes students through an almost instant call & response experience so that each tip is examined and quickly expressed. Though schooled in jazz and sought after as a back up singer, it's Sue's 25+ years as a folk singer in Sons of the Never Wrong that have shaped her holistic philosophy that all music is accessible when approached with authenticity and an open mind.

Her students vary from veteran recording artists, to beginning singer/songwriters. They are all buoyed up by her passion for helping students expand their writing and performing, using dynamics, improv, unique writing exercises, and new performance concepts. Sue is not a savvy musical theologist, her specialty "feel and ear" training is based on a strong guidance back to improvisation. 10+ years of teaching at Old Town School of Folk Music, and many national-solo workshops later, Sue is excited to be joining the OTS online staff. Group classes to come.

Some places Sue has taught Singer/Songwriting classes and workshops:
Bliss Fest - Petosky, MI.
DePaul University - Chicago, IL.
Three Arts Club - Chicago, IL.
F.A.R.M. Conference - Lansing, MI.
Aurora College - Aurora, IL
Focus on the Arts Fest - Highland Park, IL. 
Square Arts writer fest - Michigan
Old Town School of Folk Music - Chicago, IL.
Acoustic Brew Concerts - State College, PA.
Beaumeir Heritage Center - Michigan
Highland Park High School - Highland Park, IL. 
Northern Michigan University - Marquette, MI.
Ammus Jazz College - Bucaramanga Colombia

A few past student quotes: 
“Sue I've never had coaching of any kind before, nor someone to really hash through songs or ideas with. You have a wonderfully critical eye and the creativity that I am trying to develop.   Working with you has been so enlightening and such a productive time, and I'd really like to continue the work a bit longer, if that works for you. Thanks again for everything.” - Amy Dixon-Kolar/Singer-Songwriter
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Hey Sue, “I just wanted to write and thank you for being such a great teacher. I learned so much from you, and I have so many more tools at my disposal than I did before. You're a kind and wonderful person with a knack for teaching and bringing out the best in people.” Kristin Cotts/ Singer-Songwriter
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“First of all, thanks again for having me in your class. You are a remarkable teacher...  nsightful, warm, engaged and engaging...talented, too.  Whomever said, 'those who can't, teach' should take your class and shut up.” William Mericle - Singer-Songwriter
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“I've made quite a few songs that I think you would be proud of. I miss our class. I can honestly say that sharing my music with you changed my perspective on music and life. You magically instilled a confidence in me that will forever be strong.” Timmy Toyo  - Singer/Songwriter
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“I hope you know, your class was literally game-changing for me as a songwriter.  I actually feel comfortable calling myself a songwriter again! You were *so* incredibly encouraging.” Brian R.
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"I have had the awesome privilege of studying voice and songwriting with Sue Demel. Sue's crisp attention to detail and structure, set the space for her deep intuition to safely guide your journey through the unknown galaxy where songs are born. Her gentle heart allows room for one's most vulnerable states, and yet, she maintains an integrity and firm commitment to the craft itself, holding you accountable for the work, and meeting you halfway.  A loving teacher with vast experience who still shows up with the wonderment of a beginner's mind? Yes please. My musical life has been profoundly touched and enhanced by this Earth angel. May yours be as well.” --Eric Majeski, singer/songwriter

Started at the Old Town School in September of 2006


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 06/21/2021

Mondays 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wednesdays 9:00 am – 5:00 pm