Teachers at the Old Town School

Tommi Zender

Guitar, Ensembles

Tommi Zender is a Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer/arranger, and teacher with over 30 years experience. As a guitarist, Zender is well versed in most electric and acoustic styles (finger styles ranging from Nick Drake to The Beatles, hybrid picking, funk/R&B, all hard and soft types of rock & roll). He has released three albums of original music, and played on numerous others, including music tributes LP's paying homage to Roxy Music/Brian Eno, Squeeze, Jellyfish, Aimee Mann, & Michael Penn. Zender performs regularly as a solo artist, with Phil Angotti Band (guitars, vocals, drums), the art-rock group Razorhouse (guitars, vocals, effects) and he often accompanies many singer-songwriters in Chicago, including many Old Town School teaching artists.

Now that all that "justify your musical existence" stuff is out of the way, it should be pointed out that Tommi loves teaching music, and he takes special care to provide a fun challenging communal learning experience. He teaches at Old Town School currently on Tuesdays (909 West Armitage) and Wednesdays and Sundays (Lincoln Square), and he visits as a substitute teacher other days for core Guitar, Theory, Songwriting and ensemble classes. His ongoing ensemble classes include Eclectic Electric Ensemble, Beyond Guitar 3, Folk-Rock Acoustic and Beatles Acoustic ensemble. Zender also presents seasonal Beatles Socials and "Fretboard Geography" workshops at the School.

Education: Education: BA in Music Studies, Columbia College, Chicago 1993

Started at the Old Town School in February of 2011

Upcoming Workshops

THE SOCIAL - Autumn Beatles

Open to All

$15 ($10 members)

Fri. September 28, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Join us to sing and play songs by the Fab Four, lead by Old Town School teaching artist Tommi Zender. Participants will take home a packet of Beatles songs, along with selected 70’s solo-Beatles bonus tracks mixed in. Get out out of the house, meet people, and play music...It’s Autumn in Chicago!


Group Classes for the session beginning 09/03/2018

Beatles Acoustic Ensemble with Tommi Zender

Deep cuts and favorites from from John, Paul, et al.

$206 ($196 members)

09/04/2018 – 10/23/2018 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Guitar 4Ever with Tommi Zender

$202 ($192 members)

09/04/2018 – 10/23/2018 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Folk-Rock Acoustic Ensemble with Tommi Zender

$206 ($196 members)

09/05/2018 – 10/24/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Eclectic Electric Ensemble with Steve Doyle · Tommi Zender

$222 ($212 members)

09/05/2018 – 10/24/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Guitar 1 with Tommi Zender

$202 ($192 members)

09/09/2018 – 10/28/2018 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 12:00 PM – 1:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave


Group Classes for the session beginning 10/29/2018

Beatles Acoustic Ensemble with Tommi Zender

Deep cuts and favorites from from John, Paul, et al.

$206 ($196 members)

10/30/2018 – 12/18/2018 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Folk-Rock Acoustic Ensemble with Tommi Zender

$206 ($196 members)

10/31/2018 – 12/19/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Eclectic Electric Ensemble with Steve Doyle · Tommi Zender

$222 ($212 members)

10/31/2018 – 12/19/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave