Workshops

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!

Sat. November 23, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Black Banjo Repertoire: African and Post-African Tunes, Their Context, and How to Play Them

Join early Carolina Chocolate Drop Sule Greg Wilson for this continued exploration of Black Banjo Repertoire! Few people know that a big chunk of Americana has Black roots. Many great European American players—Boggs, Carter, Monroe et al— were inspired by or learned from African Americans. In this session, participants will learn some African songs, with a goal of understanding the roots of the roots. Participants will also discuss and play tunes that many already know, looking at them in regards to their “Black Roots”, historically, and/or stylistically. It’s a time to talk, listen, share, jam, and grow. American griot Sule Greg Wilson digs for deep, strong roots. Steeped in both African and Post-African cultures, Sule built his base as a researcher and performer for the International Afrikan-American Ballet (1977-1982) and the African-American Index Project (1991-1994); as an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1986-1989) and at the National African-American Museum Project (1994-1995). As a performer, he has carried this focus into collaborations with a diverse group of artists: Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Reginald R. Robinson, Sankofa Strings/Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tony Trishka, Ruthie Foster, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter Rowan, and Joe Thomson to name a few. Percussion, banjo, dance and storytelling are Sule’s chosen tools for cultural archeology and you are invited to dig with him. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Banjo
$30 ($25 members)
Sat. November 23, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

American Percussion: Washboard, Bones, Tambo, and Brushes

Join early Carlolina Chocolate Drop Sule Greg Wilson for a continued exploration of American Percussion! Lots of folks today are strapping on washboards or clackin’ bones to be part of the Old Time music scene. Have you ever wondered where these instruments came from and how they came about? Despite hand drums being banned in the mid 1700’s (for enslaved Africans), percussion instruments in folk music never stopped. Sule will delve into the history of these American percussion traditions and demonstrate traditional playing styles and rhythms on washboard, bones, tambourine— as well as Jazz Brushes technique, and a touch of body percussion! [more info]

Open to All
Program: Drumming
$30 ($25 members)
Sat. November 23, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Irish Ballad Singing & Accompaniment Workshop

You will also gain insights into the way of life in Old Ireland as some common themes and events are sung about in each ballad. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($23 members)
Sat. November 23, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Fingerpicking The Holidays

Entertain your family and friends this holiday season with toe-tapping fingerstyle guitararrangements of your favorite holiday classics. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 24, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Traveling in Others’ Shoes: Performing “Someone Else’s” Music

Join early Carolina Chocolate Drop Sule Greg Wilson for this rich discussion. You know: there’s “sharing”; and there’s the “borrowing” of music and techniques we hear so much about. There’s also “homage” and “imitation” and “appropriation”. There’s “learning”; there’s “loving”; and there is “stealing”; yes? In this partially-guided discussion, we’ll examine our own and historical relationship to African American music repertoire, review some legal and moral precedents, and talk about the yearnings of our souls. American griot Sule Greg Wilson digs for deep, strong roots. Steeped in both African and Post-African cultures, Sule built his base as a researcher and performer for the International Afrikan-American Ballet (1977-1982) and the African-American Index Project (1991-1994); as an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1986-1989) and at the National African-American Museum Project (1994-1995). As a performer, he has carried this focus into collaborations with a diverse group of artists: Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Reginald R. Robinson, Sankofa Strings/Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tony Trishka, Ruthie Foster, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter Rowan, and Joe Thomson to name a few. Percussion, banjo, dance and storytelling are Sule’s chosen tools for cultural archeology and you are invited to dig with him. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Ensemble
$5 ($5 members)
Sun. November 24, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Baroque Dance with Sarah Edgar

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. November 24, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Soft Shoe: A Soulful Percussive Dance

Join early Carolina Chocolate Drop Sule Greg Wilson for this special offering to continue the exploration and celebration of this unique dance form! Motown choreography, created by Cholly Atkins, a master of Class Act Tap, inspired the world to dance Soul. In this workshop, participants will experience the approach to physicality that underpins the Post-African percussive dance tradition, via Tap Dance’s funky folk form of steppin’: Soft Shoe. We’re gonna have a funky good time (and even learn what that means!). American griot Sule Greg Wilson digs for deep, strong roots. Steeped in both African and Post-African cultures, Sule built his base as a researcher and performer for the International Afrikan-American Ballet (1977-1982) and the African-American Index Project (1991-1994); as an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1986-1989) and at the National African-American Museum Project (1994-1995). As a performer, he has carried this focus into collaborations with a diverse group of artists: Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Reginald R. Robinson, Sankofa Strings/Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tony Trishka, Ruthie Foster, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter Rowan, and Joe Thomson to name a few. Percussion, banjo, dance and storytelling are Sule’s chosen tools for cultural archeology and you are invited to dig with him. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$30 ($25 members)
Mon. November 25, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. November 25, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 02, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 02, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Thu. December 05, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Ethiopian Dance Workshop with Yaasha Abraham

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$20 ($19 members)
Fri. December 06, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

Give and get feedback on original music in an inviting environment. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Sat. December 07, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

The Embodied Musician - Intro to the Alexander Technique

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. December 07, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Chord Melody & Harmonizing for Guitar

Enhance your playing by harmonizing melodies in thirds, and developing dexterity with parallel thirds to apply to improvised lines [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($28 members)
Sat. December 07, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Understanding the Major Pentatonic Scale

All five major pentatonic positions will be covered in this class. You'll walk out of this workshop with a better understanding of the guitar neck. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. December 07, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Understanding the Minor Pentatonic Scale

This is THE pinnacle of all scales in most songs in blues, hard rock, world and heavy metal. [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. December 08, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Baroque Dance with Sarah Edgar

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($23 members)
Sun. December 08, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Blues Progressions and Soloing with Jim Kahr

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($28 members)
Sun. December 08, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Slidin’ the Blues with Jim Kahr

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($28 members)
Mon. December 09, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 09, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Fri. December 13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Dylan Songbag: Christmas and The Chairman

We’ll learn few of Dylan’s holiday arrangements as well as a handful of his Frank Sinatra covers from earlier this decade. fa la la la la meets shoo be doo be do [more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$20 ($15 members)
Sat. December 14, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Dance Basics for Couples

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. December 14, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Cajun and Zydeco Dance

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sun. December 15, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Holiday Harmonica Workshop

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Harmonica
$30 ($28 members)
Mon. December 16, 9:30 AM – 10:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Mon. December 16, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM · 909 W Armitage Ave

Wiggleworms Mixtape

[more info]

Open to All
Kids Group Class – Program: Wiggleworms
$22 ($20 members)
Sat. December 21, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Voice of the People Holiday Caroling

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Voice
$5 ($5 members)
Fri. January 10, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

Give and get feedback on original music in an inviting environment. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Sat. January 11, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Dance Basics for Couples

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. January 11, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Country Dancing!

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. January 25, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

The Craft Of Solo Jazz Guitar

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$30 ($28 members)
Fri. February 07, 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Songwriter’s Circle with Daniel Connolly

Give and get feedback on original music in an inviting environment. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Songwriting
$12 ($10 members)
Fri. February 07, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Wintertime Beatles Songbag w/Tommi Zender

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Guitar
$15 ($14 members)
Sat. February 08, 1:00 PM – 2:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Dance Basics for Couples

[more info]

Open to All
Program: Dance
$45 ($43 members)
Sat. February 08, 3:00 PM – 4:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Swing Dance: Brush-Up Workshop

[more info]

Intermediate
Program: Dance
$25 ($24 members)
Sat. February 15, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Frank Vignola Let's Play Workshop with Vinny Raniolo

Gain valuable insights into rhythm playing, melody playing, improv techniques and much more. [more info]

Open to All
Program: Guitar
$45 ($40 members)