The Old Town School of Folk Music bills itself as the largest independent community arts school in the United States and has taught countless Chicago kids - including my own! - how to strum a guitar, pound out a tune on a piano, and drum to a different beat. I'll never forget the first time I saw my then 8-year-old son on the school's stage, belting out "Blue Suede Shoes" and handling his guitar like a little Elvis Presley. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I kept myself fit with African dance classes at the school.  I look forward to my daughter beginning piano lessons this upcoming summer.

In addition to its numerous dance classes, the Old Town School of Folk Music offers single day and evening workshops and concerts. It's a great place to dabble in the Chicago music scene when visiting the Windy City with your family.

On January 13, 2012, the Old Town School of Folk Music inaugurated its newest building at 4545 North Lincoln Avenue. As part of its grand opening celebration, the school is offering daily workshops, concerts and lessons until March 3. Most are free! You'll have a chance to learn how to dance to a samba beat, enjoy a percussion playdate with your fave toddler, learn more about our Chicago blues, or explore Middle Eastern music and rhythm and more.

Check out the daily menu of fun at and check out the family friendly concert listings, offered throughout the year, at

The Old Town School of Folk Music
4545 N. Lincoln Avenue
Tel. 773/728-6000