Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
While this Lincoln Square neighborhood school has “folk music” in its name, that’s not the only kind of music you can learn to play here, although a number of popular folk artists have attended the school. More than 200 instructors lead classes in everything from singing to playing the mandolin, and a number of other instruments. Genres range from bluegrass to celtic, and all classes are geared toward a different skill level. Private one-on-one courses are also available.
1890 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
While this Bucktown neighborhood spot is known as a great place for kids to learn music, it’s also the perfect place for adults to pick up an instrument and learn to play. Run by a married couple, who also teaches along with other teachers, lessons are available in guitar, violin and fiddle, viola, clarinet, saxophone, drums, piano and, of course, voice and singing. Lessons are one-on-one on a weekly basis, and each class is 30 minutes in length.
Music Institute of Chicago
1702 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
While technically located north of the city in Evanston, this music institute is worth the trek, both for performances and instructional classes, and it has been for more than 85 years. The courses are tailored to adults that have never played an instrument before, as well as people who are picking up their studies after years away. Both private instruction and group classes are available, and some courses feature traveling guest artists.
Chicago School of Music
900 N. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL 60610
If you want to learn how to play a popular instrument (such as a guitar, piano, drums or clarinet, just to name a few), this Near North school near the Chicago brown line el stop is for you. The school offers a flexible schedule, with lessons offered frequently both throughout the week and on Saturdays, and classes can be booked in 30-, 45- and 60-minute increments. Whether you want to play music as a hobby or as a professional career, the professional teachers have taught both kinds of students with great success.
New Music School
310 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
Not only will you learn from Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians and renowned professors at this Loop school, but instruction can also take place in the comfort of your home. The private instruction will be tailored to you and your skill level, whether it be beginning level or concert level. New Music School takes great care in placing students with the right instructor, no matter which instrument you’re learning to play.
Related: Best Places to Get Your Classical Music Fix in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.