“The voice of a particular people is often expressed through their folk music. The stories of heroes, of heartaches, of home and hearth, and other realities of life provide children with a common heritage of song through which they may approach life with joy and a sense of the brotherhood of man.”

Professional folk musicians will teach participants how to play and sing the various folk music traditions of America. The environment is friendly and inspiring. Students are placed into groups based on ability level. However, there are opportunities for students of different ability levels to play together during our sessions. Musical Styles Include: American Folk Tunes, irish Tunes, Hymns and Spirituals, Bluegrass and Country, Ballads from Ireland and England, Calypso and Reggae, Ragtime and Swing.

To Register


Folk Program

 Does your son or daughter want to learn an instrument and play in a small folk band?

Riverside will prepare them through individual lessons and then gather a small troupe of minstrels for them to play with.

Folk Beginner is a music workshop which helps boys and girls develop their instrument skills and voices to play together as a folk band.

Folk Intermediate is a folk band workshop where young minstrels – boys & girls – can build their repertoire of folk songs, refine instrument skills, and play music as a group.<

Instrument Groups: First Hour (Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukelele, Bass Guitar)
Folk Song Rehearsal: Second Hour

Swing Band

Sessions will focus on both individual instrument training, and song rehearsal. Musicians will learn the melodies that shaped swing, and also the improvisation techniques in jazz. They will also sing in the band.

Winter Session
Thursdays, Jan 11 – Mar 15
(One Wednesday session will replace a Thursday: Jan 24)
Swing Band Concert & Dance will be on Saturday, March 24th
7:00 – 9:00pm
The Commons, Westmont

*We will only be accepting Intermediate & Advanced musicians for the Winter Session.

Folk Sessions & Locations

Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook 

Advanced Beginner:
Fridays from Jan 12 – Mar 2
11:30pm – 1:00pm

Tuesdays from Jan 9 – Feb 27
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Church of the Resurrection, Wheaton

Mondays from Jan 8 – Feb 26
11:30am – 1:00pm

Ages & Cost

Riverside Folk & Swing Band Sessions are group music lessons for boys and girls (Folk: ages 8-14, Swing: ages 9-16). Placement is determined by skill level in coordination with the Director.

All Folk Sessions (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced): $160

Swing Band Sessions: $150

Registration Information

Each folk session will have 10 spots available.

Pre-registration is offered to our returning folk musicians and will be announced via email and on our website.