“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.

Folk Advanced is a folk band of experienced young minstrels – boys & girls.  New members to Advanced must have Director approval prior to registering.

Questions?  Email Peter Searby at petersearby@rside.org

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

Spring Sessions

Intermediate Folk: Mayslake Peabody Estate
Thursdays – 3:30 to 4:45
May 2 – May 30
Advanced Folk: Mayslake Peabody Estate
Thursdays – 4:45 to 6:00pm
May 2 – May 30
Mayslake Peabody Estate
1717 31st St, Oak Brook
Instruments: Guitar, Fiddle, Ukelele, Mandolin, Banjo, Bass, Harmonica
*This program will finish with a house concert. Date & location to be announced.

Summer Camps

Intermediate & Advanced Folk Lessons for boys & girls in the musical traditions of American Folk Music, and dramatic vignettes based on narrative roots of American Folk music. One week of Folk Music and Drama that will inspire young musicians, and help them develop their musical skills and steep them in the story of America’s Songs.

Folk Camp I – Advanced Minstrels
Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Uke, Bass, Banjo, Harmonica
June 17-22
Location: Mayslake Peabody Estate
June 22 – Performance at the Riverside Folk Festival
Cost: $300 per student

Folk Camp II – Intermediate Minstrels
July 8-12
Location: Mayslake Peabody Estate
June 12  – House Performance
Cost: $300 per student

Ages & Cost

Riverside Folk Band Sessions are group music lessons for boys and girls ages 8-14. Placement is determined by skill level in coordination with the Director.

Spring Folk Session: $100 per child
Summer Camps: $300 per child

Registration Information

Spring Session Registration Form – CLICK HERE.

Summer Camp Registration Form – CLICK HERE.