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As a nationally acclaimed children's performer and recording artist, Old Town School's own Laura Doherty knows firsthand the importance of keeping her songwriting craft simple, accessible, and inspired. Fender's American Performer series is the perfect match for this mentality, bringing time-tested California quality, classic construction, and captivating colors to a working player's price. This woodshedding season, we couldn't be prouder to welcome pro-level Fender back into the fold at the Old Town School Music Store.

Hear more from Old Town School's Laura Doherty at lauradohertymusic.com!




Crafted in Oxnard, California, the balanced, mellow warmth and saturated sustain of Guild's all-mahogany M-20 concert acoustic lends timeless tone and attack to our own Charlie Reider's "Once," rooting delicate vocals in its rock-solid midrange response. Shop Guild acoustics safely in our Chicago storefront, or online anytime!



On this 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Old Town School's own Rebecca Jasso and Chicago songwriter Sue Fink share "Wooden City," a Jasso original and an awfully catchy cautionary tale. When we think history these days at the Old Town School Music Store, we think Honolulu-based Kamaka ukuleles— handcrafted solid koa instruments almost unchanged since 1916. In Jasso's hands, the Kamaka HF-2 Concert Ukulele delivers a notoriously lush midrange, simmering highs, and more than enough "kick" to ignite these harmonies. Shop Kamaka ukuleles safely in our Chicago storefront, or online anytime!

Hear more from Old Town School's Rebecca Jasso at rebeccajasso.com!



Designed and handcrafted in Petaluma, California, the Kala USA 1MHG-T Elite Honduran Mahogany Tenor Ukulele is a tasteful homage to vintage instruments of the 1930s, with an open-pore "Doghair" finish that delivers exactly the resonant, warm sustain songwriters like Old Town School's own Alisa Rosenthal depend on to take their era-inspired tunes to the next level. Shop Kala ukuleles safely in our historic Chicago storefront, or online anytime!

Hear more from Old Town School teacher Alisa Rosenthal at alisarosenthal.com!



Both hailing from the mountains of North Carolina, it's hard to imagine a more inspired compliment to acclaimed Old Town School teaching artist Jonas Friddle's familiar take on "Last Chance Blues" than this Pisgah Tubaphone Short-scale Maple Open Back Banjo. Sustainably crafted from native maple and other Appalachian tonewoods, Pisgah's Tubaphone tone ring is molded in-house, with exacting specifications from an original— and a tone unmistakable from nearly a century ago when it was first created. Shop Asheville-fresh Pisgah banjos safely in our historic Chicago storefront, or online anytime!

Hear more from Old Town School teacher Jonas Friddle at jonasfriddle.com!




The balanced resonance of a chambered mahogany body and bound maple top pairs perfectly with a set of Black Top Filter’Tron pickups to make the Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet a shop favorite for live sets and studio sessions alike, adding an instantly recognizable sonic sparkle to any mix. From your first amplified chords at the Old Town School to bringing the bend with a Bigsby vibrato, the Gretsch G5230T is a guitar to grow with.



Crafted in Oxnard, California, the Larrivee 00-03 features a fingerstyle-friendly 1 3/4” nut, ebony fingerboard, and wildly resonant Sitka and mahogany construction. From its satin finish to its maple-bound, 12-fret style, the 00-03 brings classic quality to a true player’s price. As a step-up to an all-solid instrument or a guitar to tour with for years, the Old Town School Music Store is proud to put our stamp of approval on another inspired Larrivee.

Hear more from Old Town School teacher Sam Cantor at minormoon.com!



Stage-ready style. Solid top tone. Canadian quality. For years, the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse Parlor Acoustic-Electric has been a go-to guitar for Old Town School students, professional players, and any musician looking for a reliable travel companion at a realistic price point. Onboard Fishman electronics capture every nuance of this parlor’s crisp balance and defined high-end. The Art & Lutherie Roadhouse Parlor Acoustic-Electric. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store.



The Old Town School Music Store grew-up with Guild Guitars in the 1950s. The balanced, articulate tone, folk-friendly body shapes, and solid wood quality of Guild acoustics inspired the era’s most influential songwriters, and became a staple of countless studio sessions and performances. We couldn’t be prouder to carry new California-crafted Guild acoustics at the Old Town School, delivering luthier-built design and classic construction, at a price accessible to students and touring professionals alike. Guild USA acoustics, now available at the Old Town School Music Store.

Hear more from Old Town School teacher Donna Herula at donnaherula.com!



Era-defining design and quality, accessible to any player. It’s a goal we work towards everyday at the Old Town School, and Guild electric guitars couldn’t be a better example. Vintage accurate styles and finishes are tastefully updated with session-ready specs and reliable electronics— at a price that leaves plenty of room for gas money to get to the gig. From solid body screamers to the warm warble of P90 pickups, when you’re ready to plug-in, grab a factory fresh Guild at the Old Town School Music Store.

When that first lush chord rings out on a Martin guitar, we're hearing the sound of history. A history of handbuilt quality that starts in 1833, and continues today. We're hearing the sound of decades of our favorite performances at the Old Town School. Our favorite records. We're hearing the guitar we'll grow with for a lifetime. From tour-friendly Road Series acoustics to our acclaimed collection of Standard and Custom Shop models, we're here to start your Martin story. Martin Guitars. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store.



To say Eastman mandolins are “best in their price range,” or “best in their class” doesn’t really capture the level of craft and quality these instruments are making available to students, session players, and even touring musicians. They’re not aiming to be the best in their price bracket, they’re aiming to be the best, period. At the Old Town School, when we recommend an Eastman mandolin, we’re not just recommending the affordable instrument, we’re recommending hand-carved, solid wood tone, and the felt experience of a mandolin that’s crafted, not assembled. We love that we can make that happen for nearly any player with an Eastman. Eastman mandolins. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store.




We could go on about Furch Guitars bringing boutique features like soundboard voicing, carbon encased truss rods, and an impossibly lightweight UV finish to a genuine player’s price point. We could talk about the four decades of craft and quality that shines through every detail of these Czech instruments’ construction and resonant, solid tonewoods. But mostly, we became Illinois’ first Furch dealer because these are instruments that simply inspire. For students. For songwriters. For session musicians. We couldn’t be prouder to bring Furch guitars to the Old Town School Music Store.



One of the real joys of working with small builders is getting a sense of what inspires their instruments— where their musical lineage is coming from. Based in Burlington, Vermont, Iris Guitars’ OG Model is a familiar nod to smaller-bodied Gibson acoustics of the ‘50s and ‘60s, refined and reimagined as a handcrafted, lightly braced, luthier-built guitar. A European spruce top pairs perfectly with Honduran mahogany back and sides to lend the OG a warmth and balance ideal for light strumming or fingerstyle, while vintage appointments and an era-inspired headstock make this one a classic on-stage strummer. The Iris OG Model. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store.



Rebecca, buyer for the Old Town School Music Store, takes us through our first Old Town School Spec Larrivee, an OM-05 with a silky-smooth satin finish neck, bold and balanced tone, and fingerstyle-friendly 1 3/4" nut. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store!

Inspired by the lightweight, lush resonance of Depression-era Kel Kroydon guitars, Waterloo's WL-K is a beautifully built homage to the crisp tone and refined aesthetic of some of the most sought-after acoustic guitars ever crafted. Now available at the Old Town School Music Store!

Check out this basic tutorial on how to restring your acoustic steel string guitar!



Take a quick tour of The Old Town School and see what we do.



Harmonica Primer with OTS teacher Zoey Savage