Log in

Add-On Day: Old Town School of Folk Music

Want more time together?  You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to come to the pre-Conference special add-on at Chicago’s iconic Old Town School of Folk Music Friday, September 27, 10am-3pm.

Nestled in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, where old world heritage meets modern charm, Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Over the years and still today many CMN members are also instructors at the school!

The day will include:

  • Guided tour of the iconic Old Town School of Folk Music

  • Inspiring workshops presented by SaulPaul, a musician with a message, and Shanta Nurullah, a multi-instrumentalist, storyteller, and educator (details below)

  • Chicago style lunch

An interesting Old Town School of Folk Music fact:

The “First Lady of Children’s Music” Ella Jenkins, CMN’S first Magic Penny Award recipient, was the first person in line on the opening night of the Old Town School of Folk Music, December 1st, 1957.

Our Old Town day will be offered as an extra to your conference registration, or separately for Chicago area residents!  There is a $35 discount if you are registering for both that includes transportation to and from the Embassy Suites if needed.

>> Register before Aug 15 for the Early Bird Special price ($10 savings).

Harmonizing Voices: Folk Music, Hip-Hop, and Storytelling

Join SaulPaul, 3X GRAMMY Nominated Musician with a Message, for an immersive and interactive exploration of the intersection between three vibrant and diverse forms of expression: folk music, hip-hop, and storytelling. This workshop invites participants to discover the common threads that weave through these genres, transcending time, culture, and boundaries. Whether you’re a seasoned musician, a budding lyricist, or simply curious about the power of narratives, this workshop promises inspiration, collaboration, and creative synergy and culminates with attendees joining our voices and instruments together in a collaborative jam session. 

GRAMMY Award-nominated artist SaulPaul has garnered an international reputation as a Musician with a Message. Part rapper/part singer-songwriter, SaulPaul is an entertaining artist who blends his voice, his guitar, and his loop pedal to create a live show that is nothing less than an experience. SaulPaul shares his art with his heart and has been inspiring audiences through his music. From performing at three TEDx Talks, five Super Bowls, America’s Got Talent, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Austin City Limits, this seasoned and well-traveled artist has performed nationally and internationally in theaters, concert venues and festivals across the country as well as esteemed industry events like Folk Alliance International, Midem and SXSW. Armed with two chart-topping #1 songs on Sirius XM along with an extensive catalog of music, his latest album, Okay to Be Different, along with his last album, Be the Change, are being played on radio stations across the country. He says “I believe that my voice, lessons learned from my journey and my input are more important than ever at this time. I had to release this music because timing is everything. My grandmother taught me that being kind makes a difference. And it is my belief that by being kind, you can Be The Change.”

Story & Song: There and Back Again, with Shanta Nurullah

The Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Join in a Song Circle, led by veteran teaching artist, multi-instrumentalist, storyteller and performer Shanta Nurullah. Shanta will share, sing and play a selection of spirituals, blues, and folk songs. You will be invited to add your voice to the chorus of the room as you learn more about this unique institution and the intersections of place and politics, community and culture.


Our CMN annual conference is now over 30 years old!! Every year it gets bigger and better, creating many opportunities for performers, educators, song¬≠writers, librarians, and families—all those who love music for children—to gather. Together, we connect and reconnect and fill our hearts with laughter and song by sharing songs, ideas, resources and information.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2024, #cannotwait!

The Children's Music Network
10 Court Street #22, Arlington, MA 02476
(339) 707-0277 |

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software