Jamming along the St. Vrain River (photo Benko Photographics)
Jamming along the St. Vrain River
(photo Benko Photographics)

Check out the preliminary faculty listing! Registration for the 2019 Academy via the online lottery is now closed. Academy spaces that are still available after the registration lottery will be listed here - and available for purchase on December 4.

For a week before the RockyGrass festival begins, immerse yourself as an active participant in the world of bluegrass.

From small classes with world-class professional musicians, to sessions on group jamming, vocal coaching, songwriting, one-on-one instruction, and a variety of electives including practice techniques, writing instrumentals, accompaniment, improvisation, and music history. Evenings feature band scrambles, BBQs, and plenty of jamming for novice through advanced ability levels. Many Academy students return year after year, creating long-term relationships with fellow musicians from all over the world.

2016 Guitar class with Chris Eldridge (photo Benko Photographics)
2016 Guitar class with Chris Eldridge
(photo Benko Photographics)

Instrument Classes

Every year we welcome many of the RockyGrass Festival performers - world-class bluegrass musicians representing several generations of the music's history and future. These talented musicians spend the week with us teaching instrument classes, leading jams, and sharing their wealth of musical experience.

Typically we offer several levels of instrument instruction for guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and bass as well as a single intermediate-level class in dobro. New for 2019: we will also be offering an intermediate clawhammer banjo class taught by Chris Coole! All we ask for all instrument classes is that you be at least a novice on your instrument - no beginners, please!

Evening band scramble in the Wildflower (photo Benko Photographics)
Evening band scramble in the Wildflower
(photo Benko Photographics)

Songwriting and Vocals

In addition to the courses in instrument instruction, we will again be offering special courses in songwriting and vocals. These courses will feature daily group instruction and one-on-one sessions. For 2019, we're excited to welcome songwriting instructor Kristin Andreassen (of Uncle Earl) and vocal instructor Stephen Mougin (of Sam Bush Band).

Kids Camp

The Bluegrass Academy experience isn't just for parents. Children of registered Academy students can also join in the fun with a special program for your kids ages 7-14 who are either new to bluegrass or at a novice or intermediate level. Join us for four full days of instrument, vocal and band instruction that includes a final performance on Thursday evening. This is the perfect opportunity to bring the whole family to the Academy. Learn more....

Stringing up a new mandolin (photo Benko Photographics)
Stringing up a new mandolin
(photo Benko Photographics)

Instrument Building Experience

Where else but on Planet Bluegrass do a few lucky participants have the chance to walk away with a hand-built instrument in just four days? All the instrument kits allow students to sample a variety of building techniques and materials during the process. Along with the mandolin family of instruments, this year we are offering two mandolin building graduates the chance to build a travel guitar. For the mandos, no building experience is required, just a good attitude and focus. With over 200 instruments built to date, this experience just keeps getting better. Learn more...

Registration

Morning session in the Wildflower (photo Benko Photographics)
Morning session in the Wildflower
(photo Benko Photographics)

Registration is conducted via an online lottery, open from November 5-14.

The cost of the Academy is $600 for instrument classes; $385 for the Kids Camp; $820 for the mandolin/mandola instrument building experience; and $1050 for the guitar building experience. This price includes all classes and materials, camping in the onsite campground (including tent and vehicle), 2 evening BBQs, evening band scramble, and a lifetime of memories. A $150 deposit will hold your space in the Academy.

Academy Guests

If you are planning to attend the Academy with a non-musical family member, a very limited number of guest passes will be available for $275 to registered Academy students after the lottery has been completed. Guest passes allow your guest to camp with you on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch and enjoy the Monday and Thursday evening BBQs

You might also consider enrolling your guest in one of our non-instrument offerings: songwriting, vocals, or instrument building.

Photos: Russell Bramlett, Brian Eyster

If you're new to the Academy, browse some photos from past years (click the image above) or view our slide-shows from past years.