Wonderstruck Ukulele Academy is a new, 2-day immersive educational event focused on performance and songwriting for the intermediate ukulele player looking to sharpen their skills. The inaugural event will take place in Fort Collins, CO on October 5th and 6th, 2018.  Held at the Music District, this interactive, one-of-a-kind workshop features professional touring musicians Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane of Victor & Penny, and Danielle Anderson of Danielle Ate the Sandwich, who will share their knowledge and expertise on a variety of subjects.  Along with having a lot of fun during group jams and open mics, participants will enjoy classes on performance, songwriting, musical techniques, and rhythm in large and small group intensives. Wonderstruck Academy concludes on Saturday evening with a concert featuring performances by the attendees and instructors. 

Victor & Penny

Celebrating a time when style mattered and class was king, Victor & Penny feature tight harmonies, dazzling guitar work and a fiery ukulele. This corset-tight duo impresses and delights with charm and hot licks. The nationally-touring duo has made over 1,000 public appearances, traveling over 225,000 in the last 7 years. Victor & Penny released their 4th album, “Electricity” which debuted as the #12 album with the #3 song on the Folk DJ radio chart. Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling (Victor & Penny) create and lead workshops on ukulele, music theory, music history, performance skills, and business development, for ukulele groups, festivals, schools, and professional artists across the U.S.  




Danielle Anderson is a songwriter, performer, and entrepreneur, known best by her stage name, Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Growing her music career out of Fort Collins, CO, Danielle has released 6 full length albums, hundreds of music videos and toured internationally since 2009. Danielle has taught and performed at ukulele festivals all over the world, and loves the encouragement and joy she finds from playing the instrument, and all the good that comes from immersing yourself in its community. She is a self-taught player, who uses a style all her own. Her strongest skills are writing, performing and giving personality to everything she does. 


Friday, October 5th, 2018

5:00 pm - Registration opens

5:30 pm - Welcome and group jam

6:30 pm - Session and small group

8:00 pm - Wrap day one

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

9:00 am - Group jam

9:30 am - Sessions and small groups

12:00 noon - LUNCH (on your own)

1:00 pm - Session, small groups, large group intensives

5:00 pm - Group jam

5:30 pm - DINNER (on your own)

6:30 pm - The Bonfire Concert | Student Show & Open Mic

8:00 pm - Wrap day two

All events take place at The Music District
639 S College Ave
Fort Collins, CO 80524



Ukulele As A Rhythm Instrument |  Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny
Get out of your rut and into the groove! Erin and Jeff will show you the difference between just strumming along and driving the rhythm.  Learn simple but effective strumming techniques and delve into the styles of swing and gypsy jazz. They'll demonstrate how using rhythm can help you play more confidently and musically.

Two Finger Picking | Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Do you want to add a little more interest and texture to you playing? Danielle will teach an introductory picking pattern to build up your right hand technique! This easy pattern uses the thumb and index finger, and is a great way to add variety and dynamic expression to your playing. Danielle will show you how to apply the technique to a few popular songs and work through different time signatures. This is a great skill to add to your toolbox and spice up your playing.



Arranging Songs For Ukulele |  Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny  
So you found the chords to that great song you want to learn. Now what? Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny show you helpful tips and techniques to take that song you love and make it your own. We'll explore key elements of arranging, including intros and tags, chord substitutions, strumming styles, finding the right key for you, dynamics and more. Show your style and mix it up with panache and confidence to sound your best. 

Songwriting on the Ukulele | Danielle Ate the Sandwich
How do songs get made and how do you make one of your own? In this songwriting workshop, Danielle will discuss how to think like a songwriter and help bring out the stories you have to tell.  We will discuss how to use your ukulele to compliment your story and evoke more emotional and musical depth. The class will focus on exercises that build meaningful and poetic lyrics, and we will all write a song together. Please bring a pencil and get ready to write!


Performance I: Prepare, Deliver, Connect (LARGE GROUP) | Led Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny
Learn valuable tools on how to present your songs confidently in a live performance. Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny will show you how to connect with the audience, manage stage fright, and focus on singing, playing and remembering your lyrics all at the same time (gah!).  We’ll break it all down for you as we discover what makes a great performance great, and how you can have great performances too.

Finding Your Soul (LARGE GROUP) | Led by Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Loosen up your body! Free your spirit! Let your voice be heard! This workshop focuses on relaxing the muscles and approaching your playing with a loose and soulful attitude. When we find the rhythm in music, the movement in our bodies, and the soul in our voices, we can concentrate on giving better performances and achieve a higher level of playing.



Performance II: The Curtain is Up (LARGE GROUP) | ALL INSTRUCTORS
Take it to the next level in this hands-on open-mic style class. In a safe, encouraging environment we’ll try out the things we learned in Performing 1. A limited number of attendees will present a song and work on it one-on-one with Erin, Jeff, and Danielle while the balance of attendees observes and learn by listening to the interaction/instruction. Erin and Jeff have given this workshop all over the United States and their students say this is one of the most fun and rewarding workshop experiences they've had!



Open Mic
Learn the Camp Theme Song


Let us know if you have any questions!

Name *


Is Wonderstruck Ukulele Academy right for me? Wonderstruck focuses on writing and performance skills for intermediate players and above. Our sessions are best suited for students who have knowledge of basic chords, can strum and play in time, and are comfortable playing through songs. Advanced beginners and those seeking to build their skills are encouraged. 

How will the Academy be structured?  Wonderstruck ukulele camp will meet and instruct students in both large group and small group intensives. All attendees will have the opportunity to perform a song with a small group led by their camp instructor, and an opportunity for an open mic performance.

What does it cost?  
Early bird pricing $150 until July 31st, 2018
Full pricing $175 starts August 1st, 2018
Full refunds offered until September 5th, 2018

When are full payments due? Payment is due upon registration via eventbrite ticket link. Attendance is limited to 45 participants. Full refunds are offered up to 30 days before the academy begins (10/5). After September 5th, refunds will not be given. 

Where does Wonderstruck Ukulele Academy take place? The event takes place at the Music District at 639 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524. Fort Collins is situated in the northern front range of the Colorado Rockies roughly 1hr, 20mins. drive from Denver International Airport.

What should I bring with me?  Your ukulele, a music stand, snacks, water bottle, a notepad, writing utensil or device to take notes.

Will any meals be served? No. Students are responsible for providing their own meals. Meal breaks are written into the Wonderstruck schedule. There are a lot of local restaurants within walking distance of The Music District. Click here for dining options and ideas!

What will you provide? We will provide instructional materials, support, feedback and encouragement. 

Are pictures and video allowed? To protect the privacy of Wonderstruck participants and foster a safe environment for learning, we do not allow photo or video recording during classes and open mics. There will be opportunities for group photos with all camp attendees and the instructors. 

Where should I stay while I'm in town? There are several hotels and lodging options in the city of Fort Collins. Here are some links to help you find the right lodging for you!

The Armstrong Hotel

Best Western University Inn