your instructors


Mike Finders - guitar/Voice

Mike Finders is a songwriter, bluegrass musician and educator, originally from Iowa, but at home here in Fort Collins for almost a decade.  He believes one should take it easy, but still take it.

Aaron Youngberg - Banjo

Aaron Youngberg finds obscure hobbies and more or less obsesses over them for several years until he reaches a level of skill he deems satisfactory. He never leaves any behind. Some ventures include banjos, heavy machinery, record-producing, pedal steel guitars, snow-boarding, parenting, ultra-marathon running, beard growing, studio construction and studio engineering. He's been teaching the bluegrass style banjo for close to 20 years and performs with FY5 most of the time...when he's not obsessing over those other things. He's a nice guy.


erin youngberg - bass/Voice

Erin started playing bass at a young age with her banjo pickin' daddy in Wyoming. They played bar gigs, weddings, golf club fundraisers, dude ranches, apres ski gigs and more until she went away to college and found some peers who were serious about making music for a living - and hit the road! Now she has spent over 15 years touring, recording, performing and teaching across the country. Bluegrass bass is her calling, and has led her to a life she loves! She'll tell you all about the "Zen of Bluegrass Bass". 

Erin has been an instructor at Bluegrass jam camps since 1995: 3 yrs at the Cordova Fiddle & Bluegrass Camp (Cordova, AK), 8 yrs  at Adult Bluegrass Jam Camp (Ghost Ranch, NM), 7 yrs at the Adult Bluegrass Jam Camp (Pagosa Springs), and 2 yrs at the Bearfoot Bluegrass Camps for kids (Crested Butte, CO & Buffalo, WY).


Ryan Drickey - Violin

A lifelong student of musical styles, Ryan Drickey is well-versed in the intricacies of American Old-Time and Bluegrass, as well as Swedish fiddle styles. He has an MM in violin from CU-Boulder, and lives in Beacon, NY.


Rich zimmerman - mandolin

Rich Zimmerman has been playing mandolin, teaching workshops and bluegrass camps with Fy5 for the past 8 years. In this camp Rich will focus mostly on the right(picking) hand and it's role in keeping time and driving a bluegrass ensemble.

At FY5 Bluegrass Camp, pickers are immersed in a fun educational experience that inspires and polishes the playing of this classic American art form, Bluegrass Music. The FY5 Bluegrass Camp is a student-centered, two-day instructional retreat with the members of the Fort Collins-based bluegrass band, FY5, as mentors and guides. Campers will participate in large group, small group, and individual instruction on each of the staples of bluegrass music: guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, mandolin, as well as harmony singing and arranging. FY5 knows that when you play WITH and FOR other people, your picking gets better, and our camp is designed to facilitate this as much as possible. Using a few standard bluegrass songs, in easy keys, and a variety of instruction and rehearsal, the pickers dig deeper and deeper into the heart of bluegrass, making new connections and having a great time. The camp concludes with a camper/performance on Sunday night and a personal high-five from FY5!

2019 Schedule

Friday October 18:

4:30 pm Arrival

5:00 - 8:00 pm Instructor lead jamming

Saturday, October 19:

10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Full day of instruction including:





8:00 FY5 show @ the Magic Rat (free)

Sunday, october 20:

12 noon - 3:00 The Big Show

(hosted by Avogadro’s Number)


Single Camper Registration
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Hear what some former students have to say:

 "To say that the instructors at [the FY5 Bluegrass Camps] are approachable is an understatement. Upon arrival you are welcomed immediately into the musical circle. Many participants return year after year for a reason. The location is inspiring, the class size intimate and support comes not only from the teachers but from the other students. It's more than a camp, it's a family reunion". - Deb

"I have attended [The Bluegrass Jam Camp] seven times! I barely knew three chords the first time.  It's worth it just to hang out with the band for a few days. The concert performance was a little stressful the first time, but the second year, didn't want to leave the stage! Definitely a life changing experience!!" - Marty

“I’ve taken both banjo and bass classes at bluegrass camps with Erin and Aaron Youngberg.  They provide great instruction in a fun and helpful way.  I encourage pickers of all levels to take advantage of any opportunity to learn from them.” - Keith

“Thank you so much for an amazing week of practice and inspiration. You'll be happy to know I have been practicing all the stuff you taught me - I am determined not to forget any of it!  It was really good timing for me in my bass playing journey.” - Dolores

Contact Us

Let us know if you have any questions!

Name *

The Music District

639 S College Ave
Fort Collins, CO, 80524



  • How will the Academy be structured?  The camp uses large group, small mixed group, small like-group and individualized instruction.  We also scramble the musicians into ensembles, who perform a show Sunday evening.
  • What does it cost?  $135
  • When are full payments due? Pay is due upon registration.
  • What about ability levels? As long as you can play (or at least play along) a couple of bluegrass songs or tunes, in a few different keys (not simultaneously), then you’ve totally got this.  
  • Will any meals be served? No.
  • Can I bring friends or family along to the Academy?  Not til the show on Sunday afternoon.
  • What should I bring with me?  Your main axe.  Any books or such that you like to sing with.
  • What about the kids Academy?  Camp is designed for intermediate-level grown-ups.