A group of UCF students had a different kind of professor for an hour on Monday afternoon — one who performed original songs while visiting from his hometown of Liverpool.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran made his way to the UCF campus to host a music class and perform for an audience of 300 excited UCF students, as part of a contest UCF won.


Students, who were pre-selected to join, lined up outside of the Fairwinds Alumni Center to attend the intimate event with the singer. Breanna Mattis was the first in line at 7:30 a.m., saying she got there early so that she could be as close to Sheeran as possible.

Chegg, an online textbook rental company, teamed up with Sheeran’s team to bring the singer to UCF. UCF was selected to host the event after an online contest, among multiple colleges across the nation, ended with UCF students placing the most votes.

During his hour on stage, Sheeran answered questions that provided insight into his life and success, took selfies, gave an autograph, gave a lesson on how he tunes his guitar and sang three of his songs. He kept the audience laughing as he answered multiple questions and even provided insight on how to deal with stage fright.

“Just do it. If you want to be performer then do it. If you don’t then just continue being scared and let someone else do it. Just go and do it,” Sheeran encouraged.

One UCF student, Priscilla Peralta, asked for a selfie and was invited on stage to take one.

“I got a picture and it’s my birthday! I’m posting it everywhere, it’s going everywhere!” Peralta said.

Sheeran sang “Don’t”, “I See Fire”, and “Thinking Out Loud” while also playing his guitar, which he admitted did not have a name. He encouraged the audience to sing along.

IMG_2484[1] One fan said she admires Sheeran’s ability to connect with the audience. “He was so real. He didn’t treat us like his fans. He was just like ‘oh we’re going to have a conversation.’”

The contest also included a $10,000 grant to the UCF Music Department from Chegg. Sheeran presented the check and the Music Department says the money will be used for student scholarships.

Check back later for even more video of the event!