Traveling with Instruments

Updated on May 8th, 2024

Navigating travel to or from one of Berklee's Summer Programs can be a complicated process, especially with large instruments or gear. Below is a recommended list of what you should plan to bring for your program, organized by primary instrument.

Instruments and Gear to Bring for Your Program

With the exception of pianists and drummers, students are expected to bring their instruments to all Summer Programs. In addition, please note the following: 

  • Contemporary Vocalists are required to bring their own low-impedance microphone and cord. You can review microphone recommendations on this page from the Voice Department.
  • Drummers should come prepared with sticks and brushes. Students are welcome to bring their own cymbals, hi-hat, and clutch, however these items are also provided during the program.
  • Guitarists and electric bassists should bring any cables and foot pedals. Amplifiers will be supplied during instruction. You may wish to bring a small practice amplifier (with headphones) for individual practice rooms.
  • Keyboardists who wish to bring a synthesizer for ensemble purposes or private practice may do so. 
  • Electronic Digital Instrumentalists (EDI) must bring a computer with Ableton Live and a MIDI keyboard.
  • Music Producers attending the Music Production Workshop or the Electronic Music Production and Sound Design Workshop must bring a computer with access to digital audio workstation (DAW) software (ie. Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, etc.) and a MIDI Keyboard.
  • Only acoustic bassists may use on campus storage, if available. Unfortunately, Berklee cannot accommodate storage for any other type of instrument.

Flying with Instruments

If you must fly with your instrument, Berklee recommends using a hardshell case that will better protect the instrument during transportation. Label the case with your name, phone number, and Berklee’s address in case you become separated from it. You may wish to include “fragile” stickers on the outside of the case and a note inside indicating that special care should be taken while handling the instrument for luggage inspection. If your instrument is valuable, please make sure it is insured. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their airline regarding instrument transportation policies.

Instrument Rental and Repair

In the event that a Summer Programs student is in need of instrument rental or repairs services during their time in Boston, below is a list of instrument rental and repair stores in the Back Bay/Fenway neighborhood: 

Berklee College of Music

While Berklee does not provide rental or repair services, the following instruments and gear are provided to students during the length of their program: 

  • Drummers: hi-hats, cymbals, and clutch are provided; all instruments, except steelpan, are provided
  • Guitarists and Electric Bassists: amplifiers are provided, though students may wish to bring a small practice room amplifier
  • Electronic Digital Instrumentalists: plan to bring a computer with Ableton Live and a MIDI Keyboard; all other electronic musical equipment is provided
  • Songwriting Sessions in LA: plan to bring a computer; pianos and small MIDI keyboards are provided
  • Pianists: all musical instruments will be provided

Off-Campus Instrument Repair and Rental Services

Please note: the following services are listed in order of proximity to the college, and are not affiliated with or endorsed by Berklee.

MISC: Musical Instrument Service Center, two-minute walk from 160 Massachusetts Ave

4 Haviland St, Boston, MA 02115  |  (617) 241-0525

MISC Musical Instrument Service Center, located just down the street from Berklee's main dining hall, services a wide variety of instrument needs. From their Keyboard repair services, to their Guitar Repair Shop, to their Electronic and Pro Audio repair services, you are likely to find the service you need at MISC! 

Virtuosity Musical Instruments, seven-minute walk from 160 Massachusetts Ave

234 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA, 02115 |  (617) 530-1993

Virtuosity Musical Instruments offers brass and woodwind instruments for purchase, both online and in store. They also offer brass and woodwind-specific gear, as well as general equipment, such as music stands and metronomes.

New England Violins Inc, eight-minute walk from 160 Massachusetts Ave

351 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA, 02115 |  (617)-331-9066

New England Violins Inc provides its clients with a wide variety of violins, violas and cellos for purchase. At this time, their staff recommends scheduling an appointment for any serious inquiries.  They offer a wide catalog of bows and accessories for purchase as well. 

Wiessmeyer Violins LLC, eight-minute walk from 160 Massachusetts Ave

54 Westland Ave, Boston, MA, 02115  |  (617)-262-2688

Wiessmeyer Violins LLC is known for their dedication to repairing and fine-tuning stringed instruments, including violins, violas, and cellos. In addition to their Tonal Adjustments, set-ups, and repair services, Wiessmeyer Violins does offer a small collection of stringed instruments for sale in their storefront. At this time, Wiessmeyer Violins does not offer a rental service.

Guitar Center, 14-minute walk from 160 Massachusetts Ave

1255 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02215  |  (617) 247-1389

Students are welcome to peruse Guitar Center's extensive instrument and equipment selection as needed, many of which are available for purchase or for rent. To ensure instrument or equipment availability and to alleviate the stress of your check-in process, we recommend reserving your rental online at Guitar Center’s website ahead of your arrival to campus.

In addition to instrument purchase or rental, Guitar Center also offers a wide variety of instrument repair services. To review their offerings of repair services, please feel free to explore their Instrument Repair Webpage