Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive

Ages 15+
College Credit-Eligible
The world's most comprehensive summer music performance program, Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive draws musicians from more than 70 countries to Boston for the summer of a lifetime. From one-on-one instruction with Berklee’s renowned faculty to a rigorous curriculum offering college credit, this immersive program will enhance your instrumental or vocal performance mastery. Learn how to groove in a band, develop improvisational and reading skills, and improve your technique in weekly private lessons. You will also have the chance to explore areas of the music industry such as songwriting, music production, music business, music therapy, and more through elective coursework.
July 5-August 9
Check-in Time
Last Name A - L: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Last Name M - Z: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM; All commuter students: Saturday, July 6 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
August 9, 7:00 PM
Registration fee
$50 (nonrefundable)
Registration for this program has closed.

How to Enroll

  1. Submit your registration by June 1.* Begin by submitting your registration online. If applicable, you may need to submit additional supporting materials.
  2. Make your tuition payment by June 1.* All programs have limited capacity, so be sure to complete your full tuition payment to reserve your space in the program.
  3. Request housing. Students who are 15 years of age or older by the start of their Boston-based program are eligible to stay in on-campus housing. If you meet the eligibility requirements and have indicated that you would like to request on-campus housing, please revisit your registration portal and submit a Residence Hall Agreement.

*Please note: This program has limited capacity. Submission of registration materials alone does not guarantee participation in the program. You will secure your spot by paying in full.


The intensive is meant to replicate a true Berklee College of Music undergraduate experience. You will select one principal instrument (voice included) to study during the program. You may choose an electronic digital instrument (EDI) as your principal instrument. Your instructors for Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive are members of Berklee's world-class faculty and include a mix of private instruction, instrumental labs, ensembles, theory, performance, and musicianship training. While classes are designed to challenge and expand your musical skill set, your course load will be appropriate for your abilities.

Classes generally take place between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and are tailored to your musical interest and experience level. The program culminates with a final week of concerts where you will perform for faculty, fellow students, family, and friends. Browse course descriptions below

Core Curriculum


Electives give students the opportunity to learn more about an area that interests them in a class that meets once a week for two hours. Students will receive one elective from the list of required electives below. You may also choose to receive one additional, optional elective. You will rank your preference of electives while taking your online placement assessment before the program begins.

Required Electives

Optional Electives

General Curriculum Information


Each participant's schedule is entirely customized to their interests and abilities. The schedule below serves as an example of the expected course load along with the breadth of additional opportunities throughout the intensive.

10 AM–12 PMMandatory Elective
12 PM–1 PMSurvey of Instrumental/Vocal Styles
1 PM–2 PMFaculty Artist Clinic*
3 PM–5 PMVisiting Artist: Performance Perspectives Master Class
7 PM–9 PMOpen Mic*
9 PM–10 PMHomework in the Dorm Lounge *
9 AM–10:30 AMMusic Theory
12 PM–1 PMMusicianship
1 PM–2 PMFaculty Artist Clinic*
3 PM–4 PMMusicianship Teacher Office Hour*
4 PM–6 PMAdditional Elective*
7 PM–9 PMTuesday Night Jams*
9 PM–10 PMStudy Group at Cafe 939*
11 AM–12 PMMusicianship
12 PM–1 PMLive at 160 Caf Show*
2 PM–3 PMReading Lab
4 PM–6 PMEnsemble
8 PM–10 PMMovie Night in the Residence Halls*
9 AM–10:30 AMMusic Theory
12 PM–1 PMMusicianship
1 PM–2 PMPerforming Songwriter Sidewalk Series*
2 PM–3 PMTheory Teacher Office Hour*
4 PM–5 PMStyles Lab
7 PM–9 PMThursday Night Jams*
9:30 AM–10 AMPrivate Lesson
11 AM–12 PMMusicianship
12 PM–1 PMLive at 160 Caf Show*
2 PM–3 PMInstrument or Vocal Lab
3 PM–4 PMPractice Room Session*
10 AM–11 AMYoga for Musicians*
12 PM–4 PMExtra Ensemble Rehearsal*
10 PM–11 PMCaf Show*
1:35 PM–5:30 PMRed Sox Game at Fenway Park*
6 PM–7 PMPractice Room Session*
7 PM–8 PMHomework in the Media Center*

*These activities are optional to attend. This schedule is subject to change.

Performance Opportunities

At Aspire, performance opportunities are available to you almost every day. Recurring performance opportunities include the following:

  • Monday evening open mics in Cafe 939
  • Tuesday evening jam sessions in David Friend Recital Hall
  • Wednesday and Friday afternoon open mics in the Berklee Dining Hall
  • Thursday afternoon open mics at the Berklee Bookstore
  • Thursday evening jam sessions in Oliver Colvin Recital Hall

In addition, the final week of the program hosts over 200 ensemble performances. You will participate in at least one performance, though you may perform in multiple shows if you take more than one ensemble. You have the option to audition for additional ensembles on the first Sunday of the program.


General Requirements

All students 15 and older with six months of playing or singing experience are welcome to attend. Most students who attend this program are of high school or college age.

Participants must possess a proficient level of English to enroll in this program. We do not require proof of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo) as part of the enrollment or application process; however, you are expected to have a sufficient command of the English language to understand class material and assignments.

The US Department of Homeland Security requires that any participating student who is not a US citizen apply for an F-1 student visa. Students may not attend the program with a B-1 visa, B-2 visa, or ESTA visa waiver. Learn more about the F-1 Visa process by reading the articles within our F-1 Visa Help Center category.

Required Materials

Workbooks for your Aspire: Five-Week program courses, along with electronics, Berklee merchandise, and various other supplies, can be found at the Berklee Bookstore, situated near the center of campus at 1090 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The required books are:

  • Five-Week Musicianship by Rick Peckham and Scott McCormick
  • Berklee Contemporary Music Theory by Vessela Stoyanova and Jeff Perry

Except for pianists and drummers, students are expected to bring their instruments to all Summer Programs. Additionally, please take note of the following:

  • Contemporary vocalists are required to bring their own low-impedance microphone and cord. You can find microphone recommendations on this page from the Voice Department.
  • Drummers should come prepared with sticks and brushes. While students are welcome to bring their own cymbals, hi-hat, and clutch, these items are also provided during the program.
  • Guitarists and electric bassists should bring any necessary cables and foot pedals. Amplifiers will be supplied during instruction. It may be beneficial to bring a small practice amplifier (with headphones) for individual practice rooms.
  • Keyboardists intending 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.
  • Only acoustic bassists may use storage lockers on campus. Unfortunately, Berklee cannot accommodate storage for any other type of instrument.
Program-Specific Details

Scholarships Available

Berklee offers a variety of full and partial merit-based scholarships for students attending Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive. Learn more about scholarships.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to audition for a scholarship to Berklee College of Music’s undergraduate program while attending Aspire: Five-Week, with approximately $10 million in scholarships awarded during the final week of the program.

Earn College Credit

Students who receive a grade of B or higher in their core classes will receive three college credits upon completion of the program.

Notable Alumni

Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, and Betty Who are among the many Aspire alumni who have gone on to have successful music careers.

Once You've Enrolled

The Berklee Summer Programs Team is excited that you've taken the first step! Now that you've enrolled, here's what to know, to be sure you're prepared before and after you check in for the experience of a lifetime.

What to do first?

Complete These Tasks by June

Prepare to Arrive and Check In

Access the Summer Programs Help Center

Explore some of these top articles from the Summer Programs Help Center.