Back to School Music Gear for College Musicians

My daughter is heading back to college next month and this year she’s taking something new with her.

It’s a lovely concert Cordoba ukulele that I just picked up.

It’s funny, because last year she wasn’t really thinking about music. Mostly just trying to navigate her way through her freshman year and figure out the whole social scene.

But after a summer of music making, she’s longing to have something on hand to fiddle around with and her heart landed on the ukulele.

Mind you, she’s never strummed a chord until this summer, but she’s musical to the bone (like her mom and dad!) and picked it up in a day as she worked out the chords for Paramore’s “Moving On.”

If you are a college student, or you have a family member who is, here are some musical ideas of compact but fabulous instruments and accessories that’ll help keep the music going in a tight dorm room.

Cordoba UP100 Ukulele Pack

A complete ukulele package containing an all mahogany Cordoba concert ukulele, travel bag, digital clip-on chromatic tuner with color display, picks, and a ukulele chord and lesson book including lessons from Alfred Music Publishing.

Find out more at

Sells for $99.99

D’Addario Guitar Dock

The Guitar Dock by D’Addario / Planet Waves allows you to turn any surface with a flat edge into a secure instrument stand.

It’s lightweight, compact, and portable with an adjustable clamp with an ergonomic knob. Its 360 degree rotation allows mounting at any angle.

When a conventional stand is unavailable or inconvenient, the Guitar Dock will protect your instrument from falls by clamping to most tables, chairs, work benches, consoles, amps, and more! Cool!

Find out more here>>

Sells for $24.95

Blue Snowball USB mic

Whether you're recording a guitar at your kitchen table or a complete band in the studio, the Snowball can capture it with detail unheard of before in a USB mic.

Snowball and Snowflake can be used to record on iPad via Apple's camera connection kit (USB-to-30-pin) or the Lightning to USB camera adapter!

Using these adapters, you can get Blue’s studio-quality audio on your iPad with any recording app, including GarageBand.

Find out more at

Sells for $69.99

Danelectro Honeytone Mini Amp

Here’s funky, retro styling and vintage tone in a mini amp! The HoneyTone N-10 Guitar Mini Amp cranks like a little hot rod has a great clean or overdriven sound.

The HoneyTone amp also boasts a real leather handle, belt clip, headphone jack, Volume, Tone, and Overdrive controls. The HoneyTone N-10 amp is powered by 9-volt battery (included) or a DA-1 adapter.

Sells for $22.99

Jamhub BedRoom 5-Section Silent Rehearsal System

JamHubs were created to give musicians the freedom to jam all they want, wherever they want without disturbing others.

When you're jamming, it's virtually silent to the outside world — roommates can’t hear it; neighbors can't hear it; parents can't hear it; cops can't hear it. But for everyone in the band, the experience rocks.

Each musician controls their own individual mixes. Just pick a color section and plug in your instruments, mics and headphones. You'll hear yourself with amazing clarity.

There'll be no more volume wars, and your playing will improve faster. It’s the only way for a full on jam in your dorm room!

Find out more at

Sells for $299.99

Taylor GS Mini

A marvel of scaled-down design, the GS Mini is a fun little acoustic cannon that has taken the world by storm.

Sporting a rich, full voice that belies its compact size, the Mini is ultra-portable, yet just as comfortable to cradle in the comfort of your dorm room, making it the ultimate modern-day parlor guitar.

Featuring the Taylor NT® neck, the Mini comes with either a solid spruce or mahogany top. And with the easy-to-add ES-Go™ pickup and Taylor V-Cable™, you'll have a viable performance tool, too.

Find out more at

sells for $529.00

Korg microKEY25 USB-powered controller

The microKEY25 features excellent portability, allowing you to enjoy playing and producing with a great-feeling keyboard even when you're in a cramped dorm room. It features an expressive Joystick, as traditionally found on larger controllers, and provides simultaneous control of multiple parameters at the same time, along with control of the built-in tempo-synced arpeggiator function.

That's not all; the microKEY25 can be powered directly from your iPad via the Camera Connection Kit, and it can be immediately used to control MIDI-capable apps such as Korg's iMS-20.

The microKEY25 also includes a download code for FREE Korg M1Le software, giving you all of the preset sounds and all of the PCM waveforms of the original M1, and a browser/search function that makes it easy to find that "perfect sound."

Find out more at

Sells for $74.95

UE MEGABOOM Portable Wireless Speaker

Sometimes you just gotta share the music with the gang.

The UE MEGABOOM is a portable wireless speaker on steroids. Blast freakishly amazing 360-degree sound with deep, heart-pounding bass–everywhere you go.

UE MEGABOOM is designed to blast the same freakishly amazing sound to every corner of the party. With dual passive radiators, performance drivers and advanced digital signal processing UE MEGABOOM drives loud, rich, clear and balanced sound that will sound awesome with any playlist.

Find out more at

Sells for $299.99

Martin Backpacker Guitar

The sky’s the limit for portability! The steel-string Backpacker travel guitar is lightweight, durable, easy to play (and tune) and is shaped to fit into the smallest places. Constructed of solid tonewoods.

Find out more at

Sells for $359

Universal Electronics Travel Organizer

Want a way to keep cables and accessories organized in a small space?

This organizer is made of heavy-duty, ballistic nylon with outside dimensions of 8.5" x 10.7" x 2.0".

It features a reinforced neoprene handle and rubber zipper pulls.

An external pocket is perfectly suited for small items like picks. Inside the case are 17 different elastic loops and nylon mesh storage compartments in which you can place cables, capos, strings, clip on tuners, extra batteries, or almost anything else you might need.

Find out more here

Sells for $15.09

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.