Although DJing is widely recognized as a free form of art, there are lots of options available for those who want to back it up with some formal study. In this article we describe and compare four options and answer the question: what education do you need to DJ.
Option 1: General Musical Education
This kind of education is mostly acquired in secondary or specific music schools. Music comes as a subject at many schools, or you can choose to take private lessons. While this will not give you direct knowledge of DJing, it will help you decide it will help you work out if you have a love of music, if you are good at music and if you want become a DJ down the track.
Advantages: You will develop a sense of rhythm that will help with beat matching, and awareness of the keys will help to improve harmonic mixing. With well-developed musical hearing you will pick the right tracks and evaluate transitions more effectively.
Disadvantages: This kind of training won’t give you specific knowledge of DJing and does not include experience with DJing hardware and software. At the end of the day, there is no specialized DJing certificate.
Option 2: Official DJ Academies and Institutes
This option offers private tuition usually run by industry experts and starts with the theoretical basics of DJing. For those who are super keen, there are in-depth practical courses on offer. Following that, there is sometimes the option of an internship at a local pub or club.
Advantages: Detailed knowledge about DJing shared by professionals. You also get experience with real hardware and software and meet new contacts in the niche. There is a certificate at the end of the course.
Disadvantages: These courses can be very expensive and because there are not many DJ schools around, some people may need to travel to another city or even another country to enter.
Option 3: Online DJ Courses
DJ knowledge sharing courses for all kinds of people using telecommuting services. If you are interested in this type of education, you can subscribe to the DJ Master Course online training created by Australia’s #1 DJs – the Stafford Brothers.
Advantages: Extremely easy to enter. Courses are accessible from anywhere. Materials are available online, with the option to download. You get a certificate at the end of the course, and it is way cheaper than a full-time DJing course at a school.
Disadvantages: No practical experience with real hardware or software if you haven’t purchased the equipment yourself.
Option 4: Self Education
Some may call this no education at all, while others may value this option more highly than the others. In this scenario, your knowledge comes from forums, tutorials and contacts around you. Practical skills are gathered by experimenting with whatever hardware/software is available.
Advantages: Complete freedom when it comes to sources of learning. You can learn as much as you want and there are no deadlines, no rules and no restrictions. It’s also free.
Downsides: There are no guidelines or mentors to teach you, so you have to judge your progress by yourself. There is a lot of false information out there, and you’ll have to sort the good from the not so good. There is no diploma for any official education related to DJing.
To Sum Up
The topic of education and DJing is highly subjective. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Each person will choose an option based on individual perceptions and availability of resources.
Some may say the real deal is the contacts around you and your practical skills. From this point of view, diplomas and certificates are just pieces of paper, and no DJ has become a superstar based on that alone.
For others the knowledge gathered by industry professionals and the graduation certificate from a highly recognized DJ Academy is worth its weight in gold. For many, it has added great value to their DJ resume, has helped them get ranked above competitors in the selection process, and is the reason they have been hired.