Laying down a new beat for music in schools

DJ-ing and decks are on the National Curriculum. Now it’s time to get them into schools. But most music departments are missing the skills to make it happen.

FutureDJs bridges that gap.

What we offer

UK exam boards AQA, OCR and Eduqas now recognise DJ decks as a musical instrument alongside the piano, violin or guitar. That makes them a potential part of music GCSE. And there’s a lot of demand from students. But only a few teachers have got the skills, resources and experience to meet it.

That’s where we can help.

A new learning experience

Our visiting music tutors teach DJ-ing and music production in schools all over the country. We offer students a fresh, exciting study programme that’s in tune with the music they listen to.

Our programme covers what underpins that music, from style, structure and tempo to timing, rhythm and scales. And we get right into the details of electronic music production.

A new buzz around music — and schools

Learning to DJ is a new way into music. It’s a great way to re-awaken interest in all music GCSE syllabuses. And it’s a sure-fire way to generate a buzz around the music department — and the whole school.

We’re transforming how children experience music at school.

When I heard DJ-ing was going to be a proper music lesson, I was really excited. It can open doors for people who otherwise aren’t interested in music. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure anyone else would too.

Amelia Warren
Student

What difference we make

Re-connecting with music

We want to breathe new life into music education by getting students to connect with their music departments. We’ve found DJ-ing creates that connection through the music they love, understand and listen to. Every student who learns with us is a student with a new fascination for music — and potentially a new enthusiasm for Music GCSE.

Re-connecting with school

More and more, we’re finding that as they discover DJ-ing, many students also find their self-confidence.

We’re already teaching students how to DJ in schools across the UK, and the numbers are growing all the time.

Ready to get involved? Get in touch to find out more.

There can be a transformation in the atmosphere, and the level of engagement can be absolutely huge.

Dr Peter Dale
Senior Lecturer, Musics, Manchester Metropolitan University

How it works

Students’ first experience of us is at a school roadshow — a live interactive performance usually in an assembly or at lunchtime.

Students can register interest on the spot. Then we follow up with schools and parents to make sure they know everything they need to before signing up for the programme.

Lessons to suit schools and students

Our DBS-checked visiting tutors give 30-minute DJ-ing lessons during school time in the same way as traditional instrumental teachers, fitting in with schools’ existing music tuition. And students can take lessons solo, or in pairs.

Equipment the easy way

We’ll pledge a set of DJ decks to every school music department where we teach DJ-ing lessons.

What we teach

We take students all the way from understanding the basic building blocks of the DJ’s craft to discovering their musical instincts and building the confidence to trust them. Our study programme is linked to the exam boards’ syllabuses. It moves through three levels:

Debut

  • Learning the sounds and history of electronic music
  • Distinguishing grime from garage and 2-step from dubstep
  • Getting familiar with decks, mixers, PAs and other equipment
  • Learning how to mix between tracks and match beats

Breakthrough

  • Honing skills to become a competent DJ
  • Developing a command of the equipment
  • Becoming a more creative mixer
  • Mastering techniques like chopping, spin-backs and drop-ins

Artist

  • Becoming ready to perform for an audience
  • Editing music on the fly
  • Developing flair with techniques like advanced scratching and looping
  • Using effects to create moods in mixing
  • Building the confidence to find a personal style and sound

Along the way, students discover the inner workings of music, from rhythm and dynamics to pitch and texture. And they learn the value of perseverance, patience and practice.

FutureDJs offer something unique and new for schools, combining musical creativity with their passion for, and insight into, electronic music. They’re articulate and resourceful, and have an amazing sound system that will impress any child and teacher with an interest in using new technologies for sound.

Mark O’Donnell
Master, Westminster Under School