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.

Who we are

Austen and Scott Smart started FutureDJs in 2016. They saw the AQA exam board’s decision to recognise DJ decks as instruments could open up a new future for music in schools.

Austen and Scott are both experienced DJs who have performed together across the UK and Europe. They’ve also released albums on their own label, licensed music to Sony and worked with Grammy-nominated dance act Groove Armada.

Everyone at FutureDJs shares Austen and Scott’s love of music. Most are musicians themselves and care about young people having the chance to enjoy music education. The team uses its varied backgrounds and experience in publishing, teaching, music and film to make sure our programmes are the most engaging and of the highest quality.

As more schools, teachers and students come aboard, the team build on their ambition to fire young people’s passion for music and help Britain’s music industry carry on growing by nurturing new talent. If you want to know more, or arrange for us to visit your school, get in touch with the team.

What we do

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 this demand.

That’s where we can help.

A new learning experience

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

Our programmes cover 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 or produce music are new ways into studying 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 in school.

Who we work with

Pioneer DJ
We’ve got exclusive backing from Pioneer DJ, the market leader in DJ kit. We work with Pioneer DJ and use their equipment to provide high-quality video courses, learning materials, as well as in our campaigns to make electronic music more accessible, providing subsidised equipment to those that need it.

LCME (University of West London)
We are the first to get DJ-ing accredited. In partnership with LCME, we are now able to offer DJ exams to students all over the world. We worked with LCME to create our DJ handbooks, which guide students through qualifications at Grade 1, 3 and 5. Visit our shop to find out more.

We are partnered with Soundtrap, Spotify’s powerful cloud-based music creation software. We use it to teach music production to students but also act as a reseller, offering many teaching resources, CPD training and discounted licenses for music departments and hubs. We give teachers the confidence to teach music production through our webinars, virtual talks and our hugely popular FutureDJs X Soundtrap Pack. We love working with Soundtrap and their intuitive software to teach music as its features allow teachers and students to collaborate on projects remotely.

Faber Music
Our DJ study programme is the first of its kind. Faber Music, one of the world’s leading music education publishers, has seen the potential. They published our How to DJ book in 2020 and continue to work with us on a number of projects and publications.

Exam boards
We have a close relationship with the AQA and OCR boards. That helps us amend our study programme as we need to, so we stay in step with exam syllabuses.

Music hubs
We work with music hubs around the country to help schools offer music education to more students. We provide hubs with Soundtrap, DJ tutoring or equipment as well as our new virtual classrooms.

Get involved

Re-connecting with school

We play records, not recorders. The way we work breathes new life into music education, re-connecting students with their music studies. We’ve found DJ-ing creates that connection through the music they love, understand and listen to. Through our engaging programmes, every student who learns with us can find a new fascination for music — and potentially a new enthusiasm for Music GCSE.

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

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

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

Nurturing and educating young talent has always been very important to me — FutureDJs are catering for a growing demand in young individuals to produce electronic music, DJ and most importantly seek genuine opportunities in the real world.

Armin Van Buuren
Grammy award winning and five-times world number one DJ.