10 reasons why every DJ should support formalized DJ education
(we like the thinking of this 10 reasons why every DJ needs proper education. From DJ Rob Wegner´s article)
- First, formalized DJ education is inevitable. I truly believe that DJ Babu is correct when he states that "the future of musicians are DJ's." In this view, you need to step back and look at the big picture -- that the evolution of the music industry (going back roughly 130 years) has led to the DJ becoming a meta-musician -- and that music colleges/conservatories will eventually have to respond to that.
- Second, because DJ's are perceived as "the new rock stars," these critics don't realize that our profession is facing a wave of "wanna-be-DJ's." As the message in this video shows, we either train these DJ's how to do it right, or we let them poorly represent the DJ profession in public, which could lead to getting "grouped-in" with unprofessional DJ's and any negative stereotypes that they could potential bring to our industry.
- Third, the hostility is also partially ego. The notion that a DJ thinks s/he is too good to learn anything from a DJ class. Even experienced DJ's could benefit from enrolling in classes. Because this is a profession that is constantly evolving -- from new technology to new genres -- the classroom setting helps working DJ's stay on top of their craft.
- Fourth, the current system of DJ training means that new DJ's are not only learning the good things from senior DJ's, but -- in some cases -- bad habits from some of these DJ's -- such as licking the cartridge ends (which leads to tone-arm corrosion), arriving late to work, excessive drinking on the job, inflated ego, etc. In addition, as DJ Shortee put it to me, "the advantages of a structured DJ program means that there won't be any holes in the student's knowledge."
- Fifth, the current crony-based/know the right people system is not very inclusive, which may explain the lower percentage of female DJ's in our industry. In my opinion, formalized DJ education will democratize the DJ profession.
- Sixth, some DJ's that are against formalized DJ education may have little or no familiarity with the college/university experience. As a result, they may not understand that colleges provide a great opportunity to exchange ideas and innovate. When a software engineering student took my class several years ago, he became inspired to design cutting-edge DJ software. This is the kind of innovation that could help our industry to evolve.
- Seventh, as Stacy Zemon helped me to point out in a DJ Times interview, the idea is to "elevate our profession, and gain some well-deserved respect for DJ's in the academic world as well as among clients and club owners." In this sense, some DJ's need to put aside their insecurities and see the big picture -- elevating the art form of the DJ. Improved respect could (ideally) lead to better pay and better working conditions.
- Eighth, older DJ's will have job opportunities teaching new DJ's. College faculty earn impressive incomes. Are younger DJ's thinking about their careers when they reach middle age?
- Ninth, DJ students in a college music department will have opportunities to network -- not only with one another -- but with bands, remixers, vocalists, producers, and more. In this sense, DJ students will become ambassadors/quasi-lobbyists for our profession and will hopefully open doors for other DJ's.
- Tenth, helping others. When you hear stories about people struggling to pay their bills, do you really want to deny them the opportunity to learn a trade that could improve their livelihood? It's called karma.