FutureDJs, an education initiative fronted by Austen Smart and brother Scott, have teamed up with London College of Music Examiners to publish a new syllabus that offers grades on CDJs, and provides a national standard for GCSE assessments. In 2018, students could take up DJing as part of their music GCSE but now DJing is recognised as a standalone qualification.
There are three tiers of marking. The Debut level is equivalent to Grade 1 on classical and jazz instruments, and focuses on scratching and beat juggling. For the Breakthrough qualification, which is on par with Grade 3, aspiring DJs will have to focus on inventiveness and “demonstrate beat matching tracks of similar tempo by ear”.
The Artist level, recognised as a Grade 5 standard, involves “advanced scratching and looping and a variety of effects” to create moods. The syllabus reads: “You should be developing a personal style and sound, and musicality is judged to be an important element of assessment.”
Sandra Allan, of exam board AQA, told The Guardian that the syllabus is designed to allow “more accessibility and diversity, giving students opportunity they may not have considered before now”.
CEO of Noise Solution, Simon Glenister, said that, “seen through the Black Lives Matter lens” there’s a need for music education to be more inclusive. He called music education “one of the most intransigent and colonialised curriculums”. He added, “Of the 800 youths we’ve worked with over the last few years, when asked not one of them has elected to work with western classical music. We should be striving to excite people to learn.”
(via The Guardian)