DJing is set to be welcomed in as part of a new GCSE syllabus that aims to combat a 'colonised curriculum' by offering British school students the chance to learn how to use decks and earn grade certificates on CDJs.
The scheme was put in place by Austen and Scott Smart who run FutureDJs, an education initiative aimed at getting DJing recognised in formal musical education. After FututreDJs managed to get DJ decks recognised as an instrument for GCSE assessment, they have now published a syllabus that offer actual grade certifications on CDJs.
The move now puts DJing on par with classical and jazz instruments, while providing detailed criteria for teachers assessing GCSE-level pupils who work with CDJs. Sandra Allan, who works on GCSE exam board AQA, says the move will "allow more accessibility and diversity, giving students opportunity they may not have considered before now", and rising DJ Sherelle, currently a holder of a BBC Radio 1 Residency, said that the move is vital: "Someone like myself would have probably found my passion a lot earlier if I was able to mix all my favourite tracks back in school."
The course will also spotlight the various music scenes CDJs have been used in and provide a historical understanding on the roots of music genres, such as hip-hop, grime, house and techno, while acknowledging the people and traditions connected to them. Pioneer DJ are providing a pair of CDJs for each school that takes up FutureDJs' teaching, which now takes place remotely from their virtual studio they built in their hometown of Knutsford.
Simon Glenister, CEO of Noise Solution, rightly sees music education as "one of the most intransigent and colonialised curriculums", with the move to formalise DJing as a GCSE helping to diversify the way in which music education is taken in and learned by new generations of pupils.
The course is subsidised by FutureDJs' commercial partners, including Clarion Housing Group and Hadley Property Group, as well as some local youth services. They will also work with Manchester Metropolitan University to track the outcomes and benefits from their courses. For more information, head here.