At the moment, if you go IDJNA.org, you’ll just see a logo on a “Coming Soon” page. But that was enough to arouse my curiosity. With no shortage of clues on the page, it was pretty obvious that the person to talk to about the International Disc Jockey News Academy was, John Young of the Disc Jockey News. So I got in touch with John—and here’s what he had to share:
So, John, what is the IDJNA and why is this needed?
John: I’ll start with the second question first. The mobile DJ industry is in need of a structured educational process with certification levels. At the IDJNA, we have assembled a team with a passion for bringing that process to the DJ industry. We are taking our years of creating educational content via our media sources and combining that with our passion for growing the next generation of industry leaders.
Is this training and evaluation program primarily for DJs just coming into the business or can someone who already has 5 or 10 years experience also benefit?
John: It will work for both. Most experienced DJs will move through the basic levels very quickly. If they are confident of their knowledge in an area, they can move to the testing part and complete that level and certification in a very short period of time. The full training is a progression where the higher one goes in the process, the more each person will be stretched in their training.
Other DJ certification programs have been tried in the past and not succeeded. What makes International Disc Jockey News Academy different?
John: There are three aspects: 1. The team we have assembled over the past number of years are some of the most knowledgeable and respected content providers in the industry. 2. It all start with training and education. We teach first, test second, and upon complete present the certification. 3. We take the message of the certification value right to those who would benefit from it the most: future clients and venues.
Is this all online? How will it work?
John: It is a complete online course for the initial training levels, then utilizing online and live events in the continuing educational process. When a person signs up for the next available level, they will have access to all of the training material via a secure, personalized portal. They can take their time in working through the videos, text documents and audio podcasts. When they feel they are ready, they can take the online test. For some of the higher levels, there will also be additional information and video submitted with some communication with a mentor or coach to provide feedback and suggestions to improve the different performance aspects identified as part of that level’s training.
How quickly could a DJ starting out go from clueless to competent?
John: That will depend on their desire to dedicate themselves to learning the profession. There will be some very basic training for those that haven’t even gotten into the field yet. This basic training is geared toward those that are just checking out the DJ profession and want to see what it is all about. The basics will teach a few things, but really it will take getting through the Silver level (level one) before a DJ will have a good grasp of the basics involved with doing mobile events.
John: Gear basics, proper gear setup, proper gear use, music history, music composition, music mixing, music programming, master of ceremonies, planning events, setting up a business, running a business, marketing and advertising a business, selling services
How will a certified DJ be able to turn that certification in to more and higher paying jobs?
John: Our goal is to have the certification known in the wedding industry and by venues across the country. We want engaged couples to be looking for certified DJs because they will know that those who have attained a certification level have met some guidelines and training requirements to achieve the level they now proudly represent. In time, those without the certification just won’t be as attractive in some situations as the entertainment to hire because they don’t have the third party certification.
Regarding the code of Ethics: Can someone lose their certification if this is repeatedly violated and reported?
John: Yes, that is an unfortunate possibility. We have a strong desire to help equip the next generation of DJ business owners and industry leaders. Integrity is a large part of any successful business and is needed to grow, succeed and lead. We have a process in place with mentors and coaches that will hopefully head off any problems before they become an issue. But, in some situations removal might be needed due to unethical behavior.
John: The process is all website based. Communications will be a combination of different digital communications including live ’town hall’ events and webinars. Our goal is to make the process as convenient as possible to fit into DJs busy schedules and make communication as easy as possible. Whenever they are questions, we have different messaging methods along with the old fashion phone contact available!
Who will the trainers be?
John: This will include many of our team members from our Disc Jockey News writers and our Virtual Training/Virtual Expo content creators. Some of our trainers are: Mike Walter, Mitch Taylor, Jake Palmer, Brian Redd, Vickie Musni, Jeremy Brech, Ron Ruth, Glenn Mackay, Jason Jones, and Bill Hermann just to name a few.
For more information on the International Disc Jockey News Academy, view the video and be sure to bookmark IDJNA.org