Experience hip-hop higher learning at TurntableU [Article]
Los Angeles, CA – What do you get when you combine music, new media and some of the world’s most talented DJs? In this case, the globe’s premier online DJ school that can service millions of students with just a few clicks. DJ Debonair and DJ Icy Ice, co-founders of TurntableU.com and well-respected veteran DJs, remember the days where trading vinyl and practicing in each other’s 28/8/10 bedrooms was the only way to stay on your A-game.
As the DJ world has evolved, so have the learning techniques, with amateur to professional outlets popping up rapidly on the Internet. They, too, could have gone the route of creating low-budget YouTube videos to share their talents.
But as DJ Debonair explains, “Knowing that it was pretty easy for people to do videos, [DJ Icy] Ice and I said, ‘well, we’re here in Los Angeles, let’s get the best of the best’ and we started hooking up with directors and editors.”
Though paying to host a website comes at a minimal cost, there is a price for shooting hundreds of HD videos to form curriculum – half of the co-founders’ salaries to be exact.
“To shoot [in] HD is super, super expensive. Each camera shoot’s like 18 gigabytes every 15 minutes when you’re shooting HD,” DJ Debonair breaks it down. “So on a 3 camera shoot, you’re shooting like 60 gigs every 15 minutes…I put in half of what I made last year, so did [DJ Icy] Ice and I feel like it was only a drop in the bucket.”
Dropping that much money can only be done when the founders are passionate about their endeavour. This began with partnering with credible DJs to form a well-rounded faculty.
“The people that we have as instructors are all veterans, they’re all masters at the different sections that they’re teaching and a lot of these guys have put in the years,” DJ Icy Ice says.
With DJs such as DJ Tony G, DJ Shortee, and Baka Boyz they focus on a curriculum that takes new students from the beginner to advanced levels at the students’ own pace. All that is required is access to the Internet and a set of turntables. Students can then watch and re-watch the pre-recorded videos until they have mastered that section. Gary Mercado, a student at Turntable University, has enjoyed access to the school and has nothing but praise for the curriculum.
“Turntable University has been the key in my development as a DJ and as a music lover,” he says. “I have tried other schools of the brick and mortar variety and let me tell you TurntableU.com either meets or surpasses them with in depth tutorials by legendary world class DJs.”
The DJs use student feedback to continuously improve the curriculum. According to DJ Icy Ice, the video lessons really do work.
“A case in point is one of our cameramen. He’s never had a background in DJing, he’d just had a love for music and after filming a lot of our lessons over the past year or so, he basically ended up learning how to DJ,” he says. “He got some turntables, kept refining his skills by watching the lessons and he’s a full fledged DJ. He’s out there DJing and doing gigs now. It definitely works.”
There are many reasons to build a school and have a physical location – student and teacher interaction is greater and feedback is a faster process. However, DJ Icy Ice and DJ Debonair have solid reasons for keeping their DJ school online.
“The beauty about this online DJ school is that anybody can learn and anyone can learn how to DJ from the comfort of their own home,” DJ Icy Ice says. “Having a physical location, not everybody can attend a Scratch Academy that’s in New York, Miami or Los Angeles, whereas anyone can attend any of our classes from anywhere around the world.”
DJ Icy Ice and DJ Debonair have created a solid foundation for aspiring DJs. With lessons currently be translated into various languages, Turntable University is expanding tremendously. Now exclusively sponsored by Serato Scratch Live, the online school has many exciting opportunities in the works for current and future students.
For more information or to earn your Turntable University degree, visit http://www.turntableu.com.
Written by Chantle Beese for HipHopCanada