Learning to mix songs

Right away when I initially read the directions for the Network Learning Project, I immediately went to thinking about how I’ve always wanted to be a Disc-Jockey (DJ). During my undergrad at Michigan State, I did some very novice and basic DJing at a local club.  Pretty much I just played music from my iTunes library and faded between songs.

What I’ve wanted to be able to do is learn to mix songs, hold a beat and fade between at least 2 channels of songs to create a new remix.  Two years ago I attended the MACUL conference in Detroit and listened in on a session taught by Gary Abud, Jr. (@mr_abud). The session was called “Techno Teaching: What Educators can learn from DJs.” He posed the following question in his lecture:

“So, what if your students wanted to be in your schools and classrooms with the same energy that they want to go to a concert or music festival? Wouldn’t this be the level of ‘engagement’ we all strive to achieve as educators? Don’t we want learning to be a positive, fun, and memorable experience for our students?” – Gary Abud, Jr. – Techno Teaching, MACUL Conference 2014

Since attending that session, I think about ways I can incorporate music and technology even more in my classroom.  Not to mention, I think my students would be blown away if I could come up with a way to incorporate my new DJ skills with a lesson in the classroom.

So, what better way to step into this than with this project.  The project requires me to only use help forums and YouTube videos to learn as a way to discover more about network-based learning.

I purchased a very basic DJ Mixer by Pioneer –


Initially I went straight to YouTube and found some great resources:

A beginner’s Guide to DJing

DJ Tips offers an entire YouTube set of courses on how to DJ –

The software that I’ll be using is called SERATO (it came for free with the mixer) and there are several DJs that offer YouTube-based courses on how to mix music specifically using this software. One example is DJ Ean Golden who offers up expert level training on YouTube for free.

Along with all of these great YouTube sources, there are plenty of help forums as well for beginner level DJs:

DJ Tech Tools

Our DJ Talk

Serato DJ Software Forums

There are so many more resources out there as well. As CEP 810 progresses for the next 5 weeks, I look forward to learning how to mix music and share my learning experiences with you. I am also curious to see how this learning experience will work seeing as we are only allowed to learn via network-bases (YouTube and help forums) — non-traditional methods of learning.

One thought on “Learning to mix songs”

  1. Hi Mara,

    I really enjoyed reading about the network learning project you want to have. As a fellow music-nut, I too have always had this dream of wanting to be a disc jockey. I even had a Numark iPod DJ player that was fun to play around with. I love the quote you provided from Gary Abud. I could not agree more that if you could provide the same level of excitement and engagement in your classroom as DJ’s provide at concert’s, it would be an incredible atmosphere. I’d love to hear about the progress you have in the future if you’re able to incorporate your DJ skills into teaching a lesson. Best of luck!


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