The team at VIP Studio Sessions has been asked by lots of teachers about the possibilities opened up by DJing and live electronic performance in terms of students at KS3 & 4. Having been asked to write about the subject for the exam board OCR, VIP author Max Wheeler has been looking extensively at the ways in which these styles of composition and performance can be used in education, are more readily recognised by exam boards and can prove to be great ways to engage young people.

DJing and live electronic performances can potentially open up new routes for composition and assessed performance. This would allow new progression routes for students and would boost uptake of qualifications in music – something which everybody agrees is necessary, especially as numbers studying for exams nationally are not what they could be. This is despite the massive popularity of music with the age group and the success of UK music more generally.

Below are some examples of the kinds of things that are possible and which here at VIP we are expecting to see more and more of in the secondary setting.

Here is an example of turntablist DJ Woody performing a scratch routine using turntables and mixer.

Here is an example of Guy Andrews performing a live set with analogue hardware. Taken from his set for In The Woods.

Here is an example of Max Wheeler performing live with Ableton Live and Push. Taken from his session at Point Blank, London.

Here is an example of Moxie performing a DJ set with CDJs and DJ mixer. Performed at Boiler Room, London.

Below are some great examples of live performance by young people using technology – The Electric Youth Ensemble (a project from ground-breaking Brighton youth organisation Audioactive), on stage with a combination of Ableton Live, analogue synthesizers as well as electric and acoustic instruments. The first video discusses the project and the second gives highlights of their live gig for the Brighton Digital Festival.

For more information on VIP Studio Sessions and its programme to support young people with technology, composition and performance, click here.