Learning how to become a radio DJ is best done when a seasoned radio DJ teaches you, preferably at their radio station. Here, you’ll discover everything about the actual business and equipment you’ll be expected to one day master.
The problem is, most radio broadcasting schools aren’t structured to have you train inside real radio stations, learning from real DJ’s.
A real radio DJ will teach you realistic announcing skills, how to interact with callers, and voicing commercials among other necessary skills you’ll need to gain employment.
Most importantly, it’s inside the radio station where you’ll develop important contacts, which is the most important and overlooked aspect for those who truly want to learn how to become a radio DJ.
When considering the path you’ll choose to become a radio DJ, you’d be wise to have the answers to the following essential questions BEFORE starting your journey:
* What is your strategy for developing important contacts already inside the radio broadcasting industry?
* What is your strategy that will enable broadcasters, program directors, and other important contacts already in radio broadcasting to get to know YOU?
* What is your strategy for having someone respected in broadcasting train you to become a radio DJ?
See the word ‘strategy’ used in every question?
Without a sound strategy – or well thought out plan in place BEFORE starting your journey to become a radio DJ, you’re relying on lucky breaks to get your broadcasting career off the ground.
Let’s face it, being a radio DJ is a fun job. Can you imagine a DJ waking up in the morning saying to himself; “I hate going to this job. They make me play music, laugh with or at callers on the phone, interview famous musicians and celebrities, and be the center of attention while my show is on. After work, they then force me to go to concerts or award shows they pay me to attend to represent the radio station?”
In truth, many people who want to learn how to be a radio DJ are REALLY asking how they too can get a job they can finally have fun going to daily and enjoy.
While it’s true that radio DJ’s get to do all those things – and more – it’s important to remember that these are some of the perks of the job. The actual job of a radio DJ requires you to have broadcasting skills FIRST - in order to enjoy the perks that many DJ’s receive.
For instance, imagine your favorite band is in town to do a concert sponsored by your radio station, and you’re told you’ll get a 15 minute in-station promotional interview with their lead singer.
When he or she arrives, is it enough that you’re a fan of their music...or would having interviewing skills enable you to connect with them on a more personal level, which would help you to better promote their concert?
Why BMG uses the mentor-apprentice model for teaching how to become a radio DJ?
BMG uses the mentor-apprentice model for learning how to become a radio DJ simply because it’s the best structure to help you succeed. Who better to teach you ANY skill than a professional who makes his living from doing the very thing you want to learn?
Many radio broadcasting schools may be able to teach you announcing skills, but few are able to get your foot in the door of the actual radio industry on a regular basis.
Inside a real radio station, much of your initial learning comes from observing what your radio DJ mentor does – then learning how he does it. Just a few of the things your mentor will teach you, includes;
* How to use your voice
* The basics of what to say and how to go about saying it
* Set structure (how to start your on-air set - where to go - and how to end it...while keeping it reasonably brief)
* Discovering the economy of words – keeping it short, but being precise
* How to mentally multi-task (being a DJ requires you to keep track of many things at once)
* Talking over music – or, talking with no music
* Knowing the proper energy for your format (Rock, Jazz, Rap, Country...)
* Skillfully reading for commercials
* Knowing the role and importance of inflection/pacing/enunciation & pronunciation
* How to sound? Real, Natural, Warm, Inviting, Engaging, in command, authoritative
* Your voice volume and projection
As you can see, many of these skills don’t come naturally, but can easily be learned when taught by an experienced and skilled DJ.
The Secret ‘Skill’ Required to be a Radio DJ
When you’re learning how to be a radio DJ, you’re learning far more than how to introduce music, conduct interviews, and read commercials, news, weather or traffic reports...which are what most radio broadcasting schools will teach you.
All of the above mentioned skills are important, since they’re a part of the job requirements to be a radio DJ. One skill that trumps all others when learning how to be a radio DJ is one that, in a perfect world, should never have to be taught, and that is...
Learning how to have fun and remain upbeat at all times while you’re working.
Think about it. When you arrived at work today, were you expected to remain upbeat, inspiring, and informative to those in your workplace? Even if your boss met you at the front door and changed your job description for the day to include all these things...would you be able to pull it off?
Not likely...and it’s not your fault. Let’s face it – if you’re like most people, you probably don’t currently enjoy your job...so how can you be expected to know how to have fun while you’re working?
As a radio DJ, all that changes. It may be one of the few jobs you can be fired from for not having fun and making someone smile. After all, when was the last time you heard a radio DJ who always sounded negative, down, and couldn’t wait to get out of there?
An important part of learning how to become a radio DJ requires you to learn how to attract and keep listeners who want to hear your show on a regular basis.
Do you think listeners will be inspired to tune in regularly to listen to a DJ who sounds like he should be hosting a funeral instead of a radio show?
Just as a college student is graded on the quality of work they produce, radio DJ’s have their own form of report cards called the Arbitron ratings. To simplify the Arbitron ratings, this measures the amount of listeners your show has, and provides estimates of how much time the audience has spent listening to your show.
You can now see why it’s important to attract loyal listeners and motivate them to return regularly. Your job can literally depend upon it – and there are skills that only an experienced DJ can teach you to make that happen.
Your Radio DJ Training Overview
* Your apprenticeship as a radio DJ was designed to work around your schedule, availability, and musical interests.
* You choose the radio station to train in – you may be working there soon
* You choose the days and times for your training
* You choose the length of training program you prefer
* You choose the format of the radio show you’ll host
In order to be accepted for BMG’s radio DJ training program, you’ll first interview with a local DJ at a radio station of your choosing. After this interview, the DJ alone will determine whether or not you’ll be accepted for training under him.
After all, they’re being asked to commit either 3 or 6 months of their life into your training (depending upon which length of training program you choose). During this interview, they’ll determine whether or not you seem equally committed to being taught how to be a DJ.