Learn How to Be a Radio DJ - from a Radio DJ
BMG's broadcast school places you for training with a radio disc jockey inside a radio station near you.
Let's face it, being a radio DJ is a fun job.
It's difficult to imagine a DJ waking up in the morning and saying to themselves: I hate 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. Then they pay me to represent the station at concerts and award shows.
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 enjoy.
While it's true that DJs get to do all those things – and more – it's important to remember that to be a radio DJ you FIRST need to learn a wide range of effective broadcasting skills.
Learn everything about the business from someone working in the business.
Learning how to be a radio DJ is best done with the help and mentorship of an experienced radio DJ. They can show you the ropes and give you an insider's look at their radio station and the radio industry. BMG's broadcast school for DJs can help you do just that.
A working radio DJ will teach you the skills you need to eventually gain employment and do your job well. They'll teach you realistic announcing, interacting with callers, interviewing guests, voicing commercials and a host of other necessary skills.
You get to watch a pro at work, get hands-on experience from the beginning and then receive valuable professional feedback.
Good professional contacts make all the difference.
Most importantly, your training is inside a local radio station where you'll develop important industry contacts. This is an invaluable benefit for those who truly want to learn how to be a radio DJ and jumpstart a new career.
Click here to read more about how to be a radio DJ and what BMG has to offer.
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What kind of broadcast school is best for you?
When considering your path to being a radio DJ, you'd be wise to have the answers to the following essential questions BEFORE selecting a broadcast school:
- What is your strategy for developing important contacts already inside the radio broadcasting industry?
- What is the best strategy to help broadcasters, program directors, and other contacts get to know YOU?
- What is your strategy for gaining employment once your training is complete?
See the word 'strategy' used in every question?
You'll want a well-thought-out plan in place BEFORE starting your journey to be a radio DJ. Otherwise, you're relying on lucky breaks or wishful thinking to get your broadcasting career off the ground.
Solid skills, an understanding of the industry, professional contacts and valuable hands-on experience will prepare you for the next step. It's what will help you get a job and then do that job confidently and effectively.
For instance, imagine your favorite band is in town for a concert sponsored by your radio station. You 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, or will having interviewing skills enable you to connect with them on a more personal level?
Ultimately, a better interview will mean a more effective promotion for the concert, a happier station and a happier audience.
BMG's broadcast school uses the mentor-apprentice model for teaching how to be a radio DJ. Here's why:
It works. Who better to teach you ANY skill than a professional who makes his or her living from doing the very thing you want to learn?
Many radio broadcasting schools may be able to teach you announcing skills. Few are able to get your foot in the door of the actual radio industry during your training.
Inside a real radio station, much of your initial learning comes from observing what your mentor does by watching and listening. You learn how they do it and then have an opportunity to try it yourself.
Just a few of the things your mentor will teach you:
- 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.
- The differences between talking over music and talking with no music.
- Knowing the proper energy for your format – the difference between Rock, Jazz, Rap, Country, etc.
- Skillfully reading for commercials.
- Knowing the role and importance of inflection/pacing/enunciation and pronunciation.
- How to sound real, natural, warm, inviting, engaging, in-command, and authoritative.
- Your voice volume and projection.
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 and traffic reports. That's what most radio broadcasting schools will teach you.
All of these skills are important, but 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...
Have fun, be fun and remain upbeat at work.
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 to include these things, would you be able to pull it off?
Not likely... and it's not your fault. If you're like most people, you probably don't currently enjoy your job. How can you be expected to know how to have fun while you're doing it?
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, do you think listeners will be inspired to tune in regularly to listen to a DJ who sounds like he or she can't wait to get out of there?
Radio DJs live or die by their ratings.
Just as a college student is graded on the quality of work they produce, radio DJs have their own form of report cards – Arbitron Ratings. These ratings measure the amount of listeners your show has and how much time the audience spends listening to it.
These numbers are how radio personalities are judged.
An important part of learning how to become a radio DJ requires you to learn how to attract and keep listeners who enjoy spending time with you. Your job can literally depend on it. This is a subtle skill that only an experienced DJ and on-air experience can teach you.
Your Radio DJ Training Overview
Your apprenticeship as a radio DJ is designed to work around your schedule, availability, and musical interests.
- You choose the radio station to train in.
- 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.
To be accepted for BMG's broadcasting school DJ training program, you'll first interview with a local DJ at a radio station of your choosing. Based on this interview, the DJ mentor alone will determine whether to accept you for training under him or her.
Most importantly, mentors want to know you're as serious as they are about the apprenticeship and understand the time and commitment required.
If you believe you are ready to learn more or get started learning how to be a DJ, please take a look at the links to BMG's training program options and descriptions below.
Training Programs and Options
Whether you're interested in becoming a radio DJ, talk show host, sportscaster, or newscaster, BMG offers two lengths of training programs to help you get there – The Supreme Insider and the Ultra Insider.
To determine which training program is a better fit for your budget, schedule, and needs, you'll now want to look over both options.
The Supreme Insider is a three-month broadcasting training program taught by a DJ from a radio station of your choosing, while the "Ultra Insider" program is an in-depth six month broadcasting training program.
Still have questions? Check out BMG's broadcast school FAQ page here.