DJ skills to be provisionally included in GCSE music syllabus from 2016

Exam board boss says: 'People said jazz, rock and pop weren’t real music too'

DJing is set to become part of the GCSE music syllabus from 2016 under new proposals from exam board AQA.

AQA are seeking to allow DJing to be an option in the solo performance aspect of the music exam. Candidates have to demonstrate a performance skill as part of the exam, and AQA’s new guidelines state that any who choose DJing for their solo performance would need to show skills such as scratching, mixing and how to prepare for a set among other DJ performance aspects.

If the proposals are authorised by exam regulators Ofqual, DJing would become part of the GCSE music syllabus from 2016.

AQA music head Seb Ross told BBC Newsbeat: “People originally said that jazz wasn’t real music. They said it about rock and pop too. Like any kind of music, dance is about performing with skill and understanding how music creates mood and meaning.”

AQA’s proposals have faced opposition from The Campaign For Real Education. Chairman Chris McGovern told Newsbeat: “I wouldn’t be in favour of this kind of thing. It wouldn’t impress an employer in the same way as knowing about Beethoven or Mozart.” But McGovern said he wasn’t against the idea of DJing being excluded altogether. He added: “If you want to study DJing, there should be a vocational GCSE course. I’m not a killjoy and want to see more vocational courses.”

This latest evolution of the GCSE music syllabus comes after it was announced that The Beatles’ iconic 1967 album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band’ is also set to be taught to music students.