You Want To Be A School DJ By: Chuck Lehnhard

April 8, 2008 by Chuck Lehnhard

So you are thinking about making more money from that DJ rig of yours that sits idle on most Friday nights? You think that taking your system into a school and playing music for an “After The Game” dance will be a breeze? Think again Tonto!
As much as people think that schools are an easy mark for Friday night money, nothing could be farther from the truth! Schools can take more emotionally and physically from a DJ than most any gig I can think of. If you are not ready to have 300 or more kids asking to see your music, telling you to play their song NEXT and jumping around two feet from all that expensive gear that a professional DJ has, do not attempt to get into schools.No gig is more demanding that a school. But the rewards can be more than you dreamed of. I know, I’ve been DJing in schools full-time for over 13 years. They are my favorite type of engagement. The school dance market will open itself up to you if you can show both the teachers and students that you love what you do – not an easy task. This means that you must do different things for each group.

Before I get into what you need to do, let me tell you some of the rewards, okay let me tell you the ONE big reward, MONEY! Now some will tell you that schools don’t pay much. Well they are right. Not all schools will pay what you feel you are worth, but then not all Brides and Grooms will pay you what you are worth either. Just like any market, you have to work to find the schools that will pay. Once you find them it will mean a big jump in your yearly income.

Most schools have four, five or more dances a year and most are on Friday nights! So even if you pick up ten dances a year at five hundred dollars each that’s FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in extra income! Think about this: If you prove to a school that you are the DJ for them and they hire you for four dances a year, how much extra income is that? Now, suppose that based on how well you do at that school you get four more schools with the same number of dances? Depending on what you are charging, you do the math!

But let’s get back to the basics. Do you want to be a school DJ? What do you need to be a school DJ? How do you market to schools to make all this money? Being a school DJ requires more of everything. More sound, more traveling, more lights and if you are a wedding jock, more songs. Do you want to spend money to make money? This is something that you have to decide for yourself.

So think, are you ready to take the leap to the big time? Can you handle kids? Do you like them? Can you walk that fine line between keeping the students happy with the music they want and the teachers happy by not playing the music they don’t want the students to hear? Are you beginning to understand?

Here at the DJ University we are able to help you out. We realize you need to go to school before you can go to school! Therefore, we plan to start a comprehensive series of articles on how to market for schools, the lighting and sound requirements, as well as general performance approaches to be a successful schools disc jockey.

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Chuck Lehnhard Chuck Lehnhard (4 Posts)

Chuck Lehnhard has been a full time single system Mobile DJ for 30 years and he was at the very 1st Mobile Beat Expo. He loves sharing ideas with other DJs. Starting out in the school market, he moved to being more wedding oriented after moving to Maui for 8 years. Now back in California he enjoys the variety of events he is doing, networking with DJs and oh yeah, he likes to play golf!


Filed Under: School Dances