Lesson Plan

Fundamental DJ Equipment, Beat Matching, and Mixing

Students will learn the key features of DJ controllers, fundamental counting behind beat matching, and simple, transitional, mixes between songs.
Nick R.
Classroom teacher
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to...

  • Name and understand the key functions that are on every DJ controller
  • Understand and apply fundamental counting that goes behind beat matching
  • Perform simple transitional mixes that seamlessly mix from one song to the next
  • Perform basic scratching techniques to impress the crowds
  • Better infer the style and tone of song selections that goes into composing a set
  • Recognize and distinguish a DJ's body body language and the positive and negative vibes they can express
Health & Wellness
body awareness
fine motor skills
mental health
Grades K - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Demonstrate the concepts that will be taught.

Activity: Presenting

As a hook and a way to bring student interest, I will demonstrate what a DJ may do at an event.  This demonstration will emphasize on the material that will be taught in the lesson.  This is in the interest of the students, so that they will look forward to learning from the lesson. 

2 Introduction and Description of DJ Equipment through E-Tool (Quizlet)

Quizlet is perfect for learning terms and definitions because the website is clearly and neatly organized, images can be used, and there are features that help enhance learning and memorization in a fun and unique way.  On quizlet, I will discuss the features and qualities that are implemented on each and every DJ controller.  Most importantly, why it is important to know about all equipment and not just one's own controller. 

3 Demonstration and Explanation of Beat Matching

Activity: Presenting

This portion of the lesson will go over the fundamental counting steps behind properly beat matching. This is important because, without it, the next step of transitioning between music becomes very difficult.

4 Demonstration and Explanation of Transitioning Between Music

Activity: Presenting

Once the process of counting in beat matching has been completed, it is now possible to advance into transitioning. This will cover simple fade in, fade out techniques, basic EQ'ing, use of the cross-fader, and adding sound effects. As the staple of all DJ's, basic scratching techniques will be covered. 

5 Assessment and Discussion of DJ Image

As a general and fundamental knowledge of DJ'ing has been covered, it is important to complete the big picture of DJ'ing. This relates to completing the image of the DJ.  Appearance is everything, more so, a DJ's body language will play a big role in setting the energy levels in the venue. 

6 Brief Mention of Song Selection/Closing Thoughts

Activity: Presenting

At the end of the night, it is important to impress and satisfy those who are hiring you for the gig.  Picking the genre of music to play and taking song requests depends heavily on who is hiring you, who is asking requesting a song, and what that song exactly is.  Equally as important, it is important to enjoy yourself at the end of the night.  If the DJ isn't having a good time, then no one else will.