WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, February 24, 2015 – The Las Vegas Clark County Library District’s Learn to DJ program (part of their broader TechArt Studio initiative and part of the state-funded STEM program grants) has been running strong since 2013. The program has recently been taken to the next level with equipment upgrades obtained from Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), Guitar Center’s field service division focused on the needs of professional users. GC Pro Account Manager John Stevens worked closely with Enterprise Branch Manager Salvador Avila, who runs the course, to create a full range of all new DJ equipment, lighting and headphones for this free, bi-weekly course for students aged 13 and over up to 17 years of age.
This interactive, hands-on experience introduces young people to DJ skills, including scratching, mixing and lighting. After mastering the many functions of the controller and software, students can create their own mix, burn it to disc and share with family, friends and other DJs. In general, the program helps children develop skills in computer use, music composition, public speaking, and event / equipment management. There is also a separate adult class that meets twice a month. Classes are held at the Enterprise Library branch at 25 E. Shelbourne Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89123.
Avila leads the class where he is known as the “coach”. He says, “Libraries across the country are having a hard time attracting young people and they are addressing the problem in a unique way. Here, in one of the world’s entertainment metropolises, it made sense to start a DJ program for young people. We started with a controller, a set of speakers, a set of lights, and a laptop, and our program members quickly outgrew this setup. I recommended to the civil service making library decisions that one of the conference rooms should be converted into a full time DJ studio with five stations and they agreed! It was a risk, but it was worth it. “
Avila and Stevens decided on an extensive list of equipment and the program ended with the purchase of Numark NS72, Pioneer DDJ-SX, and Numark NS6 controllers. Chauvet Obey ™ 70 lighting control; Alto and mackie speakers; a selection of microphones and more.
Avila notes, “I have a curriculum, but it is based on the students’ own level of comfort, their own competence. If you are new to it, the first thing you need to do is learn how to do cues and loops, and be proficient in those two things. Once I feel that you have mastered these two functions, let’s move on to looping and scratching techniques. As soon as you have mastered this, we introduce effects. It’s a journey. I have children who have been with us from day one. You can participate as long as you want. “
He adds, “I got involved with Guitar Center and GC Pro because I like loud music and they have the professional speakers that I like. When I went there to build my own home DJ setup, John Stevens was so knowledgeable that I established a relationship there. When the program got under way I went back to John and he walked me through the process of finding the right gear and accessories for the age group I was dealing with. So I became a GC Pro customer, mainly because of the great account managers and the right advice. “
More information is available at www.gcpro.com.