Having children changes a lot and some DJs fear it may lead to them having to hang up their headphones for good. The usual concerns are things like children needing their “beauty sleep”, little ones being easily upset by loud music, and that it’s no good for parents to be working anti-social hours (namely, evenings and weekends) that could be spent with the family. Pervasive arguments, eh?
But not so fast! Recent research indicates that children’s brains actually develop faster with exposure to music – so maybe there’s not quite such a clear cut case for knocking the DJing on its head after all. And in fact, the more you talk to DJs who successfully manage both family and DJing, the more you realise that – handled right – everything can actually work out quite nicely.
So in the spirit of finding more ways to be positive when family life looms on the horizon, here are three reasons why having children needn’t be a “game, set and match” blow to your DJing:
1. Including your kids in your practice sessions will help their development
Straight to that aforementioned science, then: A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California showed that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception. You’re actually helping your kids by practising with them around – official!
Not only that, but by “keeping the door open” when practising, there will be more understanding of your hobby / profession at home – after all, asking your partner to “take the kids out for a bit, please?” won’t likely go down well with either the kids (kids generally don’t like being left out) or indeed your partner. Yeah, you may end up compromising a bit on your practising, but involving everyone will mean that you are more likely to receive encouragement and understanding in return – especially useful when negotiating the odd late night.
2. Kids love to party!
Look, we all know kids love jumping up and down on the spot. What better way to keep the little nippers happy than by turning your mixing sessions at home into a little disco for them? Get yourself a cheap disco light and away you go.
You can learn a lot about music by throwing your tastes aside and playing tracks for the under-fives, as they have no prejudices or filters – if it’s good in their eyes, they’ll dance! Not only will the kids love you for doing this (with the added plus that you will soon tire them out), but there’s an added bonus (for some, anyway) that you could end up being a shoe-in DJ for school parties, and a bit of extra cash is never to be sniffed at.
3. Getting them involved early means they’re more likely to want to help you later
If you get your children involved from the off, in a few years they are more likely to want to come to your gigs, to start to help out (growing teenagers are good value for schlepping your gear around as the years roll on), and even to learn the trade. In other words, you’ll be passing your passion and love on to the next generation – and who wouldn’t want to do that?
We have loads of successful parent-child partnerships within the Digital DJ Tips community, who gig together or even independently. Laying the groundwork early for this could be a far better route to take than stopping DJing entirely.
It’s really all about putting a positive slant on these things and turning potential problems into opportunities. Sure your DJing may have to change and compromises may have to be made – but these decisions are rarely binary unless you choose to make them that way.
So if you have or are thinking about having children, plan to include the little blighters and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much they can teach you while you’re teaching them. Indeed, it’s something we can attest to from first-hand experience: At least two of us here at Digital DJ Tips HQ are continuing to work as DJs with young kids in our lives.
If you have children, do you include them in your DJing? How do you go about it? Let us know your ideas and experiences in the comments below…