Learning by myself or in a school?

Learning by myself or in a school?

Whenever we want to develop a new skill or learn something new, whether it is a language or as in this case, learning to mix or produce music. We have two options, learn on our own, like using tools that the internet offers us as YouTube, or enrolling in a school or academy and learn from expert teachers in the field. The ideal would be to attend a school, but often the limitation is money and that is why we choose to learn alone.

In my case, I started on my own. Although I am fortunate enough to live in a good family sometimes it is difficult to afford a course in an school, since these are not especially economic but it isn't impossible to pay, always with the advantage that in the end more than an expense is going to be an investment, it's always better to invest in yourself. And here I am tell you how has been my experience in this subject.

I remember that my interest started when watching a video on YouTube, seeing how people enjoyed electronic music. At that time I knew that I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to make people dance and enjoy the rhythm as they did in the video. So my curiosity took me to look how they do it. I remember I found VirtualDj, that was my first approach to music. So I downloaded some songs and started playing with them, learning more of that software and discovered many more things. As I was downloading more and more songs I found YouTube tutorials on how to mix. I started to find communities on the internet that had the same interests as me. That was great because I could learn a lot, but not as fast as I wanted. The fact of consulting everything, trying and fail hundreds of times made the process more complicated but it gave me the basics I needed. 

A couple of years of hard work passed. I paid more attention to improving this skill than in actual school until I discovered that there was an easier way to mix. This was using a controller, it is not impressive to discover this but it was for me at that time. The problem was, the controllers are not exactly cheap. After waiting and with great effort my parents could give me what I wanted so badly, I had my controller! I could be the best Dj because I could practice with a better tool! I did not know how wrong I was.
I will not deny that it helped me a lot, because in fact that was what it did, but I still had (and have) a long way to go. Anyway, I was still focused and practicing daily. With slow but steady progress, learning new things every day and putting them into practice.

Everything was going well, I started to do my first live streaming and I reached up to 100 viewers, decent enough to be an amateur in my opinion. I never thought about enrolling in a school simply because I did not think they existed in my city but the surprise was great when they told me about the academy. Two days passed from the time I heard about it until I visited it, and a month later I was already in my first class. I had the option to learn about electronic music, but with those years of practice I already had a good level so I opted for crossover music, which is the mix of urban genres. It was at this moment I saw that my learning curve increased exponentially. It is not the same thing to take 2 hours trying to find information to answer a question than to have it instantly from an expert, and there is the big difference: Being in a school or academy the amount of knowledge available is much greater, I would even say more than on the internet, plus there are more and better tools to practice and you will be in contact with people who have exactly the same interests as you. It happens the same as in the university where you relate to people who like the same as you. 

After a few months of classes I feel that although I learned a lot on my own, I could have learned the same thing in less time, perhaps spending more money on a course but in the end the knowledge is worth more than anything else. After all, this is my job and the investment I made can be recovered using what I learned.

Tell me, how has your experience been? What have you learned on your own and what from a school?

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