The Scratch Sessions are currently held at Kenilworth Square East Art Gallery (2155 North Prospect Ave.) on Tuesday nights from 5-7pm through December 11th! Stay up to date with the official Scratch Sessions Facebook Page.
WHAT ARE THE SCRATCH SESSIONS?
DJ Bizzon holds “The Scratch Sessions” throughout Milwaukee for upcoming DJs. Youth ages 12-19, no matter the experience level, learn everything from the fundamentals of DJing all the way to advanced techniques and turning DJing into a career, depending on their interest.
Students learn hands-on from DJ Bizzon and other professional guest DJ instructors with lessons on music selection, scratching, beat matching, event planning and promotions. Classes are taught with equipment provided by the instructors, including vinyl turntables and controllers as well as digital software like Serato DJ and Traktor. If youth have equipment and are able, they’re encouraged to bring their own as well, which is beneficial so they can continue to practice at home.
As students grow in their skills, they’re assisted in creating and throwing their own events allowing them to start making money for themselves fairly quickly. Advanced DJs are offered opportunities to shadow or DJ with Bizzon and other DJ guests at corporate, radio and other age-appropriate events.
One of the biggest barriers for anyone to get involved with DJing is access, which is why The Scratch Sessions are free. The main priority is making students’ voices heard through the turntables and providing a safe space for them to express themselves.
No, this isn’t a non-profit. This isn’t some random workshop. This is. It’s going to be here and we will be here. It’s about the community having it’s own back and regular people helping however they can.
WHAT OTHER LESSONS OR SUPPORT ARE OFFERED?
Food, yeah cause sometimes people just need something to eat
This is more than just open turntables. This is about building a community of DJs and supporting each other. Milwaukee faces many issues — poverty, segregation, lack of opportunity — and our youth suffer because of that in a lot of ways. This isn’t just an outlet for them to express themselves musically, but to also receive the mentorship and support they need in all aspects of their lives. If they’re hungry, we feed them. If they are going through it, we go through it with them. If they need help in school, we got resources.
This is the beginning of each youth in Milwaukee being one phone call or text or Facebook message away from someone who truly gives a damn about them and who will do something to support them.
HOW TO SUPPORT
Youth, y’all stay attentive and ready to go when you come through. Support the other DJs involved and make everyone feel welcome. Parents, I’d encourage you to get to know other parents and youth. Let’s be each other’s support system. Veteran DJs, make yourself available to these youth so when they have questions or need help, they can rely on you. We all know we wished we had that when we started.
And to everyone: If you’d like to support, please bring water/snacks/bus fare for the kids. If you’d like to donate money, 100% of it goes directly to help pay for the rental space, buying food or getting equipment for the youth.
IF YOU DO DONATE ANYTHING, I’d like for you to come by and meet the youth and connect with them. No faceless donors here. They need more than just things.