The Scratch Sessions are free, weekly DJ and music production classes for Milwaukee teens founded by renowned DJ and nationally-respected youth worker, Tyrone Miller aka DJ Bizzon.
The Sessions provide 21st century, culturally relevant music education often missing in schools, as well as mentorship support that extends outside of the classroom in order to change lives and help reverse so many of the negative statistics that Milwaukee faces, especially related to our black and brown youth.
Beginner courses are 8-10 weeks long and focus on the fundamentals of DJing and preparing for a culminating public performance. Year-long courses are offered to more experienced students and cover advanced techniques, networking, leadership skills and how to turn DJing into a career. All youth are offered direct mentorship and paid opportunities to become Sessions’ instructors and DJ at corporate, radio and other age-appropriate events.
With arts programming continuing to disappear from our schools, many students aren’t exposed to the quality arts education or 21st Century music production methods. Our classes offer training that can translate to a career path students can benefit from immediately.
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 have resources.
Since 2016, more than $7,500 in stipends have been paid to youth for assistant-teaching, DJing and co-hosting events for clients including the Milwaukee Bucks, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Summerfest, Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee, Still Waters Collective, Arts @ Large and WMSE 91.7FM. Beyond pocket money and increased self-esteem, DJing has turned into a livelihood for several students. Many DJ professionally, work in radio or have found jobs in the music industry. This includes several young women of color, many whom experienced sexism when trying to enter the music industry and are now finding their lane and literally changing the face of the Milwaukee music scene. The Scratch Sessions serves between 45-50 youth annually.
Sponsors & Partners
We’re very grateful for the people and organizations who believe in us enough to provide the support that it takes to make the Scratch Sessions possible.
- 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
- Walker’s Point Center For The Arts
- Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
- Jazz Gallery Center For The Arts
- Mitchell Street Library
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or partner, contact DJ Bizzon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!