Each year I do a review of the previous year and share it with you, so you can see where we have been and where we are going.
Let’s dive in and answer these 3 questions:
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- Moving forward, what am I working on?
1 – What went well?
School of Scratch
On May 27th 2015, we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the School being open. HOORAY! What a journey!
I spent the majority of my time creating new tutorials and supporting students (my Supa Scratch Crew) in our online community. The students are a super positive bunch who support and take care of each other. They are a real joy to hang out with and be part of their scratch journey.
We are now rocking:
91 videos in 8 Courses:
- Course 1 – Equipment Needed For Scratching(9 videos)
- Course 2 – Equipment Set Up (6 videos)
- Course 3 – Before you Start Scratching (3 videos)
- Course 4 – Scratch Techniques (24 videos)
- Course 5 – Scratch Combos (22 videos)
- Course 6 – Scratch & Music Theory (5 videos)
- Course 7 – Technical Guides (3 Videos)
- Course 8 – QnA Training Videos (19 videos)
Over 18+ hours of content available.
Members joined from all over the world
- Many new members posted their first ever video and received direct feedback from myself and the other students.
- The community has become real friendly hub of activity, connection and support.
Monthly Prize Draw Contests
Each month we run a contest on a specific scratch technique or theme and it has been awesome to see the students get involved, no matter what level their scratching is. Because there is such a variety of experience and skill level, we have made this a prize draw. Anyone who submits a video is automatically entered into a draw to win. I recognise the value or healthy competition and most of us our competing against ourselves to up our skills, creativity and improve on the previous month. Students also provide each other feedback and spur each other onto the new heights.
Students win their choice of Unusual Suspect Turntablism Tees, kindly provided by Israel the owner and fellow SoS student. We appreciate you!
Live Scratch Room Jams
Once a month we meet up for a live jam, share scratch inspiration and even teach each other new things, plus help out anyone who has questions. It’s quite the event and inspiring so see people tune in from all over the world.
Private Facebook Group
Anyone who joins the school gets access to our private facebook group, which is one of the friendliest and supportive groups I have ever been part of! We are all in there on the daily, helping each other out!
Video Production Quality Improved
I’ve continued to learn about video production and have steadily increased the quality of the videos, helped by the fact that I moved into a new studio space. (More on that later.)
Overall Tutorial Quality
I take great pride in the fact that the School tutorial videos are produced to a high standard. They are well thought out, clearly broken down and feature crystal clear audio, and HD video quality. I put my heart and soul into creating the very best scratch tutorials possible to make things as simple easy as possible for the students and I believe this has been achieved based on the feedback I have received.
More over here: SchoolOfScratch.com
I published a bunch of content. You can view all the posts of 2016 in the archives here: https://studioscratches.com/archives-by-post/
These are the highlights:
I created 100 days of scratch videos on instagram as part of #The100DayProject.
Here are the summary posts with all the videos:
- Days 1-10
- Days 11-20
- Days 21-30
- Days 31-40
- Days 41-50
- Days 51-60
- Days 61-70
- Days 71-80
- Days 81-90
- Days 91-100
Featured on Instagram @music Blog
As a result of #100DaysOfSchoolOfScratch, Instagram came calling for an interview.
- You can view the article and read my insights about it here: School of Scratch featured on Instagram @Music
Instagram – 12k Followers
Staying with the Instagram theme, we hit 12K followers.
I know its not about numbers and I appreciate every single follow, like and comment. You are awesome!
As Gary Vaynerchuck says, 1>0.
Thank you for being 1!
Follow me here: @schoolofscratch for lots of scratchy goodness.
DJcity Scratch Combo of the Month Video Series
In August 2015 I teamed up with DJcity to produce a new mini tutorial series teaching a new scratch combo every month. So fun! Plus DJcity kindly offer every student a free month in their record pool. Thank you!
Appearing On Camera
For the longest time I resisted appearing on camera.
This was for a number of different reasons or should I say “stories” I had about what “might happen” if I did.
I started to receive many comments (positive) from people and they also thought I was a guy, as it’s just my hands in the videos. I thought it was high time I made an appearance and not worry about anything but creating and publishing the videos.
These things have a way of working themselves out and I got an opportunity to take the action needed to make this a reality.
Initially, Caleb Wojcik asked me to produce a testimonial for his incredibly helpful DIY Video Production Guide and this was the push I needed to get started. I bought a backdrop and lights and I haven’t looked back. Thanks Caleb! 😀
I now produce on camera intros and outros for my tutorials which I love to use to connect with you AND which inevitably led to…
Bloopers & Outtakes
I take the teaching and creation of tutorials “seriously”, or perhaps a better word is “sincerely”. I care deeply that you “get” what I am teaching you.
I desire the instruction to be clear, efficient, focused and to the point, so that you understand and have the best chance possible to learn the technique I am teaching you. For that reason, I rarely joke around like I do in regular conversations.
This doesn’t necessarily always line up with my more fun nature which is naturally present when I am not concentrating so hard. I’m oh so human and I make many “mistakes” whilst recording, hence the creation of bloopers and outtakes in between shoots which serve as a reminder of this side of me, so I thought I would start sharing them publicly.
In these videos you get to see more of my freestyle relaxed nature, or what it would be like to hang out with me. It’s my way of connecting with you when you are not just looking at my hands. I’m experimenting and exploring the balance between these two styles which I am sure will grow and merge as I practice being on camera more and create more content. Bloopers below:
This series brings me pure joy and I love that you guys get inspired from it. It’s part of my bigger mission over at Be Deliberate.
I’ve started producing these videos under the name / tagging them with “The Scratch DJ Philosopher” for fun.
I was asked some amazing questions by some incredible people and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share what I do. You can find them here:
- Zen Courses Podcast Interview – Audio
- Interview with Tablebeats – Article
- Get Creative Careers Interview – Video
- I’m Aspiring To Be Interview – Video
Equipment For Scratching Series
I published a mini series taken directly from my School of Scratch on the equipment you need to start scratching so you can begin your scratch journey easily.
- Part 1 – Turntables
- Part 2 – Cartridge & Stylus
- Part 3 – Mixer
- Part 4 – Slipmats
- Part 5 – Scratch Vinyl
- Part 6 – Instrumentals
- Part 7 – DVS
- Part 8 – Digital Scratch Records / Samples
- Part 9 – Amp / Headphones / Speakers
Better still, if you sign up at schoolofscratch.com/free-videos you can get the whole series delivered to your inbox with some other video tutorials.
I get a bunch of questions sent to me via email and social media on the daily and this was an experiment in answering on camera.
You can ask me a question here.
I started snapping and you can add me as “schoolofscratch” or save / screenshot this image and scan it in the app.
You can ask me questions over there.
IN REAL LIFE
I had some amazing adventures away from the websites:
Hiring a Coach
In February, I started working with the wonderful Arminda Lindsay, a transformational life coach and all round awesome human being. You might see me refer to her a bunch on this site and that’s because of the difference she has made in my life, supporting the changes and transformations I wish to create. Much love x
The video explains all:
> View full Bathtub Scratching article
I travelled to New York for some coaching and ended up performing an impromptu portable scratch set:
Shortly after getting back from NYC, I moved my recording gear to a new studio. WOOP!
Actually this is the first ever dedicated studio which finally puts the “Studio” in “Studio Scratches” after all these years of creating from home.
Scratch Labels James Victore
Kickass human, artist, designer, author, speaker, and teacher James Victore designed these awesome control vinyl labels for us and they have been sent out to many different places around the globe. My heart still skips a beat when I see them posted on social media. Thank you James! Be sure to check out his Burning Questions video series if you are even the teeniest bit creative (hint, that’s everyone).
You can pick up a set of labels here:
> Buy Studio Scratches & School of Scratch Control Vinyl Labels
Partnering With Companies
This year I have started to be approached by companies and people wanting to send me awesome stuff. So cool!
Big thanks to:
- Coolorcaps – the caps you see in all my videos.
- Raiden Fader – for portable scratching.
- Tablebeats – shirts.
- 1200plates– awesome white faceplates. (They also come in Chrome and Gold)
- Texas Scratch League – 10″ records, stickers and swag.
- Turntable Topperz – cute vinyl figure that spins on top vinyl.
- I’ve also received various scratch related merch from students and DJs, thank you all! <3
Thank you to everyone who has sent me such cool gear. I really appreciate it and do not take it for granted.
Also to everyone who has reposted and retweeted anything I have posted. You rock.
Book Publishing Deal
I announced the title and cover artwork of my forthcoming book:
The Prosperous Scratch DJ – Creating Income With Your Turntables
What Do You Want To Create?!
Besides scratching, I love helping people create awesome in their lives.
In 2016 I began working as a life coach and working with clients over at Be Deliberate.
I help people to “go confidently in the direction of their dreams and live the live they imagine”. It is such a privilege to be part of these journeys which inspire me daily.
What are you working on, what challenges are you experiencing and what do you need help with? Contact me and let’s have a conversation.
2 – What went less well?
Live Scratch Lessons / Coaching via Skype
I experimented with offering live scratch lessons and coaching over Skype.
I connected with some amazing students and they definitely made progress.
I also found it incredibly limiting and restrictve, in terms of internet glitches and the amount of gear needed. I couldn’t always hear or see the students setup well enough to offer great instruction and that really bothered me.
I strongly felt that what I was able to deliver was NOT of a high enough quality AND I didn’t totally love doing it. Double whammy.
If if it’s between hell yes or no, this was a definitely NO!
Recording Personalised Feedback Videos
I get so many requests to watch scratch videos and give feedback, or listen to mixtapes, that I created a service where, I would watch a students video and then offer specific, detailed, tailored advice in the form of a high quality, one on one, private video tutorial.
In the end, the time it took me to create these detracted away from producing tutorials and everything took a hit.
Again, a clear NO!
With both of these services, I realised that I much prefer to craft one amazing tutorial that has the capacity to reach many students online and then support those students in my online community. There is love in that and THAT is powerful. I strongly feel that my tutorials are way better than either of these 2 services. It was clear where I needed to focus. Hell YES!
School of Scratch Tutorial Release Schedule
Sometimes I find that creating scratch tutorials and breaking down concepts into the simplest steps possible takes time and effort and as a result, it can take me a while.
I’m actually ok with the fact that my tutorials take time for me to craft and it is a work in progress which I feel has scope to improve as I refine the process and develop my teaching, which I do receive great feedback about.
My intention is to make great quality tutorials, deliberately created and produced AND decrease the time it takes, as I get better, so I have a greater output of content for all my hungry students!
Even though this is also in the “went well” category, production has currently stopped as I am focusing on creating new tutorials as a priority. I’m keeping it there as a possibility.
I loved interviewing the world’s best Scratch DJs and I didn’t manage to keep on with both that and the creating of my own content. I’m super grateful for all of those answered questions and freely shared their knowledge. I got to connect with my scratch heres and that was amazing. For now, this is discontinued.
Scratch Candy – RIP!
The initial idea was to every month round up the net’s best scratch audio / video / and new products content into an article for your viewing pleasure.
I started off the series and then my awesome friend Suckertash took over to help out as a way to free me up to create content for here and School of Scratch.
Suckertash is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, who contributes a great deal lot to the scratch community and holds down a professional TV broadcasting job with some of the craziest hours and work load I have seen. Not to mention a real genuine dude with a huge heart.
In the end, neither of us could keep up with sourcing and reformatting the content and we took the decision to lay this one to rest.
I want to create content for you. As much as I love to consume content, I decided to focus on creating content for you, In the create vs consume battle, creating won and Scratch Candy died. RIP dear. I do miss your bright candy floss pink graphic!
I’m grateful for experiencing and experimenting with all of the above.
3 – Moving forward, what am I working on?
The tagline of this site is:
Dedicated to assisting you become excellent at the art of scratching.
The primary goal of this site is simply to help you become a better scratch DJ.
To do that, I am committing to creating and sharing the following content:
- Articles on the mindset needed to practice and improve your scratching.
- Practice tips and tricks.
- Freestyle scratch videos to provide inspiration for you to get on the cut.
- Scratch Combo of the Month Videos in partnership with DJcity
- The occasional full length tutorial from inside the School of Scratch.
- Updates & previews of the latest and greatest School of Scratch content – I’ll let you know what’s going on in the classroom and community so you can see if joining will benefit you.
This site will remain ad and sponsor free for the best reader experience possible.
School of Scratch
If you get value from the free content here and want access to a comprehensive course which guides you through the process of learning how to scratch in a simple step by step manner, you can graduate over to my rapidly growing School of Scratch.
It is the very best place to connect with me directly and get my very best instructional content.
The School is so fortunate to have an amazing community and receive support from the most loveliest DJs on the planet. It’s all heart.
My goal for the School is simply to: make it the very best online “How to Scratch” course.
I want it to be the most thorough, comprehensive course available and the complete and definitive guide to scratching.
I’ve worked hard to make sure this is the case and plan to continue working towards this by:
- Producing new tutorial videos and course content for the classroom. I get requests for new tutorials all the time and there is so much more to teach.
- Breaking techniques down into the simplest forms possible, so you stand the very best chance of understanding what’s going on and being able to perform the techinique yourself.
- Supporting the online SoS community by answering questions and sharing insights in the forums, live chat and Facebook group.
- Hosting live jams.
- Creating new scratch tutorials for School of Scratch.
- Supporting my SoS students online by answering forum posts and questions.
I’ve purposefully designed and created the School to make the process of learning to scratch easier – helping you to improve your skills in the simplest way possible and reduce the time it takes to progress.
If you have received value from the free Studio Scratches content, are curious, sincerely desire to improve your scratch skills and are ready to make an investment in learning new skills which will take your scratching up a level, School of Scratch is the next logical step. It provides a positive learning environment which supports and encourages you every step of the way.
Writing The Prosperous Scratch DJ Book
I’ll be continuing to write this book, which is growing great and you can sign up for updates here:
Working one on one with coaching clients at Be Deliberate.
If you have something you want to create, or an area of your life you would like help with and are ready to Be Deliberate, let’s have a conversation to see what’s possible for you.
To achieve my vision for Studio Scratches, School of Scratch and Be Deliberate, I’ll be working on /creating:
- Freestyle scratching to create ideas for tutorials.
- Improving my scratching and learning new techniques.
- Improving my teaching and presenting skills.
- Improving my video production.
- Improving my content output – less perfection, more me!
- Writing new articles and blog posts.
- Sharing work and ideas on instagam / Facebook
- Answering all questions I receive about scratching via email, YouTube comments and social media.
- Being coached.
- Coaching other people.
More importantly, before all the above can take place, naturally the following needs to take place:
- Sleeping – getting enough zzzzz.
- Eating – healthy.
- Moving regularly. I’m still experimenting with the type of exercise that is most fun for me.
- Input from coaches, mentors and positive mind food.
- Reading books to better think, create and live.
- Listening to audiobooks in my car.
- Love & connection – Spending time with family and friends, that goes without saying. Lots of laughing too.
- As soon as the pavement dries up I’ll be skateboarding again. (Note: As I wrote this I noticed the sun was out, I noticed the pavements were actually dry and I was able to get out for a little roll. That was quick!)
- As soon as the ocean warms up, I’ll be surfing again. Alternatively, I could alwyas move to Cali. Now THERE’S an idea. SoS San Diego branch anyone?
- Plus other spontaneous fun stuff that I dream up.
That’s a wrap!
Over to you
How about you? Do you have any scratch goals for this year?
What about life goals?
What are you struggling with?
Please leave me a comment or if you would rather connect privately, email me.
Thanks for being a Studio Scratcher!
I truly value your support and encouragement.
Wishing you an amazing awesome 2016! Your best year EVER!
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E