"It's an after-school program provided for kids who are into music," Romero, also known as DJ Notch, said. "Kids who don't seem to have an outlet for the DJ career thing, you know most kids are into a certain instrument."
For eight weeks, Romero taught students from East High School the skills of turning the turntable and combining it with digital disc jockey programs.
"I develop anything from how to handle the vinyl to actually controlling how you DJ and beat match and scratch," Romero said.
Bishop Archer is a junior at East High School. He graduated today from the Scratch Academy by putting on a show on Thursday at the Twist and Shout record store on Colfax Avenue.
"I like how you could like find a song that you don't really like," Archer said. "You could create your own beats and use lyrics to your own advantage."
Archer says he surprised himself at how much he had learned over the spring semester.
"They surprised me more so than they surprised themselves," Romero said.
The program was funded by a division of state government called Colorado Creative Industries. The group is part of the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade. It worked with radio station KGNU to develop the Scratch Academy program.
"The panels were really struck by the uniqueness of this kind of expression and thought it was a great endeavor for kids at East High School," Sheila Sears, arts education manager for Colorado Creative Industries, said. "These kinds of things build skills with kids and self-confidence."
Romero says he's teaching teens to appreciate music in a new way.
"The best way to get the feel of the music is a turntable," Romero said. "The power to manipulate music, the way you want to manipulate it."
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)