In Europe’s most divided city, Mitrovica in Kosovo, the conflict between Serb and Albanian communities still continues with barricaded bridges over the Ibar river, increased tensions and regular outbursts of violence. Musicians without Borders and partners CBM and the Fontys Rockacademie have successfully run an inter-ethnic youth project since 2008.
From January 30 till February 5, longtime Mitrovica Rock School friend Eric Coenen came to Mitrovica for an intensive week of songwriting sessions with five of our ethnically mixed bands. While Eric knows the Rock School well, this was his first time in Mitrovica – he had previously coached our bands during two summer schools in Skopje, Macedonia. Eric teaches at the Fontys Rockacademie, one of the founding partners behind the Mitrovica Rock School.
For over a year, the Rock School’s mixed bands have been writing songs together at our branches in north and south Mitrovica. Expert coaches connected to leading popular music academies in the Netherlands guide our junior teachers in the art of band coaching and help our students write their own songs.
This spring, the Mitrovica Rock School plans to launch three new mixed bands, connecting an even higher number of our students.