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This blog was written by Emir Hasani, Director of Programs at Mitrovica Rock School, showing how empowering it can be for young musicians to have performances opportunities.

Mitrovica Rock School is part of Music Connects, our program in the Balkans. In cities in Kosovo, ethnic tensions from past conflicts still leave deep ruptures in communities. In neighbouring North Macedonia, exclusion and discrimination is experienced by Roma citizens. Music Connects serves to overcome these tensions through music. Young musicians across the region come together to form mixed bands, where every members voice is heard, where everyone is a welcome participant.

The heart of this Music Connects is the moment when the musicians step onstage, demonstrating their talent and hard work to a cheering crowd.

For a young musician, a moment in their journey that transcends all others is the first time they step onto a live stage. This experience is a transformative moment that shapes not only their music but also their personalities and souls.

The beauty of live music lies in its immediacy. For the performer, this is a chance to establish a direct connection with the audience. The energy in the room, the shared emotions, and the ability to move people with your music make for an incredibly moving experience.

Live performances push musicians to their limits, testing their skills and nerves in ways that practice sessions cannot. Taking the stage helps you conquer stage fright, manage mistakes, and perform for an audience. Overcoming the challenges of performing, finding ways to make it work with the people they share the stage with, creates an unbreakable connection between musicians.

Stepping onto stage and sharing your passion takes courage. Successfully performing live can boost a young musician’s self-esteem and confidence, encouraging them to pursue their dreams with greater determination. It is a beautiful and addictive situation to find yourself in. The trill transforms but rarely goes away and gives sense to the work and years you have to put in before that.

It’s beautiful to see that big transformation in young musicians, overcoming stage fright and being more free to express themselves on stage, and how that is reflected off stage at the same time.

From September 21, International Day of Peace, we are raising money to support our work in places like Mitrovica. Help us make it possible for young people in divided societies to take the stage together. Every donation helps.

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