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home > Our work > Programs > Where We Work > Western Balkans
Western Balkans

In Europe’s most divided city, Mitrovica (Kosovo), Serb and Albanian youth have grown up without contact with the other side. Since 2008, the Mitrovica Rock School has connected some 1,200 youth through music. The project “Music Connects” brings together youth from five of the region’s most divided and disenfranchised communities.

Mitrovica Rock School

At the Mitrovica Rock School, youth from both sides of ethnically divided Mitrovica meet as young musicians and songwriters. The Rock School provides daily lessons and band coaching sessions and connects youth through weekly inter-ethnic workshops and its program for ethnically mixed bands. Our annual summer school brings together mixed bands for an intensive week of songwriting, rehearsing, recording and performing.

Music Connects

Music Connects is a new project supported by Creative Twinning, a program of Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and other donors. In partnership with Fontys RockacademieMitrovica Rock SchoolRoma Rock School and Music School Enterprise, the project activates youth and builds sustainable alternatives for social inclusion through state-of-the art rock music education, production and promotion.

Music Connects will deliver thousands of music activities to Serb, Albanian, Macedonian, Roma and other youth. We will establish a recording studio in Mitrovica and train sound engineers in Mitrovica and Skopje, increasing cultural participation and cooperation and lowering the barrier for young bands to enter the region’s emerging music scene.



Video production house HATCHED-MV will produce the feature documentary “Music Connects: The Real School of Rock,” as an audiovisual testimony to the power of music to connect people across divides. During the 2.5-year Music Connects project, HATCHED-MV will film crucial events in the project’s development, and release eight social media clips and a trailer. The feature documentary is due in the spring of 2020.

HATCHED-MV previously supported our Mitrovica Rock School by working pro bono to create the music video Set Me Free for our ethnically mixed band Proximity Mine.

July 8, 2019
Enjoy this look at our activities and work throughout the world in 2018.
February 12, 2019
The Mitrovica Rock School, announces the release of the debut album “Voices” from the band High Frequency.
February 4, 2019
We interviewed Ruud Borgers, guitarist, lead singer of ‘De Sjit’ and Mitrovica Rock School trainer from RockCity Institute about authenticity in music and keeping it real.
December 18, 2018
To close our end of year Story of Light series, our Founder & Director, Laura Hassler reflects on 20 years of peacebuilding through music.
February 1, 2018
Proximity Mine - Set Me Free

Proximity Mine’s new music video, recorded in Vienna and directed, filmed and produced for the Mitrovica Rock School by Hatched-MV:

November 16, 2017
2017 Skopje Summer School

Mitrovica Rock School kicked off its anniversary year with our tenth annual summer school.

October 9, 2017
Rootless - Fantasy

Music video ‘Fantasy’ by ethnically mixed band Rootless, a high-energy dream team formed by highly talented, long-term students of our Mitrovica Rock School.

July 6, 2017
Neverland - You Don't Care

Neverland, a mixed Mitrovica Rock School band, recorded in May 2017 at the Mitrovica Rock School.

April 18, 2017
Proximity Mine needs your help!

Mixed band Proximity Mine are from Mitrovica (Kosovo), a city completely divided by war. They are setting an example to their generation, and they need your help.

January 30, 2017
Proximity Mine - Sorry Mom

Proximity Mine, a mixed band formed by students of the Mitrovica Rock School, recorded January 2017 at the Mitrovica Rock School.


January 1, 2017
Sublime 6 - Battery

Acoustic version of Battery by mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Sublime 6. Sublime 6 was formed in 2013 under the Rock School’s Ambassador Band Program.

January 15, 2017
Akasha - Fire

Acoustic version of Fire by mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Akasha

August 28, 2016
2016 Summer School

The 2016 Summer School for ethnically mixed bands organized by the Mitrovica Rock School, August 21 to 28, 2016.

August 27, 2016
Proximity Mine - MWAH (live)

Live recording of Proximity Mine, an ethnically mixed band formed in August 2016 by students of the Mitrovica Rock School.

August 27, 2016
High Frequency - No Way Out (live)

Live recording of High Frequency, an ethnically mixed band formed in August 2016 by students of the Mitrovica Rock School.

August 1, 2015
2015 Remix Band Camp

The 2015 Remix Band Camp of the Mitrovica Rock School, where students from the Rock School’s north and south branches worked in ethnically mixed bands and wrote, recorded and performed their own songs.


June 1, 2015
The Suck of Psychotic - Lost In Love

Music video of ethnically mixed Mitrovica Rock School band The Suck of Psychotic


October 1, 2014
Astral Dreamers - Scream

Music video of ethnically mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Astral Dreamers


August 1, 2014
2014 Ambassador Band Camp

At the 2014 Ambassador Band Camp, four ethnically mixed bands from the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, came together in neighboring Macedonia to write, record and perform their own songs.

May 1, 2014
Mitrovica Rock School at TEDx

Rock School co-founder Wendy Hassler-Forest of Musicians without Borders speaks at TEDx Tirana about what it has meant to set up an inter-ethnic rock music school in a town as rigidly divided as Mitrovica.

November 1, 2013
The Artchitects - Let It Go

The Rock School’s first Ambassador Band, the Artchitects, was formed in 2011. After a one-year break in 2012-2013, they got together again in August 2013 with a brand new sound. Let It Go was the first song written after the band regrouped.

November 1, 2013
Sublime 6 - The Animals

Sublime 6 was formed in August 2013 and immediately faced a set-back when two of its members left the band. The band got back together in November 2013, with a new drummer and now only five members, and continues to this day writing and performing under the name Sublime 6.

August 1, 2013
2013 Ambassador Band Camp

From August 25 to September 1, four Ambassador Bands of the Mitrovica Rock School rehearsed, recorded and performed in Skopje, Macedonia. Schism, Sublime 6, the Toe May Toes and the Artchitects came together to finish songs they wrote in Mitrovica.

August 1, 2011
2011 Skopje Summer School

Every year since 2008, the Mitrovica Rock School has brought young musicians from north and south Mitrovica together at the annual Skopje Summer School. At the Summer School, students work in mixed bands towards a big concert in the Skopje City Park.

July 27, 2018
School’s out & the summer school is in! Meet some of our 2018 Skopje Summer School participants.
August 24, 2017
Our Mitrovica Rock School is hosting its 10th annual summer school this week in Skopje, Macedonia, where students come together from both sides of the divided city of Mitrovica to write, record and perform original songs.
December 9, 2016
On December 8, 2016, a team from our Mitrovica Rock School in Kosovo met...
November 23, 2016
Meet the teachers at Musicians without Borders' rock music school in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Learn more about the Mitrovica Rock School here: