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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.

The Mitrovica Rock School works with a curriculum developed by our teachers with the support of the Fontys Rockacademie (Netherlands), based on demand-driven learning and adjusted to the local situation. In the absence of higher popular music education in Kosovo, the program is geared towards producing musicians with employable skills in the Mitrovica context. The quality of education is essential to the success of the program: students acquire the tools to play, write their own music, communicate about their music, and give and receive feedback. Students are placed in ethnically mixed bands as soon as they have the skills needed to start writing their own songs.

Eric Coenen challenges members of Proximity Mine to create instrumental parts that best serve the song

Beginners work according to a general lesson plan. As soon as they achieve a basic skill level, students choose their own songs, style and genre, while their teachers structure lessons to work towards benchmarks in the curriculum. In band coaching sessions, teachers challenge students to find their own solutions as they develop new songs, encouraging discussion without presenting ready-made answers.

Participants and trainers at the 2016 summer school

The Mitrovica Rock School has a fluid structure, rewarding talent and initiative with traineeships where students work as assistant teachers, sound engineers or organizers. Nine former student-trainees have graduated into staff positions, while several others have gone on to successful careers outside the school. Junior teachers (former trainees) receive ongoing training from external expert band coaches to ensure continuous learning.