“This organization gave me hope, [so] young kids like me can express themselves”

Roughly 8 years ago, Omer Shaban was just a shy little kid who started showing interest in a very fascinating instrumentwhile listening to his grandfather Kadri Bedzeti play—the clarinet. Omer started playing at the age of 7. He then started going to Skopje’s primary school for music. After joining the Roma Rock School family, Omer learned a great deal, improving his musical and band skills, teamwork, confidence, and most importantly, he realized the importance of music in peoples’ lives as a form of self expression. Inspired by all that he learned, Omer decided to continue his musical education and applied to Skopje’s music high school Ilija Nikolovski Luj, passing the preliminary exam with the help of our teachers. We are so proud of him!

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We talked with Omer about his first encounters with the
music, his experience in Roma Rock School, and how joining this organization
changed his life.

Who is Omer?

Omer is a 15-year-old similar to other teenagers:“I like to
hang out with my friends; we often play ping pong or PC games like Counter
Strike, and of course I love to play my clarinet!”

Tell me something more about your first encounters with music and your
instrument; how did it all begin?

I just love music! My passion for music started from a very
early age because my family has a lot of musicians, so it felt predestined, in
a way. My grandfather Kadri Bedzeti is a very famous clarinetist andwas kind of
the person responsible for my love for the clarinet.

And what about Roma Rock School, how did that happen?

When I first heard about Roma Rock School, I was really
curious and drawn by the idea of playing in a band because till then I only
played by myself. When I first saw the poster for the audition in my school, I
immediately applied, and the rest is history—I became a member of the very
first band from Roma Rock School, along with 6 of my classmates. We had
rehearsals every day, and they were the highlight of my day!

What do Roma Rock School and your experiences there mean to you—personally
and musically?

This organization gave me hope!The idea that young kids
like me can express themselves and learn more things in their spare time
instead of sitting on the phone and playing video games. If I compare myself to
3 years ago, there is a big difference—the shy little kid is gone! Now I am really
comfortable with myself because I improved my music skills thanks to the
classes we have, and the teachers who work with us patiently and with lots of
love. RRS gave me a great opportunity to improve myself as a person and as a
musician.I am not just limited to one genre of music; I now also listento rock.
I am really grateful to the teachers who inspired me to choose music as my
profession, especially teacher Nevrus who helped me with the preparation for
the entry exam for the music high school. I passed the exam and now I’m in my
first year!

You mentioned that now you are studying first year in the music high
school Ilija Nikolovski – Luj; does that mean that you have big plans for your
musical future?

Since I study what I love, I am really happy in my school.
I plan to finish the high school and then go to music academy (at university).
I want to travel the world and play along with my music idols!

What is your message for the kids who have a desire for playing music?

Just embrace what you have in you, let your talent guide
you, and work hard! Talent without working on is like you don’t have it at all.
I want to encourage all the young kids to apply to Roma Rock School because it
will change their life!

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