Kosovo BYUH Intern Dan Edwards

August 30, 2012 | By wickley wickley

First day with the volunteers

My experience with the Shropshire Music Foundation here in Kosovo has truly been an unforgettable experience.  I have worked with and met many amazing people, who have all had an impact on my life.  The ones who impressed me the most were the volunteers.





Leke leading the volunteers in a drum circle

I don’t know many young adults and teenagers who will dedicate all their time to teaching kids.  Not only do they dedicate all their time and talents; they also do it with a smile on their faces.  I can tell that the program has brought them joy, and they want to bring that joy to others, too.




Leke, Emika, Qiki and Aaron all focused on drumming

They have been through a lot in their lives, but they are still happy and try to have fun as much as they can.  I have loved hanging out with them and hearing their life stories and their personal interests.  They are normal youth, but they dedicate themselves to teaching children and changing lives.

At a volunteers house, with their family


I can tell that the volunteers are loved by the kids they teach; every time we go to teach, we are all greeted by hugs and kisses from everyone.  Teachers and students alike are changed by the program.  I know this because I have seen it every day here in Kosovo.




Burim playing guitar and singing for one of the classes

Everyone here is a fast learner.  I think this is because everyone really cares about each other, so the students

are confident and not afraid to sing and play music.  I have been teaching drumming to the volunteers, and have been amazed at how fast they pick it up.  I can see that the foundation has helped them to become better students and learners.




Doing a drum circle

Although they like to joke and have fun, they are also very disciplined.  The first few weeks that I have taught drumming, I was impressed by how closely they listen to me and how much they want to learn.  Because of the hard work that they have put into it, I decided to spend the last class doing a drum circle, where everyone grabbed a different percussion instrument and we all just played together for an hour.  It was loud and rowdy, but boy was it fun!  At least I had fun, and I’m sure everyone else did, too.

Singing with the kids


The discipline they have also spreads to the kids they teach.  The kids, like every kid on the planet, like to play and have fun.  We have fun, but when it’s time to focus and learn, the kids and volunteers work together to make learning possible.  Because of this, all the kids learn really fast, gain more confidence, and simply become happier.


Playing with the kids at Brekoc

In short, I guess you could say if there was only one thing I learned on this internship, it’s that this program works.  Not only does it work, but it works miracles.  I know that the skills that we teach will not only help them become better musicians, but better people.  They will gain confidence, obtain learning skills, and become the future leaders with the good qualities that this world so desperately needs.  Although I will soon return to Hawaii to continue my studies, I look forward to helping out the foundation as much as I can.