He came to House of Good Tones because he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Soon after that, he joined the choir, and finally, when teachers recognized his potentials, he started playing the drums

Đorđe is a teenager who lives in Bratunac. He has been playing drums at House of Good Tones. He listens to rock & roll, supports the Željezničar football club and wants to go to a Metallica concert. When you meet him, you are under the impression that he does not belong to his generation. The smartphone is not constantly in his hand, he speaks about music understanding the messages that music sends. He has his own YouTube channel, where he shows how skillfully he plays the drums, he attends school for hairdressers and wants to be a hairdresser in his town. He wears a black hoody, black trousers and a big button of his favorite rock & roll band around his neck. We found him in his family home, a rented single level house, with his parents and a younger brother.

He came to House of Good Tones because he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Soon after that, he joined the choir, and finally, when teachers recognized his potentials, he started playing drums. The first steps were difficult, but later, he says, everything went easier.

“When I started playing drums I liked it and I did not have a dilemma whether to continue or not. I am making a progress, now I can play the songs that I hear. Rock & roll came to my life by accident. I would listen to all kinds of music, each genre for a couple of days, and then, I would get tired of it. I have not got tired of rock”, says Đorđe adding that, on his YouTube channel, he has recently posted the video of him playing For Esma by Bijelo dugme.

He says that in Bratunac you can find someone to give you private guitar lessons, but the only place where he could learn to play drums was House of Good Tones. Apart from playing music, for a couple of years, Đorđe has been practicing acting in a local theater. He has played a couple of roles. The one that remembers fondly is the role of a rich sheik.  He adds that, in his town, teenagers can learn a folk danceat the Cultural Center or train sports in local clubs. Until recently some enthusiasts were managing to organize the alternative music festival, which, due to the lack of interest or the lack of support, had to be canceled.

While we are talking, we learn that his father Drago works for a utility company and mother Gordana is a house wife. His younger brother attends the Elementary School and talks about football.

His parents know the teachers Đorđe practices with who are teaching him how to play drums. His father trusts them and believes that his son, if he had not gone to House of Good Tones by some chance, would have trouble finding his place in society.

“I am in regular contact with people from the music school, we arrange everything, so I do not worry about my son. When they travel, he knows that all activities will be pre-planned and there is no room for improvisation. He doesn’t like going out very much, he finds it difficult to find friends. I noticed that playing drums has a positive effect on him. And that is why it is important that House of Good Tones exists, because it is the place where children can display their potential and talents”, says Drago.

Đorđe attends the drum lessons twice a week. He takes a school bus after his classes, spends there five-six hours and returns by bus organized for students.

House of Good Tones gave him a drum set, but his mother says that, regardless of that, so far, he has always been playing something in the house. Constantly, she says, he is tapping his fingers on the table and he is constantly in music.

“Đorđe does not go out much. It is very important that he attends the drum lessons, because that is how he can find a place for himself…”, says Gordana.

We learn how most young people from Bratunac go abroad. Families leave, as well, because it is difficult for them to find jobs where they live, or if they work, the job is not paid well, the paychecks are late and they do not have a reason to stay.

“If I had any guarantees, I would leave, as well. With my family, of course. People from here go places, I do not know where, to Russia, Germany, America, Australia… Departures have become a trend. No one wants to suffer. Anything but this seems better to everyone. I was without a full-time job for years, I did all kinds of work, went to Serbia, Croatia, Monte Negro…If I had not got this job, we would have gone abroad together”, says Drago, stressing that he works long hours.

“When I receive the salary, as soon as I pay the expenses, it is all gone. One has to pay the rent, the bills, the clothes for children, school supplies… I have to work for daily wages over weekends when I am free to fill the budget. It does not matter what. I do whatever job is available. The expenses of putting children through school are high, but what you have to do, you have to do. And there are some extra things that we need, but I cannot afford them. And in that situation, who would be able to pay for private music lessons, sport lessons, any lessons? The system should secure the content for children and young people”, says Drago.

The teachers at House of Good Tones speak fondly about how Đorđe’s talent and character have made him stand out from the very beginning. He sees, they say, the world around him differently from how his peers see it. You cannot hear a rude comment from him, only a good joke. We saw him in a classroom playing drums with his colleague, while teacher Jasmin was pointing out their mistakes and telling them how to improve things.

“I have some friends, but you can rarely find someone who thinks with his own head. They all just copy each other. When I started playing drums, I listened to some bands and then, teachers told my about some other bands. Dream Theater, for example, was a real eye-opener”, says Đorđe adding that when he finishes the hairdressing school, he plans to work at one of the local saloons and then open his own.

Đorđe and his brother showed us their room. On one wall, there are the posters of rock & roll bands, Tifa and the football team from Grbavica, on the other, the Partizan jersey and scarf. From the window of their room, you can see other houses, all the same, reminding of worker’s cottages and the blurry sky above them. The rain was drizzling and everything you could hear was the rattle of dishes in the kitchen.

We parted making a deal that Đorđe would come to Sarajevo to watch a game of his favorite football team.

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