As new Associate Dean to the Eastman Community School, guitarist Petar Kodzas’ vision for the future is to make music more relevant. By growing the ECMS programs and keeping them healthy and successful, Kodzas’ hope is to find new ways to involve more people in music making and music listening.
Seemingly a broad task, one might wonder how this could be accomplished. But in an interview with WXXI, Petar Kodzas explains and recounts his own personal musical history.
“Our first memories of music, and how we were involved in music as children, are quite often the most important,” recalls Kodzas. Born into a family of musicians in Belgrade, Serbia, music was what brought his family together. Music fostered community.
Kodzas actually began his music career on the piano, and was a teenager when he switched to guitar. “I really think the transition from the piano to the guitar was because of the social aspect… you couldn’t just bring your piano with you and sit in some field and make music,” Kodzas said. “Guitar wasn’t defining me, but I was really defined by its portability.” With this new found freedom, Kodzas was able to bring community with him.
From traveling performances in the former Yugoslavian countryside to performing all over the city of Rochester, Petar Kodzas’ passion is fostering community through music. “I would like for everybody to understand how important music is and to start looking at musicians and music as something that everyone can be involved in. It’s not a matter of how proficient you are, you can learn. It’s not a matter of how old you are, you can learn. And if you are not inclined to be involved in music as a performer, then try to listen, opening your mind and opening your ears.” As musicians, one learns to work hard, respect others, listen, and be open to new ideas. Could we imagine a better way to live in community than to follow those values?