Teen from Afghanistan secretly learns how to play the trumpet with help from American orchestra member

June 6, 2017 7:25 am Last Updated: June 6, 2017 7:25 am


Ahmed “Baset” Azizi loves music, especially playing the trumpet, but growing up it was extremely difficult to showcase his talent for playing the musical instrument.

The 17-year-old is from Afghanistan, where playing some Western musical instruments is forbidden by the Taliban. Despite this he still made an effort to improve his trumpet playing skills.

When the time came that Azizi wanted to study music, at school his father enrolled him in the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Unfortunately after he was there for a few years, his teacher left and there was no one else at the school who could teach him.

Left without any other option, the determined teen turned to YouTube.

It was on YouTube that he came across David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra. After watching countless videos of Bilger, the teen took a leap of faith and messaged Bilger on Facebook. To his surprise Bilger answered and soon the two were meeting at night online every week for a one-hour lesson.

As the lessons progressed, the trumpeter expressed his interest in attending Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. With help from Bilger and Robin Korevaar, a clarinetist who Azizi met while at school in Kabul, Azizi studied hard for the school’s audition and hoped he would be able to win a scholarship to attend the school.

Bilger and Korevaar also set up a crowdfunding page for living and travel expenses for the teen.

Hard work and determination paid off: Azizi was accepted into Interlochen!

On May 27, 2017 Azizi graduated with honors from Interlochen and now looks forward to attending the University of Kansas School of Music. However, before he can do that, he needs to prove that he has the funding for an F1 visa. This time, Bilger, Korevaar, and one of the teen’s teacher’s from Interlochen, Leann Burger, set up another crowdfunding page to help Azizi with the cost of school.

To date more than $80,000 has been raised for Azizi. If you would like to donate and help this promising young musician continue his education, you can visit his page on GoFundMe.

To learn more about Azizi and his love for music, watch the video below.

(H/T: Good News Network)