Dzana Homan: How to Be a Rock Star

January 24 - On The Dot

When a song I love gets to the guitar solo, I’ll play air guitar completely wrong, just to be silly. As adults, it’s easy to give up pretending in favor of all that grown-up stuff. I may never be a musician in real life, but, dang it, why can’t I pretend sometimes, especially when it makes me feel like a rock star?

Today, let’s give in to the silliness and embrace our inner rock stars. Spend a few minutes dreaming up your perfect stage outfit, what you’d request—nay, demand—in the greenroom and how you’d perform onstage. After all, there’s something empowering about facing the music. And all the world’s a stage!


Every year, the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inducts worthy musicians, producers, engineers and other key people in the music biz. To qualify, musical artists must have released a record 25 years prior to his or her induction and, of course, “have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.”

Sadly, in 2016, only two of the 15 nominees were women: Chaka Khan and Janet Jackson. This exclusivity seems to be a pattern, as only 14 percent of the 321 members inducted have been women. Hmm, I guess the folks at the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame must be tone deaf!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Dzana Homan, CEO of School of Rock

We all know women have long been active in the music world, and our influence is only going to grow, thanks, in part, to today’s Woman to Watch. Dzana Homan is the CEO of School of Rock, the totally cool performance-based international music school that teaches kids and even adults the art of music-making.

Dzana has a fascinating story. She was born in the former Yugoslavia and studied classical piano, earning her bachelor’s degree in piano and her master’s degree in physics. After college, Dzana returned to her hometown of Sarajevo with the hope of convincing her parents to leave the city, which was on the brink of war. Soon, the city became under siege, forcing Dzana to stay put for more than four years in a place where snipers routinely targeted citizens and there were zero job opportunities. Things came to a standstill.

Following the siege, she moved to the United States—without speaking a word of English—and dedicated herself to becoming a rock-solid American. She picked up the language and even earned her second master’s degree.

Now, at School of Rock, Dzana is focused on giving students a voice through music. The school provides professional musicians who focus on educating students about classic rock music and an array of instruments, from keyboards and drums to the voice and, of course, rock ’n’ roll’s favorite apparatus: the guitar. Students learn through performing, and since the school’s inception in 1998, students have played thousands of concerts in front of more than 100,000 people at legendary venues and hip music festivals. Talk about making a rock ’n’ roll dream a reality!

But School of Rock’s success reaches far beyond the classroom and even the rock stage and the big screen, all the way to Broadway, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit School of Rock – The Musical.

There’s no limit to School of Rock or to Dzana’s goals, and maybe that’s because she’s a self-proclaimed optimist. No matter where she’s been in life, whether a war-torn city or a new country, Dzana found gratitude in what she had and who she was. That’s what I call really striking a chord!


When it comes to women in music, Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and all-around rock goddess Joan Jett explained it best when she said:

“You’re living in the past. It’s a new generation. A girl can do what she wants to do, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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