His mother also loved cello, but perhaps wanting her youngest to have a relatively normal childhood, did not enroll him in music school until he was 8 years old (the recommended age for beginning the 6 year program), thereby allowing him to complete his elementary music school at the same time as his regular elementary school.
A typical child, he was not overly interested in the school aspects of music school when he first began his studies; although exhibiting talent, he was not overly enthusiastic about practicing.
At times, he wanted to quit, because his friends and regular school classmates teased him for attending music school. He wanted to drop out and play soccer with his friends and have fun, but his mother persuaded him to finish the basic elementary program, apparently promising him that he could quit if he really wanted to at that point.
Apparently Marija Hauser knew her son better than he knew himself. In his final year of the 6 year course at the music school, he has said “I simply fell in love with cello, I became obsessed with this instrument and the music. Cello and I were inseparable was practicing all day long and I began advancing at a tremendous speed.” His parents became concerned about him – his obsession with cello and practicing was described as maniacal.
At this point, in need of a better cello teacher, Stjepan’s parents moved him to a music school in Rijeka, where he also attended and completed his regular high school course. At this point in his studies, it became obvious that he had great potential and that his hard work was producing obvious results. He began attending seminars with famous cello teachers and participating in music competitions, where he regularly won first prizes. When he was 16, Stjepan became the youngest member of the Rijeka Philharmonic.