LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW-TV)- Musician and drum teacher, Derek Rocco, got his first taste drumming at five years old. His father is a professional drummer and spent years giving drumming lessons himself.
“One time I just couldn’t tune him out anymore," says Rocco. “I just walked down in the basement and started playing.”
His father knew he had talent, but never pushed him. In fact, it took Rocco years to revisit his skills.
“From 12 to 15 I took drumming really seriously,” said Rocco.
Rocco was your average high school student. He performed well in the classroom and on the football field. While captain of the team, he heard his teammates say they loved playing in the games but hated practice.
“If you can’t love the practice or the whole idea of what it is, you’re never going to get there,” says Rocco.
This Lockport native wants to share this message through “365 To Drum Off.” This video series will follow Rocco as he prepares for a major drum off competition.
“It’s a video that I post every first and third Friday of every month,” says Rocco. “It’s going to be the trials and triumphs that I go through.”
This October he will compete in the Buffalo Guitar Center Drum Off, to which he’s no stranger. Rocco won the title of 2010 Guitar Center Drum Off Champion of Buffalo and competed regionally in Ohio.
Rocco said, “someone told me about a month before the competition started.”
For that month he was dedicated to preparing but this time he’s taking a different approach. The videos will document his road to the drum off finals next year, making his life an open book.
“It’s a two way road. I want to hopefully, inspire some people but it really holds me accountable too,” says Rocco.
This time last year he entered a psychiatric rehab for depression but uses his experience to inspire others.
“It’s not just for drummers or musicians. I just want to enlighten people to just go after their dreams,” said Rocco.
Desiree Wiley has the inside look at Rocco’s mission. You can also follow his journey on Facebook or Instagram. www.facebook.com/derekprocco