Little drummer boy forming his own band

With Mom and Dad, of course

Mario Sanchez and his drum set have center stage in the small bedroom turned studio in Jessica Izquierdo and Julio Sanchez’s Sunnyside home. Mario’s aptitude for music has his parents considering forming a Christian band to play area churches.

Photo by Julia Hart
Mario Sanchez and his drum set have center stage in the small bedroom turned studio in Jessica Izquierdo and Julio Sanchez’s Sunnyside home. Mario’s aptitude for music has his parents considering forming a Christian band to play area churches.


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Little Drummer

— After building his own drum set at the age of three, a six-year-old Sunnyside boy now plays drums in a trio with his parents.

Mario Sanchez built his first drum set from a couple of five-gallon buckets and a flower pot, borrowed from his grandmother’s yard. Turned bottom side up, they were propped up on his stroller and his drum sticks were made of small bamboo branches.

“It was broke a lot,” said the charismatic little boy.

Admittedly, his first attempt at making music was just a lot of noise, said his mother, Jessica Izquierdo.

Even so, she could tell he showed a talent for music.

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Mario Sanchez is already an accomplished drummer at age 6.

His father, Julio Sanchez, who was in a Mexican country band, soon took an interest in his son’s playing and started teaching him proper drumming techniques. Today he practices music nightly under his father’s direction.

Mario, an energetic Chief Kamiakin first grader, recently had one of his songs recorded by his mother to show to her friends and family.

The fact that Mario kept the beat to La Bamba amazed her.

For a long time Izquierdo said she didn’t care for music, crediting that dislike to the fact it kept her husband away from home. Once Sanchez quit the band and started spending time helping their son’s musical education, she found herself interested enough to learn an instrument.

Now the nightly lessons at the Sanchez house are a family affair, with both parents playing guitar and young Mario pounding out a beat on his real set of drums.

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Mario Sanchez at age 3 plays a homemade drum set created with buckets and flower pots.

“We tried getting him a small drum set from Walmart, but he broke it after just a few days,” his mother said.

Now he has a real drum set, which is much sturdier for the ambitious young player.

“He can play a lot of Mexican country music but now we are starting to teach him Christian music,” Izquierdo said.

The couple hope to form their own little trio to play for their church.

“I played with a church band when I was younger,” said Sanchez. “I want to do that again.”

Now that Izquierdo is learning to play the guitar, the idea of playing at local churches is closer to becoming a reality, he said.

This week he taught his son to play a Christmas song. “He practiced really hard to play Feliz Navidad,” said Sanchez.

The Jose Feliciano holiday song is now the youngster’s favorite tune. “He is kind of picky about what he will play, but he is a quick learner,” Sanchez said.

“I like this song,” Mario said.

“Mario listens to music on YouTube, then taps out the beat until he gets it right,” his mother said.

While the budding musician has learned to play primarily by ear, his mother wants him to have lessons.

“I want him to be a real drummer some day,” she said.

Mario is just happy when ever his parents say “come on let’s practice.”

“I like the drums,” he said.



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