By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal
As he recalled his journey from growing up playing the drums with his dad, to touring the world with his talent behind the drum kit, and now realizing his dream of opening up a first of its kind drum school for kids, Bobby Amaro couldn’t hide his emotions. His sleeveless drummer t-shirt revealing goosebumps down his arms.
“To seriously be at this point, where it started jamming with my dad, getting in his band and experiencing the whole thing, just to continue that feeling of being free, to this day 25 years later it’s actually giving me the chills right now,” Amaro said pointing to his forearm.
Just five days earlier, Amaro was joined by La Habra council member Rose Espinoza and many people from around the community, to officially cut the ribbon at the grand opening for his new drum school, Kidz Rock.
Espinoza said that Kidz Rock will cultivate creativity in La Habra’s youth.
“I just got goosebumps on my arms and thought, this is finally going to be something that comes to fruition for the City of La Habra,” Espinoza said at the grand opening.
Amaro has been a La Habra resident for 13 years, and has been teaching drum lessons privately for the same exact amount of time.
He used to go to the local community centers and offer free lessons to anybody interested. Then in between touring and recording with several bands, he would teach private lessons remotely or in his garage-turned-studio.
“Growing up, we never had cars parked in our garage,” Amaro said.
No, it was always filled with instruments. His dad Robert is also a musician. He introduced him to drums at six years old and has been encouraging him ever since.
To Amaro, Kidz Rock is the natural progression of his lifetime playing and years teaching. His goal is to inspire the next generation of artists and help them become better and go even further than him.
Amaro knows how drumming changed his life. Growing up in Pico Rivera, his passion for drumming gave him something productive and rewarding to focus on, while others in the neighborhood were getting into trouble.
“I would take my dad’s lawnmower out Saturday mornings really early and go door to door on my block in Pico Rivera, I’d say, ‘Hi, I’m trying to buy a new drum kit, do you need your lawn cut?”
“My drum kit was my partner, it was my sidekick, that’s what kept me off the streets,” he said. “I grew up with a lot of gangsters in my neighborhood, the funny thing was they all respected that I was the rocker kid on the block, ‘don’t knock on the garage door for Bob, he’s not gonna come.”
Along with instilling those life lessons in his students, Amaro also brings real world experience and cutting edge technology with Kidz Rock.
He’s toured around the world and recorded albums with popular rock bands like Orgy and Filter.
Now with two kids, Amaro believes this is the perfect time to settle down and realize his dream of opening his first school, which has always been at the forefront of his mind.
The school will feature all electronic drum-kits, which he says allows the students to explore different sounds at their fingertips.
“You should see their faces,” Amaro said. “They just light up when they start learning how to use these kits.”
Each private room is also equipped with a camera, which will be live-streaming all sessions. Amaro thought it would be great for parents to be able to drop their child off and be able to go make dinner or run errands, without missing a beat. The videos will also be used as tool for students to go back and watch later.
Kidz Rock is located on Whittier Blvd. directly across the street from the athletic fields at La Habra High School.
Official classes will begin January 2nd, but until then they will have an open lab environment, while he continues to teach his one-on-one lessons. He said that everyone is encouraged to come in and tryout the new equipment.
“I built this place for kids to have that feeling that nothing else matters at that moment,” Amaro added. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot better people to come out of the world just by this experience.”