Marcos Soto Valentin

Overcoming Severe Anxiety Attacks

As a child, I grew up listening to Latin music (like Salsa and Merengue) and playing instruments like Congas, Bongos and Timbales. In my 22 years, I began to suffer from anxiety attacks which did not allow to carry out a normal life. I started visiting doctors, psychologists, but nothing worked.

One day while playing percussion, a gentleman approached me and shows me a video of a young girl playing drums. That young girl was Nellyris Didi Negron. When the video ended, the man tells me that I should learn to play the drum set. That triggered something in me.

With money I saved, I bought a drum set and Vic Firth 2B drumsticks (my favorites ever since). I started practicing at least 3 hours to a maximum of 6 hours a day. Thanks to that dedication and concentration, my anxiety started to come under control to the point where now, for over 2 years, I have not had any anxiety attacks!

The drums have taught me that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. Now that I play drums, I feel healthier and more alive. Today I continue to work each day to grow as a drummer and percussionist.

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Thanks for Sharing YOUR Game-Changing Moments!

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Game-Changing Moments!

In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.


We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!

Read Joe's Story