It is more than just music; it is an energy that permeates a south Reno home where nearly two dozen drummers meet regularly to groove. The musician facilitating the drum circle is known as Drumchik. "I started playing when I was a little girl. I got my own drum kit when I was 16 and started making a living at it by the time I was 18,” shares South Lake Tahoe’s Liz Broscoe who started leading these drum circles about 15 years ago in the Reno area. "We are going to be playing West African rhythms that I teach."

Inspired by her experience playing for an African dance class, Liz studied hand-drumming with a half-dozen teachers and was excited to share it with others. "Reno needed some of this action going on." Along with teaching students proper technique, she also relays to them the health benefits of banging on a drum. “What's interesting about the drums is that they can do two things; they can relax you or actually give you a feeling of rejuvenation and almost euphoria." Researchers have discovered that drumming can lower stress, blood pressure and anxiety as well as boost self-esteem and decrease symptoms of depression. They say it stimulates both sides of the brain and is believed to promote healing.

For four-year-student Shereane Houston, drumming not only challenges her mentally - it also gives her a natural high. "I like to keep growing personally. It doesn't relax me, it excites me, but I like to see the growth each time that I come back."

Drumming is for all ages and abilities. "Yes, anybody can play this drum.” Along with the mentioned health benefits, it also creates a connection between friends. Liz calls it a powerful tool to sooth our bodies, lift our spirits and inspire relationships - one beat at a time.

Liz holds a six-week drum series every spring and fall, with classes throughout the year, too. She also offers corporate, team-building drum classes and near and dear to her heart is another program she calls “Drumming Forward – One Beat at a Time.” She brings drums to the South Lake Tahoe Juvenile Treatment Center to expose at-risk young people to music. “We drum together,” so they learn discipline, focus and technique. “But in addition, I've included exercises, games, strategies and journaling in the areas of personal development, positive psychology, life design and mindfulness.”

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