Find your own rhythm and make some noise

(WBIR-South Knoxville) Once a week a group gets together to make some noise and have some fun.

It's a drum circle that is all inclusive.

The participants pick a percussion instrument and get ready for an hour of rhythm. It is the drum circle at the East Tennessee Technology Access Center: ETTAC.

Everyone is welcome but especially people with some sort of physical or intellectual disability.

"Something I am constantly taught is not to assume. Not to assume that when someone comes in that you don't think they're going to get anything out of it," April Stephens said.

April Stephens leads the drum circle every Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:30 at ETTAC in South Knoxville.

"I am always blown away when someone sits down to a drum and has instant rhythm or can instantly learn a rhythm," she said.

A loud and even boom, boom, boom is Jason Oglesby's favorite beat.

In the drum circle you find your own rhythm, and express it however you want.

"It's a chance to give our individuals a moment to be an individual because there is no one telling them exactly what it is they have to do. There is no right or wrong. And music in an international, an internal, thing," April said.

Larry Austin said, "I've been drumming since I was 10 yeas old."

The drum circle embraces all ability levels. Larry Austin used to play in a band and performed at his 30 year reunion. He does not let a change to his leg impact his drumming.

"I lost my leg. Amputation last year. So I haven't really been able to play a trap set since because it just doesn't work quite right," he said.

His snare drum sounds just fine. The toe tapping rhythms from the rest of the group sound just fine, too. There is no right or wrong.

At the end of the hour the drummers in the ETTAC drum circle have accomplished their goal.

Jason Oglesby summed it up, "Have fun."


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