Wilkeson mother-daughter duo offer drumming-for-health classes

The staples for a good workout: running, weights... percussion?

A Wilkeson woman and her daughter are now offering classes focusing on the use of drums and other percussion instruments to improve health and well-being. She is targeting senior centers, assisted living communities, businesses and youth centers as possible clients.

Heartbeats LLP: Wellness Through Rhythm, was founded earlier this year by Margie Pasero and her daughter Heather Vezzetti. They earned certification through the HealthRHYTHMS program, which is sponsored by Remo, a drum manufacturer.

“The sense of play makes you feel like a kid again,” Pasero said. “A group rhythm gets going with everyone using their own beat to express themselves.”

The drumming circle also provides real health benefits, including a raised immune system, stress relief and an increase in cancer-fighting cells, she said.

Drumming in a group also acts as a form of therapy for the participants. Drummers in the class are free to riff with their own beat and after a jam session, everyone can comment on what they interpreted from their and each other’s beats.

Pasero comes from a background in education, having worked as a counselor in the Renton School District from 1982 to 1999. She left the district when she was sent to a workshop called “Exercising Your Dreams.” The workshop facilitators asked the participants to close their eyes and envision what they desired in their mind’s eye. Pasero closed her eyes and began hearing a rhythmic beat she said.

“I heard a sentence in my mind repeating itself, ‘I am a drummer, I am a drummer,’” she said.

Afterwards, she got in touch with the African drumming community in Seattle, taking classes to get started. Eventually she began performing and then worked her way into instruction.

“It was a friend of mine in Enumclaw that had heard about a HealthRHYTHMS training course coming near town and let me know,” she said.

Though the training is run by Remo, the business is not a franchise and Pasero and Vezzetti are not obliged to plug the drum company in their presentations. Nor do they have to stick to a curriculum. In senior assisted living classes, for example, they back the drumbeats with classic swing music.

Their main investments were their training, percussion instruments - of which they have 40 - and travel costs.

For more information on Heartbeats LLP, call Pasero at 253-6400-3421.

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