Can you hear it? The rhythmic pounding of drums and the laughter of children. The burst of applause. The cheering. This is what happens when Carl Nickerson and his drums show up at your school. Students sit down and focus. They listen. They work together to create something beautiful. When Carl comes to visit, he brings with him the sound of hands-on learning, the sound of cultural awareness, the sound of community. He brings with him the sound of joy.

Studio Kereya loves sharing the benefits of music-making with young people. We work closely with schools in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and are happy to customize any of our basic programs to fit different audiences and budgets. We look forward to drumming with you!


Even one hour can make a difference in the life of a child. Our short presentations expose children, often for the first time, to the thrill of African drumming. They experience the culture and rhythms of West Africa and the joys and challenges of community collaboration.

Weekly Workshops

Our weekly educational drum sessions give students a chance to develop some important skills like listening and cooperation, as well as a sensitivity to rhythm. An overview of cultures and traditions is typically included in these sessions, providing a valuable educational component. A group performance is also often part of the experience.


Residencies offer a more in-depth opportunity that can integrate elements of a school's curriculum and core standards. We work closely with teachers to design a program that fits the needs of their school or class group. Residencies incorporate a number of different elements: cultural awareness, percussion training, and the challenges of group music making. Residencies typically conclude with a performance for the school community.

Carl Teaching

Kereya means persistence in Bambara, a West African language spoken primarily in Mali, where drum rhythms have defined the lives of the people for generations. Studio Kereya celebrates the thrill of drumming, the energy of creation, the joy of community—the exhilaration that comes from persistence.