Peterborough, NH (USA) Recreation Department
Register Now

African Drumming Register View Cart


African Drumming

Instructed by: Abou Sylla

Sponsored by: the Peterborough Recreation Department
Join this unique opportunity to learn the basics of African drumming from the Guinean tradition. This is an energizing group experience, where together we learn to play a variety of celebratory rhythms.  You will learn and hear fun and informative stories about the Guinean culture as we get to know each other.  Drums and other hand percussion instruments will be provided.  Wear comfortable clothing, bring a bottle of water and a smile.  All are welcomed, no prior experience required.
What you will learn:
During class, you will learn to recognize and play a variety of rhythms that go with different Guinean dances/ceremonies.  Abou will break down the rhythms into smaller parts that will be repeated until the class is able to play together.  A small group of “regulars” are often in attendance who add support to the joyful noise! To enhance the experience, from time to time, Abou may invite fellow drummers from his tradition to join the group as his guests.  Lots of laughter and good vibes provide for an energizing class.

About Abou:  N’Camara Abou Sylla is a musical national treasure in the country of Guinea, West Africa.  He has made the Monadnock region his home for the past 20 years where he teaches African drumming to students of all ages and abilities at schools, summer camps, and a variety of community groups.  Additionally, Abou is known worldwide as a master balafone player (think a western xylophone).  Learn more about him at
About African rhythms:
African drummers gather to accompany dancers who perform at village celebratory events such as coming of age, weddings, parties, and reunions.  Similiar to musical formats we are familiar with, a West African drum ensemble is comprised of a lead drummer, a bass drummer, and a rhythm section.  The djembe is often played by the lead drummer, and those drummers in the rhythm section. 
About the drums:
The primary drum used in class is called a djembe (pronounced JEM-BAY), which is typically played while seated.  A djembe is a rope-tuned goatskin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose.
Djembes and other hand percussion instruments will be available in class.  After a few lessons, students often purchase their own drums which can be found in various places at a range of prices on the internet, drum shops specializing in African drums, and through Abou Sylla.  Abou travels to Guinea during the year and can arrange to purchase a djembe just for you by arrangement.
The other drum used in class is a set of dun-dun’s.  This collection of three drums is played while standing and provides the “base beat” of the rhythm being played.  Students will have the opportunity to learn how to play the dun-dun’s as well.

Who: Adults (18+)
Sundays - Taking a break in January and February

Where: Peterborough Recreation Department Meeting Room, 64 Union St.
Time: 5-6:30pm
Cost: Single class (drop in or "try it out"): Residents $15, Non-Residents $18
            Monthly Bulk Packages Available - No refunds or pro-rated fees on bulk packages.
COVID Safety:

- Masks are optional
- Drums will be sanitized between uses
- Bring equipment if possible

Register Activity Ages Grades Days Date/Time Fees
   Log In
African Drumming - All December Classes 
18 - 99 N/A Su  12/04/2022 - 12/18/2022
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Adams Playground - South - PRD Meeting Room
$42.00 Res, $51.00 Non-Res
12 seat(s) available
Sign up HERE to attend the five Sundays in July. NO REFUNDS ON THIS BULK PACKAGE.
   Log In
African Drumming - December 11 Drop In 
18 - 99 N/A Su  12/11/2022
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Adams Playground - South - PRD Meeting Room
$15.00 Res, $18.00 Non-Res
12 seat(s) available
Sign up HERE to attend this single visit.
   Log In
African Drumming - December 18 Drop In 
18 - 99 N/A Su  12/18/2022
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Adams Playground - South - PRD Meeting Room
$15.00 Res, $18.00 Non-Res
11 seat(s) available
Sign up HERE to attend this single visit.
* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

┬áReturn to Programs    View All Activities

Share This Page: