As inspiration for April’s Craft-along with Nia—a custom rain stick craft, here’s Gene Nichols, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, showing a few makers of rain sounds from his collection.
In the Craft-along video, which will be published April 16, KinderArts video instructor Nia Aretakis will demonstrate a technique for creating a child-sized rainstick out of simple household materials, and encourage participants to experiment with different ‘fillings’ for their sticks to create different sounds. Alongside Nia’s instruction, the video will feature original music by Dan Cashore, another multi-instrumentalist, whose musical palette includes didgeridoo, guitar, percussion and handmade instruments.
Free rain stick materials kits are available from EAC, by emailing, or participants can easily assemble needed supplies at home. Past videos and trailers from the series may be found in our Craft-along with Nia playlist on YouTube, or by clicking on the Craft-along tag anywhere on the EAC site.

Nichols, a member of Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra who when asked what he plays with the group quips, ‘Whatever they need,’ has recently concluded a 35.5-year teaching career at the University of Maine at Machias (he also taught for two years at Jamestown Community College in New York state). He’s currently working on storage and organization of his monumental archive of printed and recorded music and instruments galore, while picking away at his solo ukulele renditions of Bach’s ‘Partita’ and Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune.’ Offerings from Gene’s collection, including books, scores, music instruction, folios, and popular sheet music, may be browsed in The Shrewd Goobers store via Amazon.

Instructor Nia suggests a mixture of dry rice, pasta and a few beans (above) to create a realistic rain sound in the next KinderArts Craft-along video, due out April 16. Free materials kits are available from EAC, or participants can use materials from home—those doing the latter should start saving up paper tubes!