Members of the Conference of Music Educators in Nigeria (COMEN) rose from their conference in Owerri, Imo State, recently with a call for proper placement of music in the nation’s school curriculum.
In a communiqué after the conference held at Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE), Owerri, the members resolved to formally write the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) to protest what they described as a wrongful placement of music in the primary and junior secondary schools curriculum.
According to them, music should be made a distinct subject rather than combine it with fine arts, dancing and drama to classify them as “Cultural and Creative Arts (CCA)
In his address at the conference, the chairman of the occasion and executive secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, stressed on the proper placement of music, adding that music is an integral part of culture which gives symbolic expression to the values and ways of life of a people.
Also in her welcome address, the newly elected national vice president of COMEN, Dr (Mrs) Patience Oguoma, stated that the conference seeks to harness the latent intellectual resources of music educators, musicologists, curriculum developers and socio-linguists to be able to modify some erroneous assumptions about music acquired through colonialism, religion and anthropology.
Dr. Oguoma who is also the Dean of the School of Arts, AIFCE, and usually referred to as the Alvan Lady of Songs, thanked the members for finding her worthy of being elected in that capacity and promised her best.
The COMEN 11th National Conference, which was being held for the first time in the East, had as its theme: “Indigenous Knowledge System and Music Education in Nigeria”.
The event featured presentation of awards of excellence to a music veteran and broadcaster, Chinwe Kalu Ogba, and the Provost of AIFEC, Dr. (Mrs) Blessing Ijioma.
Also in attendance were the first female Professor of Music in Africa, Prof. Omibiyi Obidike, who chaired the plenary, Prof. Dan Agu, and Prof. Onyee N. Nwankpa who were keynote and lead paper presenters, respectively.
Also present were Sir. B.C. Maduka who represented the AIFCE Provost, Prof. Lucy Ekwueme, Prof. Mbanugo, Associate Prof. Femi Adedeji Associate Prof. Adebowale Adeogu, Dr. Ngozi Okonkwo, Dr. Okunade Adeoluwa, Dr. Kayode Samuel, among others.
The AIFCE Music Department, the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture (ISCAC), Chinwe Kalu Ogba and her troupe as well as the Anglican Music Band from CATOL, led by Rev. Emmanuel Okafor, performed at the event.