Children’s Musical Activities in Ikwerre Communities of Rivers State, Nigeria: AN Ethnomusicological Study

Author: Sunday-Kanu Rita Adaobi
Department: Music
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Music is a medium of artistic expression through which the intellectual and socio-cultural development of a child is achieved. Musical activities play a vital role in the life of every child, an African child is not an exception to this truism. Thus, in Nigeria particularly, and in Africa at large, children’s involvements in musical traditions and activities of their communities are nurtured conscientiously from cradle. Investigations have proved that such
musical activities and participations root children in the traditions and cultures of their indigenous society, as well as broaden a child’s cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social development. Consequently, this study investigates the musical activities of Ikwerre children in Ikwerre communities, highlighting the history and origin of Ikwerre people, children and music making in Ikwerre communities; sources and processes of making their musical instruments, mode of recruitment, choice of text, melody formation, etc. Research methodology used in this work was ethnomusicological. It involved participant observation, in-depth interviews and literature review for data collection and analysis of data. However, findings proved that the influence of Colonialism, Christianity, Western education and Industrialization are greatly eating deep into Ikwerre children’s involvement in their musical culture. This contributes strongly to the gradual elimination of the interest of children in the musical culture of the Ikwerre communities. In conclusion, the study observed that Eri-Ogada in Ikwerre community suffer serious neglect, therefore, children’s musical activities are now more vibrant in schools and churches thereby, producing musical cultures that are influenced by the Christian faith, Western musical styles and idioms.

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