Cultural and Creative Arts as a single subject stands and the hope for several outcries of people who wish that Nigerians decolonize her educational system and rebuild the Nigerian elements left from the rampage of colonialism. Our culture and value system as Africans have been advocated for setting up of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (N.E.R.D.C) by the government (2003) states that government shall take measures to see that our culture is kept alive through art, music, dance and drama, and other cultural studies in our schools. (p. 12)’ Abba (2020) noted that in Nigeria, integrated arts subject (CCA) is generally an avenue for transmission of cultural messages for binding the people together as well as, providing them with emotional release at individual and , also community levels. (p. 120)’. The bias against locally-made resources has also been an ongoing battle in various sectors of the country. There is a need to create a ‘think-home’ consciousness in Nigerians. It is therefore imperative that the instructional materials utilized in teaching Cultural and Creative Arts be locally sourced to serve this goal. Idolor, (2000) stated that, ‘it is a serious omission to educate future leaders without an appreciable knowledge of their culture. (p.4)’
The theoretical Framework of this study was built on the concepts and principles emanating from Albert Bandura social learning theory which suggests that the learning process of a learner is highly influenced by the learner’s observation and imitation of the happenings in his/her environment. Hammer (2011) argues that observation plays a primary role in the learning process. In the sourcing and making of instructional resources from local materials, observation plays a major role. The children learn the process by imitating their teacher.
Instructional resources refer to various materials used to enhance the teaching and learning process in a classroom. Teachers employ resources of various kinds such as visual, audio-visual, audio and so on. In the growing trend of technology, teachers constantly modify their approach to sourcing instructional resources to serve the increasing need and exposure of the learners .Gloria (2022) decried that the use of instructional materials in classroom teaching, in general, is to arouse all senses in the learning process; for that in the final analysis all learning is the result of sensory experiences, whether auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), Kinesthetic (touch) olfactory (smell) or optical (seeing). (p.122)’Aniakor (1983) stated that ‘the purpose of utilizing teaching and learning resources in the classroom is to assist the instructors with the presentation of educational content and the achievement of educational objectives, whilst aiding the learners in acquiring knowledge and profiling different abilities and values. (p20)’Considering the growing trend of technology, CCA teachers are required to constantly modify their approach to sourcing international resources to serve the increasing need and exposure of students / learners. There are various indigenous musical instruments that can serve as instructional resources such as Goja,Ekwe, Bata, Ogene, Igba and so on. These materials are locally made and useful in producing African indigenous sound. Ojukwu, Obielozie & Esimone (2016) complained that ‘there has been an outcry of teachers over the lack of instructional resources for enhancing teaching and learning particularly at the basic school level. (p. 137)’.To solve this problem, teachers can work together with the students to produce instructional resources such as African musical instruments from the immediate environment.Endeavours of this sort can also be encouraged by the teachers. Harrison ( 2022) suggested that, ‘the extent of transfer of any academic subject relies on the method of teaching and the competency of the CCA teacher in driving the teaching home through the available natural materials.’ Ughamadu (2006) recommended certain criteria for selecting instructional resources.
He suggested the following nine points:
1. It must fit into the instructional objectives of the lesson in which it is to be used;
2. The instructional resource must be available;
3. The instructional resource must be practicable;
4. The instructional resource must be flexible, easy to manipulate, store, repair and maintain. Portable and durable;
5. The teacher must consider if the school has the additional required amenities for operating such resource;
6. The teacher should consider if the instructional resources to be selected relate to the individual differences of learners;
7. The teacher should be capable of handling and manipulating the resource;
8. The financial implication of the resource must be considered; and
9. If necessary, an assistant may be needed in handling some instructional resources.
However, many teachers have challenges in acquiring these instruments based on various factors.
Challenges related to acquisition and usage of Indigenous Resources for the learning process in Cultural and Creative Arts
Following the departure from the colonial era, Nigerians have carried over various ideals upheld by the Europeans. Music education was initiated with European music and musicians as models. The Christian religion, one of the major drivers of Western Education, dwelt on hymns, chants and classical anthems. Many of the church converts were educated formally through the church missionary schools. The music taught was such that it could produce choirmasters and choristers and relevant liturgical participants for worship in the churches. The learners were taught how to read staff, tonic-solfa and theories built on the Common Practice Era. Little or no attention was given to the indigenous music of the learners. Adeogun (2006) posited that accounts of the early explorers gave the missionaries an understanding that music is central to traditional Nigerians’ life. It sensitized missionaries to the need to plan the banning of indigenous Nigerian music that they learnt is an explicit pervasive and enduring cultural trait that binds Nigerian communities together and gives them an identity (pp. 5-9). The people who inherited this legacy passed it on to later generations. Their compositions and pedagogical approaches revolved around European musical heritage. This has led to a disdain for African music and African musical instruments. From a religious point of view, many Christians see African instruments as having to do with paganism or non-Christian practices. Nketia (1974) observed that they ‘adopted a hostile attitude to African music especially drumming because this was associated with what seemed to Christians evangelists “pagan” practices. (p.14)’ Ola (2021) added that, ‘when a group or community abandons its own musical culture in favour of another, they will definitely say bye to their kind of thinking, behavior, feeling and eventually forget their roots. (p. 19)’ Today, as we try to return back to African instruments especially in CCA as instructional resources, the impressionistic view of African musical materials as inferior, backward or pagan-related is still there. Some school owners would rather procure a piano instead of Wooden slit drum. As many inner villages that have been the points of preservation of Nigerian musical heritage get urbanized and embrace the European way of doing things, the musical arts preserve and begin to suffer patronage. The men and women who form part of the institutions or participate in ceremonies/festivals where the musical arts are reenacted get formally educated and from there begin white-collar jobs or any trade available. They look at the indigenous musical arts as backward. This has influenced the way people perceive Nigerian indigenous instruments/materials used as instructional resources in Nigeria.
Many school owners and authorities do not think it's worth the effort to procure musical instruments as instructional resources, going by the general low opinion they have about music. Music education is only talked about when the school has a social event. ‘The bane of musical arts education in Africa so far has been the delegation of learner’s cultural integrity and human identity, and which has produced preponderant mental puppets of Europe and America among contemporary Africans in life orientation and creativity.(Nzewi, M. 2013, p.9)’ Many Nigerians still behold CCA as a school subject with scornful wonder. For them, music is not a field that requires serious classroom endeavors. It should be something that should be imbibed informally. So, they see music as something for the never-do-wells, lazy or unintelligent ones. Many parents do not support their children in this regard because of the poor view they have about musicians. Another hindrance in procurement of instructional resources is cost. Many of the indigenous resources are wanted in schools because there is no proper funding of CCA to enable procurement and transportation of musical instruments. In some cases, schools hire these resources only when there is an event such as 'cultural day' or related events where traditional music will be performed. After this, it is returned back till another time when the event will come up. This approach will not allow the students to practice sufficiently with the instrument nor get acquainted with it.
Another factor that hampers the progress of the use of indigenously crafted musical instruments as instructional resources is that most of the recorded music and performances do not feature it. Nowadays, most people either use more European live musical instruments or a computer-generated sound. Hence, locally made instruments stand the chance to be overlooked. The music stars and role models of the learners are rarely seen operating locally-made musical instruments. This places it as a second-class resource or something that should be reserved for the inner villages where they are used in practices that the students consider backward. Students prefer to be seen playing the piano, violin, recorder, European drum set against playing locally made musical resources.
Also, the rise in deforestation poses a big threat to the production of locally made musical learning resources. Where there are no trees, the wood used in making Oja, Igba, Ekwe, sekere (Calabash) etc. cannot be sourced. Many of the instruments are made from special trees and the constant felling of trees reduces the possibility of creating locally made instruments.
The rise in rural-urban migration has created a vacuum that cannot be easily filled: the need for Nigerian indigenous musical technological experts. Many of the persons who are proficient in making the instruments are either of the older generation that is swiftly passing away or gone into big cities in search of greener pastures.
Creation of locally made instructional resources
It will be of immense help if teachers engage the learners in sourcing, processing and manipulating locally-sourced materials to produce simple instructional resources of various kinds. This will reduce cost effect, enhance the learner’s creativity and skill as well as reduce the notion of African resources appearing inferior. Chinyere (2020) affirmed that:
Learners will grasp quickly any topic taught with their local instruments rather than with expensive ready-made products (instruments) which they are not always allowed to go near to where they are kept in their various schools for fear they might spoil them. CCA Teachers need to be creative, and make do with improvised resources which are readily available within the environment and are also economical. Improvisation of instructional resources is a very crucial skill in the hands of a good CCA (music) teacher since it enables the teacher to generate or originate the instructional resources by self. This helps to stimulate students’ creative talents and abilities since they will be involved in the collection of instructional materials for their studies (pp.122-123).
Here, the researcher presents ways to produce locally made instructional resources. The researcher works together with a local instrument producer named Mr. Uzoma Agu.
Mr. Uzoma Agu was born on August 28, 1955 to an elderly Mr. Michael Agu Okonkwo (alias Eze ndi Igbo) and Mrs. Nneka Ekenwa Okonkwo in Uru na-aka-na-ano village of Nkwelle Ogidi town, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State. Mr. Uzoma Agu inherited his production of local bamboo musical instrument from his father and he is still in the business till date.
Brief History of African Butterfly Transverse Notched flute
The Notched Flute (oja) hails from Anambra in eastern Nigerian. The African Butterfly Notched flute is a curved wooden flute, used to call people out for hunting expeditions or fighting and, also, used for musical entertainment. It is designed with a cavity inside, and has the shape of the human lower lip with a wide opening at the top on the exact opposite side.
Aerophone: African Musical Instrument (melo-rhythmic instrument) that depends on the vibration of air volume inside for the production of musical sound.
Production of African Butterfly Transverse Notched flutes
Step1: get a sizable branch of Melanin tree.
Step2: Use Knife to scrape the surface as a way of smoothening it
Step 3: Use a knife, create the shape of a notched flute by gentle removing the unwanted part of the wood
Step 4: drive a nail to run through the vertically, creating a whole from the top to the bottom
Step 5: use divide (found a mathematical set) to create a whole hole through the caved part horizontally to meet vertical hole from both side
Step 6: Shape the mouth of the instrument to form a U-shape
Step 7: Blow air into the instrument to make a musical sound.
1. Store the instrument in a ventilated room.
Brief History of Wooden Clappers
Clappers hail from Egyptian Ivory in (c. 2000 Bc ). These are musical instruments made from pieces of wood, bone. They are held in both hands, fastened together, sometimes with a handle, that are struck against each other to produce a pleasant sound. It is a percussion instrument. (Idiophone).
PRODUCTION OF WOODEN CLAPPERS
STEP 1: Use a hand saw to cut planks of wood into two desired sizes. The wood could be either
Softwood or hardwood from the manila tree.
STEP 2: Remove the back with a sharp knife; shape it, smoothen it with sandpaper.
STEP 3: Add a little handle behind the front surface using a nail.
STEP 4: The percussionist holds the musical instrument by the handles and, then hits the two piece
of wood together, creating a pleasant melodic sound.
Preservation of wooden clappers
Store the instrument in a dry place
History of Bamboo Slit Drum.
The history of Bamboo slit drum started far back from the history of Chinese people planting and using bamboo from 7,000 years ago. As early as the Shang Dynasty ( 16th -11th Century B.C), bamboo slit drums were already used in various aspects of ancient Chinese people’s daily lives. The instrument is used for communication, entertainment.
Idiophone: These are musical instruments which produce sound when they are struck or shaken with the hand or stick. Percussion instruments are of two types, definite pitched and indefinite pitched percussion instruments. Bamboo Slit Drum belongs to indefinite pitched instruments.
The instrument will be smeared with oil and other insecticides.
THE PRODUCTION OF BAMBOO SLIT-DRUM
STEP 1: Gather the materials useful for the construction of bamboo slit – drum such as bamboo stem, sharp knife, saw, measuring tape, cutlass, maker, and ruler.
STEP 2: Cut the bamboo stem into the desired size, making sure that the two sides are not opened.
STEP 3: Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the length of the bamboo stem, making sure that the two sides where the rectangular shape for resonator for the production of sound are marked either with a pencil or marker.
STEP 4: Sandpaper the bamboo stem, and clean with clean material.
STEP 5: Design the body with the maker, as you would prefer.
STEP 6: Play the instrument to know if the sound produced is pleasant.
Merits of using locally made Instructional Resources
Enhancing the teaching process
Enhancing Learners Creativity
Creation of job opportunities
Instilling love for African culture
The use of locally sourced instructional materials for instruction in CCA arts education had shown that instructional resources had significance in Cultural and Creative art (music) These resources appeared to be outstanding, more efficacious. Hence locally sourced, besides, will also enhance learner’s creativity. In future, endeavors of this sort will contribute to producing local instruments technologists thereby creating numerous job opportunities. Obviously, this method of providing instructional resources will result in recycling of materials. Students’ participation will improve their interest in African music and culture. Moreover, using locally sourced materials will save cost. Locally sourced resources should be considered for the use by classroom teachers as its effective increasing student’s interest and high academic achievement in CCA (music). Besides, this will also enhance the learner's creativity. In future, endeavors of this sort will contribute to producing local instruments and technologist resources will result in recycling of materials. Students’ participation will improve their interest in African music and culture. Moreover, using locally sourced materials will save cost to a great extent.
Teaching and learning should be carried out in a rich learning environment. This will increase the knowledge horizon and offer alternative authoritative learning materials to the teacher and learner.
Teacher-Learner’s role: Teachers are encouraged to adopt this method of providing instructional materials for the classroom teaching and learning process in Cultural and Creative Arts.
Afforestation: Government, via the ministry of environment, is encouraged to initiate the planting of trees at various areas where they are needed. This will help to preserve sources for the production of locally made musical resources.
Campaigns: There is a need to orientate people on the need to revisit our African culture through various means. One of them can be developing more tourist centers where cultural artifacts are found and also sponsoring documentaries that revolve around Nigerian indigenous culture via the media. This will go a long way to reduce the negative impression people have on African culture.
Reenactment of Cultural festivals: The ministry of Arts and culture should showcase more of true African Culture and festivals as annual public events as against simply inviting pop musicians who appear on stage and entertain people at the expense of exposing Nigerian indigenous cultural heritage.
The authors acknowledged that this article is a part of a doctoral dissertation written and supervised by the authors. They appreciate all the lecturers who read and corrected the original manuscript. Also, journal editors, and reviewers are acknowledged for their insightful criticisms that eventually improved the scholarship standard of the article.
Conflict of Interest
There is no conflict of interest to declare by the authors.
The draft was written by Echezona, Adaora Unoma while Ojukwu, Ebele Veronica proofread and corrected
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