The Musical society of Nigeria (MUSON) was founded in 1983 by selected friends who really appreciated classical music. Permit me to mentioned these esteemed Nigerians; Pa. Akintola Williams, Mr. Louis Mbanefo, Late Chief Ayo Rosiji, Late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Late Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel. It is interesting to note that, their objectives are to promote the enjoyment and performance of classical and contemporary music in Nigeria in addition to promotion of music education to young or old willing music lovers.
The MUSON School of Music was established in 1989 to offer basic music training for children and adults interested in learning how to sing or play any musical instrument. Since her inception, the school has given birth to a lot of young professionals who are now teaching in schools, playing in churches, Singing in the choir, performing in Orchestras, Choirmaster/Organist in various churches and as entrepreneur in the music industry. Others have gone on to pursue higher education in music across European universities. I’m bold and boast to say the society through the school Alumni has produced six (6) Ph.D holders in music.
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MUSON and Growth of Art Music In Nigeria
The Art music scene in Nigeria has seen monumental, and impressive growths in recent years. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines art music as “music composed by the trained musician as contrasted with folk music and often with popular music”.
It is not an overstatement to say that Muson school of music has played tremendous and vital roles in the success story of art music in Nigeria and that it has contributed immensely to the development of art music in Nigeria.
Its contributions spanning three 3 Decades of the founding of the Centre, the training of young musicians and entrenching and bequeathing rich musical heritage to the incoming generation of musicians, in Lagos and beyond has in no mean aided his the growth of art music and cannot be overemphasized. The collaboration with the multi-national communication giant, MTN further gives credence to the importance of art music development in Nigeria.
THE MUSON DIPLOMA SCHOOL
One of MUSON’s biggest contribution to the growth of music art in Nigeria is the establishment of the MUSON Diploma School. In 2002 the MUSON School of Music received the Nigerian Federal Government’s accreditation to award Diplomas in Music which can be equated with those awarded by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom. This led to the setting up of the two-year MUSON Diploma School in 2006.
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MUSON PROGRAMMES AND EVENTS
In furtherance to the development of the growth of art music in Nigeria, the Musical Society of Nigeria has a long line of events and programmes which runs annually. These events and programmes are a major factor in the promotion of art music in Nigeria. They include;
a. MUSON Opera
b. The MUSON Concert
c. The MUSON Basic School of Music Concert
e. Graduation Ceremony
f. Christmas Concert
g. Donor Appreciation Concert
h. MUSON School Competition amongst others
It will interest you to know that, even with the line up of events and programmes, MUSON do not receive funding from the State or Federal Government. It is safe to conclude that the MUSON is in the heart of music education as well as the growth of art music in Nigeria.
DID YOU KNOW
The MUSON Diploma Course is a 2year full time programme run by the MUSON School of Music and fully sponsored by MTN Foundation. MTN Foundation has taken the MUSON Diploma course as one of its nationwide projects and remains the one of the driving forces . The course offers students advanced training in music with the following majors; Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Classical Guitar, Voice.
The Diploma School is the home of the award-winning MUSON Diploma Choir directed by Sir Emeka Nwokedi and the MUSON School Orchestra & Concert Bands. The school has graduated over 300 students since 2008.
Article Contributed By: Shosanya Babatunde. He is a Choir Master and Organist. He holds
M.A (Music Edu), M.A (Theory/Composition), B. Sc. (Hons), P.G.D.E (Music Edu), P.G.D.E. (NTI) Dip. Music, I.G.C.S.E Music Examiner.
I am Music Estate’s Music Director