At inception in 1988, the Department offered Music with Fine and Applied Arts, and in 1991, the Department of Music was fully established in the main campus of the College of Education with Mr Lapaz Akpa as it's first Head of Department. It then offered Music/English, Music/Religious Studies and Music/Primary Education at the N.C.E. level. Later Mr. Toye Agboola, became the head of department with Miss Monica Okeke and Mr. Nah-kofie as members of academic staff. In 1993, Miss Bernadette Uwakwe joined the department, followed by others. In 1993/94 session, the department started its degree (B.Ed.) programme and produced its first graduates in 1997.
These programmes passed through the supervision and moderation of the University of Ibadan until the 2009/2010 academic session, when the Rivers State Government in its enacted Act established the Rivers State University of Education (latter renamed Ignatius University of Education) to award B.A. Ed. degree in various disciplines. With inception of the new University of Education, the twenty seven years of affiliation with the premier University of Ibadan came to an end, and the first set of music graduates in the new University of Education was produced in 2013/2014 academic year.
Philosophers of all ages agree that music in all its ramification that Music is an integral part of life and one of the most universal human needs. Music, says Plato (427-347 B.c.) is the movement of sounds to reach the soul for the education of its virtue. Music, he continues, is a moral law, it gives sound to the universe and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
The German-Swiss philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) believes that without Music, life would be a mistake. Back home in our indigenous African society, Music is an integral part of life itself. The African child is born, bred and buried with Music.
In today's shrunken world of a global village, music plays a greater and more cohesive role in people's lives irrespective of differences in age, clime, creed, culture, education, gender, habitat, occupation and social strata. Music education is therefore, crucial as we move forward into the 21st century.
As a school discipline, the teaching and learning of Music satisfies all the traditional strategies and objectives of the aesthetic, affective, cognitive and most importantly the psychomotor domains. It is a sine qua non towards demonstrating skills in creativity, communication technology and team work.
In a nutshell, the study of Music and Music education goes beyond the practice and mere enjoyment of Music. It touches significantly on the following factors:
The Economic: acquisition of knowledge, talents and skills relating more directly to the use of tools and conventions of civilized life to create an enviable most lucrative vocation.
The Ethical: A higher concept of truth, morality, justice, a development of the principles of right conduct and their application in daily life.
The Social/Political: A better understanding of man's relationship to man, of the interdependence of men in civilized lands.
The Cultural: Nationalism and the appreciation of the fine things of life.
The Department of Music shall develop and run programmes that meet a variety of institutional needs as well as the needs of artistes, teachers, scholars, planners and implementers of development programmes in music, arts and culture. It shall also be an archival centre for the development of communication signals, advanced training programmes in clearly defined areas of research, music technology, special concerts, demonstrations documentations, workshops, outreach programmes, the preparation and circulation of music and music-related materials.