My name is Ilah Raleigh. I’m a performing artist and arts educator working here in the Twin Cities (MN).
I firmly believe making and enjoying music is everyone’s birthright. Claiming that birthright often means disrupting false narratives about talent and giftedness. Through the arts we explore lessons in thinking creatively, embracing vulnerability, being in the moment, honoring our perspective, expressing our truth, and feeling the fear - and then doing it anyway. These lessons benefit everyone, but are of special value to those of us that society seeks to silence and exclude.
The songs on my playlist below are diverse and at first, it may not be obvious what the relationships among them might be. These songs are drawn from my work as an arts educator and scholar. I’m an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas (UST), where I teach a course in music and culture to the amazing students at Dougherty Family College (DFC) and voice lessons to my delightful vocal students in UST’s Department of Music. In addition, I’m a UST doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Learning. My dissertation research is on the experiences and contributions of multiracial artists to contemporary commercial music. To learn more about my work as a vocalist, arts educator, and scholar, please visit www.ilahraleigh.com.
Small, C. (1998). Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press.
OOPS MN Playlist:
“Songs to Musick to”
These are some of my favorite videos of people "musicking," to use musicologist Christopher Small's neologism. Small (1998) defines musicking as being involved in music making in any way - from composing to improvising, listening, performing, or even talking about music. The performers featured on this playlist are musicking in diverse ways: many are singing, some dancing, one is performing a spoken word piece with a musical accompaniment. These recordings inspire me and remind me why I love music. I hope they bring you joy, as well!
You can find the Full YouTube Playlist here.