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Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth

Jun 6, 2017

Since she’s away at choir camp, it’s “Stevie Week” on the Choir Ninja podcast. Today’s episode is a re-airing of one of our top Technique Tuesdays from the Find Your Forte podcast. It’s about how to write a bio that makes audiences root for you before you even step foot on stage. This one is perfect for conductors, teachers, and performers alike. Enjoy! Listen: Show Notes: Ready to write your own? Here’s how to do it: Step 1: Know who you are. That is not the same as knowing what you do. This is about identifying your brand, whatever it is that makes you special. If you cannot articulate in a few clear sentences exactly who you are, then you need to go back and listen to Technique Tuesday episode 16, where Ryan explains how to find your “Why.” Step 2: List your wins. You are good at something that no one will ever give you an award for. Make a list. Maybe you make a great martini. Maybe you are ambidextrous. Maybe you once performed an original kazoo solo in a talent show. Don’t tell us the things you are best at; tell us about those things that best reveal your brand. Step 3: Consider your flaws. Vulnerability can be very attractive. This isn’t therapy, or confession; it’s just a time to acknowledge that you are a complete human, which means you aren’t perfect. Step 4: Think non-linearly. This doesn’t mean to slice up your regular bio, shuffle all your achievements, then deal them out randomly. It just means focus on balance rather than chronology. Take some bad with the good, some serious with the fun. Step 5: Delete something. Coco Chanel infamously recommended, “Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry.” Once you’ve written your bio, go back and delete something. Maybe two somethings. Your bio is too long. I don’t even have to look at it to know it’s too long. It’s a fact: no one is as interested in you as you are. Make it shorter, please. 3 Key Takeaways:

  1. Do the best you can, and realize the eye rolls aren’t about you.
  2. See their behavior as their pain.
  3. Consistently model the respect and behavior you want them to reflect back at you.
Biography: Stevie Berryman has served as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Houston Chamber Ringers since August 2013. She is the Director of Handbells and Children’s Music at Kinsmen Lutheran Church in Houston and assists with the fourth grade chimes choirs at Frank Elementary School. Stevie began ringing handbells over 20 years ago as a founding member of the Soli Deo Gloria Youth Handbell Choir at St. Stephen’s UMC in Broken Arrow, OK. She’s been ringing ever since all over the country, and is a former member of the Houston Bronze Ensemble. She has a particular passion for teaching children how to ring, and her innovative methods have made her a sought after educator at handbell festivals and in private clinics. Stevie also plays violin, piano, and can bang out “The Hokey Pokey” on ukulele. She can fold clothes like a ninja, including fitted sheets (thanks, Mom). Her children are the most brilliant and beautiful creatures on the planet. She collects shot glasses from universities she has visited (about 50 so far). She quilts (occasionally) and knits (badly) and loves watching terrible action movies with her husband, Paul. Her hobbies include making puns, embarrassing her children, and buying scrapbooking supplies just to look at, apparently. Stevie teaches every chance she gets. She has been an instructor at many events in Area 9 of the Handbell Musicians of America, including numerous Summit and FebFest appearances. She is also active as a private clinician, working with individual choirs in Texas cities including Houston, Bryan, Irving, Brenham, and Fulshear. In 2015 she taught three classes at Pinnacle, the National Handbell Festival in Dallas, TX. That same year the Houston Chamber Ringers were invited to give the opening concert for the event. Sponsored by: Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!) srfLogo My Music Folders (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for “last column” or best pricing - usually reserved for bulk purchases only!) 18009657 10100785146152854 187971250 n