How Cover Songs Can Change Your Life

What can cover songs teach about finding your best path forward? Watch Barron Ryan explain how they helped him move past a harsh rejection, and how they can help you too. Barron Ryan has spent his entire career figuring out how to engage audiences with music almost no one listens to. He quickly realized that while classical piano and satirical hip-hop may be tough to sell, everyone loves a great story. Barron earned a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Oklahoma, but after getting rejected by all the graduate schools that might impress you, became determined to blaze his own trail with music in which—as he puts it—Classic Meets Cool. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Community & The Possibilities of Music

Singer-songwriter Nick Williams encourages you to think deeper about some of your favorite popular music. In this talk he shares historical examples of songs that have done much more than entertain; they’ve given a voice to underprivileged populations and brought people and cultures together. Nick Williams is a world blender. He is a singer-songwriter, and also currently a student at The University of Oklahoma College of Law. The son of a pilot and an artist, Nick grew up traveling, “culture steeping,” and (after seeing Jack Black’s School of Rock) playing guitar. A graduate of the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, Nick spent his undergrad years studying media forms of various countries, all the while playing through Box Talent Agency. His music has been licensed by shows such as Bill Nye Saves The World and The Real World, as well as The Discovery Channel, and will be featured at this year’s SXSW Festival. Nick enjoys a cup of oolong tea, sweaters, and the occasional Harry Potter relapse. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

A Violin Performance from Sarah Reid

Sarah Reid creates an ethereal performance using violin, modulation, and loop pedals.

Sarah has been playing the violin for sixteen years. She attended the University of Oklahoma as a violin performance major and now calls Norman, OK home. She loves to write music and play solo gigs in addition to joining other local musicians whenever she can. She makes music using violin, guitar, synthesizer, vocals, and a loop station. Sarah is also a baker and loves taking walks with her dog, Jesse.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

John Calvin’s TEDxOU Performance

John Calvin is a folk singer/songwriter from Norman, OK. Originally from the mountains and now living on the plains, John often writes about the spaces in between, losing, winning, and getting lost. Currently recording his new EP with Travis Linville, he continues to write and perform in the Norman/OKC Metro area with his band, the Cavalry, along with many other projects that involve forays into jazz and garage. A raw, young voice layered upon the moving melodies of the harmonica and fingerpicked acoustic guitar are characteristic of his style, but it doesn’t mean his songs don’t get rowdy and upbeat. John’s ability to show the audience that he is having just as much fun as they think he is having shines through with every performance. He graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and is now pursuing his music full-time, working on his upcoming release while performing weekly.

Buck & Clint Vrazel Use Improvisational Rap To Teach The Creative Flow

Twin brothers Buck and Clint Vrazel have been a driving force in the Oklahoma improvisational comedy and theater scene for over a decade. They are co-founders and co-Artistic Directors of OKC Improv, the state’s first professional improv showcase and learning institution, where they currently teach classes to children and adults across the metro and perform with several troupes including their nationally acclaimed duo act Twinprov.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Brine Webb’s Special TEDxOU Performance

Brine Webb wonders what makes life. What makes him alive and what makes him worth keeping alive? His songwriting seems to ask if humanity is a long list of redundancies, what can be done to ensure the nonredundancy of self? Webb wonders where he comes from and he wonders where he is going, but more importantly, he wonders how he lays into the scheme. In his music and his lyrics, one can hear Brine Webb being enthralled by the mystery of life, and as much as he seems to want to solve it and be at ease with it, he seems even more terrified by it.