Xlibris Publishing introduces T.D. Hollins, author of Diary of a Mad Band Director.
Please briefly describe your book.
In Diary of a Mad Band Director, I tell the story of a music educator’s journey toward achieving true overall happiness. I describe childhood experiences that built my character, and adult experiences that shaped my career. I provide step-by-step advice for a band director from the moment of signing of the contract, until the first days of meeting the students.
Who is the author “behind” the book?
With over 20 years of music related experience, and 17 years as an instructor, I have taught instrumental music at elementary, middle, high schools, and collegiate levels. I not only served as the conductor for the symphonic, marching, and jazz ensembles but I also taught courses in music education, history, technology, and applied euphonium. I have also served as guest clinician and adjudicator for many marching and concert band festivals throughout Southeastern U.S. I grew up in rural South Carolina town in a single parent home and began playing piano at age 8. I joined band in middle school and decided to devote my life to building band programs and teaching students in urban school environment.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject and style?
This is my first book, but I have written stories. I wrote “musical stories” via my music arrangements and marching band show designs.. In addition I have a passion for teaching and helping people succeed which led me to begin writing. This book. My passion for “learning musical instruments” began at a young age. My passion for teaching students began in college. My passion for directing bands led me to become a director. When I became a director, I faced many obstacles and frustrating moments that led to some incredibly tough situations. Some of those situations could have been avoided if I had a little more guidance. This book is to tell my story while providing some tips of how to live a better life as a music educator.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I was initially inspired after a bad encounter at one of my jobs. My contract wasn’t renewed and it really affected my family and my mental an emotional health. No job that I’ve ever had gave me standard operating procedures that were “band” specific. And so I was inspired to develop my own so that any director that was hired after me would be able to walk in and not totally reinvent the wheel. While writing it seemed a bit boring so I decided to be a little more transparent and tell the stories of my experiences. It took me about 4 years to finish it.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
Band teaches more than music. It teaches essential life skills like discipline, professionalism, decorum, and leadership skills. Secondly, you never know someone’s internal struggle. Because you see someone appearing happy on the outside, or you see an organizations final project, there could be some real issues happening internally. I hope that administrators that supervise band directors will understand how dynamic and demanding our role is and how our passion can be destroyed due to burnout, stress, and trying to validate our positions and our worth. I hope that aspiring music educators read this and gain some incite about the realities of teaching, so that they won’t make the same mistakes that I did. The key to living a “sound” life and career as a music educator is in this book.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
The book will be a series. I also have supplementary materials that can accompany this book.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
I’m planning a Book Signing, on Saturday September 15, 2018. I will also be leaking it to my band network, professional music educator’s organizations, and personal social media sites.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Xlibris?
Clear communication and quick turn around.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just start writing. If you have a story tell it. It may inspire someone who is experiencing a similar issue. And it is a very therapeutic process. If I don’t sale one copy the feeling of completion was worth it. I have a body of work that will be here after I’m gone. Good Luck on your journey to live a sound life.
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