Gary Doherty, author of The Ignition Point

Ignition_PointGary Doherty is spearheading a conversation that is long overdue, particularly in the field of music education. We were introduced at Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic by mutual friend Cam Stasa (who gets an associate producer credit for this episode). After just a few moments with him, I knew that Gary Doherty could speak with authority on the importance of self-care and wellness for music educators (and volunteers!) as someone who had spent thirty years in the trenches of music ed and performance, and paid the price.

[Tweet “He looked at me and he said, “Within 12 months you’ll be dead. THEN who’s gonna take care of the students?” #musiced”]

In this episode, Gary talks about his own personal “ignition point,” how to recognize your own, and even how to create one for yourself or someone you love. He talks about what came next on his journey, and how his relationship with food has changed. We cover the paleo lifestyle, the slow food movement, and his adult beverages of choice, influenced by his secondary career as a mixologist.

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About the book

“Mr. Doherty, everything that could be wrong with your lab work is….If you do not radically change your behavior and lifestyle, you’ll be dead within twelve months.”

So began my personal journey, my ignition point toward better health and a more fulfilling lifestyle. My journey is everyone’s journey. Design your own self-fulfilling prophecy for a better life by taking personal responsibility for every aspect of your life.

You need to find your ignition point!


Gary Doherty

About Gary Doherty

William Gary Doherty is an eclectic educational leader with an uncompromising commitment to dynamic and state-of-the-art educational programs and events.  He’s been blessed in his experience to work with the iconic names of the educational profession, as an educator, administrator, non-profit executive director and wind conductor. Mentors include Dr. Tim, Lautzenheiser,  Harry Wong, Madeline Hunter, H. Robert Reynolds, and Frederick Fennell. I am a dedicated, life-long learner with commensurate skills that encompass an educational presence unique in the industry today.  I have developed educational programs in middle schools, high schools, universities, and international non-profit organizations. In addition, I have presented more than 100 workshops and clinics at educational gatherings in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Florida, New York, California, Arizona, London, Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Mexico City. Topics include:  “Technology in the Classroom,” “Developing Grant-writing as a Means of Support,” and “Building Leaders Inside Your Team.”  In 2011 he was honored by the US Army and the National Association for Music Education as the first recipient of the National Band Director of the Year Award. In 2012, he was named the Indy Star’s “Most Influential Educator in Indiana.”  Published in January 2015, the first of three books, The Ignition Point: Striking the Match, chronicles Gary’s personal journey and experiences in the urban schools of Indianapolis, Indiana.





The Ignition Point on Facebook

Listen to the episode to get Gary’s email address! (51:44)

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Kathleen Heuer

Kathleen Heuer is the host of Marketing Music Education, the podcast that encourages music educators & boosters to increase the reach, influence and “relentlessly positive” perception of their programs. By day she is a social media & digital marketing consultant, content strategist, community manager, and graphic designer for Broken Chord Communications, working primarily in the field of music education. Married to an engineer she met while she was in college marching band, she’s a proud band and orchestra parent twice over. You can check out her website at and follow her on Twitter at @KathleenHeuer.

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