The other day, while I was just finishing my first lap of power walking around Waughop Lake, I was chatted up by a gentleman who I had encountered about ten minutes earlier. After another lap in lively discussion, I came away with some huge inspiration and signed copies of three mind-blowing books. The gentleman I had just met, was musician, author, life coach (and so much more) Bruce Brummond.
Within the first hundred feet I learned that Bruce had just sent another book to the printer. I asked him what kind of books he wrote. The answer lasted the rest of the lap and went another half an hour outside our pick-up trucks in the parking lot. And it was absolutely thrilling. Because it all started with Bruce, as a band conductor at Peninsula High School, suddenly finding himself filling the shoes of the school’s choir director. He had very limited experience in that field and with concerts and competitions coming up, he was pretty much left to his own devices. After falling in love with his brief stint with choirs, he switched from band director at Peninsula to becoming the Choir Conductor at Clover Park High School and, eventually, Director of Fine Arts of Clover Park School District (CPSD). The band director turned choir conductor, turned full-time district administrator was drawn back to conducting choirs when he was offered the choral position at Stadium High School. This provided the opportunity to apply the teaching techniques he had been sharing for years with educators in CPSD.
Now imagine the Stadium Choral department expanding by three hundred percent in a very short time with high school kids who had never sung before with all the fright in their bones that public singing might involve. It was then that Bruce started his unique approach to creating confidence or what he calls “character building.” “The kids learned that TRY means To Respect Yourself, they learned to be NICE – Never Insult, Compliment Everyone.” As they say…the rest is history! Bruce’s choirs have performed far and wide, including radio and a multitude of TV specials.
Today he is a music educator retiree, a much-sought motivational speaker and what I’d call life coach. One of his books that sprang from his educational experience is “Acronyms Building Character. The ABCs of Life – Love Is For Everyone.” You get the gist of Bruce’s teaching method. It’s easier to remember something if it is fun to remember and if it makes sense.
Of course, this first book is applicable to adolescents and adults. In the end it is about learning self-respect and respecting others for a better growth of team and thereby easier approach to success. It is an appeal to embrace your being and your surroundings with all your senses. Shortly after developing this all-encompassing book filled with hundreds of words defined by their acronyms, anecdotes, and inspiring insights in the mechanisms of human networking, Bruce created a connecting workbook with exercises for the mind. Can’t wait to try that out myself!
Only last year, Bruce published “BULLY- Being Unfriendly Lessens Liking You”, a book that has received great responses from students, parents, and school districts. It’s another book of insights and exercises on human togetherness. And it triggered another book from which Bruce Brummond emerged only recently. “HOOKED On Addiction? Habitual Overuse Often Kills; Escape Dependency” is his latest book targeted to people of all ways of life, that want to support a way out of addiction. Information regarding purchasing his books and/or online courses is available at (www.learningcharacter.com).
After 14 years of writing four books, developing seventeen narrated online learning courses, speaking at countless business meetings, coaching company teams, sharing his materials in jails and prisons, appearing on radio and TV programs, Bruce was taking a deep breath as he walked around Waughop Lake with me, sharing with me his astonishing life story. Waiting for his galleys, he was obviously still in the afterglow of producing his latest book. And his kind and mindful thoughts sparked some ideas for projects of mine.
You don’t meet people like Bruce Brummond if you are walking around with plugs in your ears, eyes fixed on a smartphone screen. You don’t meet any people by burying yourself in technology. In other words: CONNECT – Cease Operating Nonsensical Networks, Create Ties. Yes, that acronym is very much my own. It took me a while to find a useful word with a “t” at its beginning. I admire Bruce’s tenacity for not just creating hundreds of acronyms, but to knit them together to meaningful books that are meant to create a more humane world.