In his autobiography, Stirring My Soul to Sing, Overcoming ADHD through Song, W. Ian Walker, a trained arts administrator, musician, chorister, and choral conductor, recalls more than 40 years of his choral and performance career with some of North America’s greatest musicians and artists. His book tells the story of how a strong faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, combined with vocal and choral music became the cornerstone of his success in overcoming Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD) and related issues. Such as low self-esteem, depression, and a learning disability.
W. Ian Walker was identified as having a learning disability in the early 1970’s but was formally diagnosed with ADHD in 1997. At that time he undertook Christian counseling and delved into a study of ADHD to deal with these painful issues. His life story is one of overcoming many obstacles associated with this disorder – verbal abuse, school bullying, poor academic standing, employment instability, financial hardship and divorce. He also shares stories and events of a fruitful relationship with his second wife, his “blessed Elaine.” It has resulted in a happy second marriage of over sixteen years.
Ian has formed two companies: Emlian Music Group (2000) and Emlian Communications Group Inc. (2006). He holds a BA in theatre and film from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and a post-graduate certificate in fundraising and volunteer management from Humber College, Toronto. Ian is a recipient of the Imperial Oil Scholarship to the Banff School of Management, Development for Arts Administrators Seminar. In December 2010 Ian received the McMaster University Centennial Award from the McMaster Association for Part-Time Students (MAPS) for achieving a degree despite a learning disability and for his involvement with MAPS and other Hamilton arts and social service non-profit organizations.
In spite of his learning disability, throughout the 1990s Ian continued to pursue his dream of promoting the Christian contemporary music genre (CCM) to its Canadian and international audiences. He was involved in many projects with producing, writing and broadcasting for Christian television networks, and interviewing some of CCM’s legends – Sandi Patty, Ralph Carmichael, the late Andrae Crouch, Randy Stonehill, Phil Driscoll, Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Mark Lowry and Cindy Morgan.