Gym teacher Shaun Fennell shares his secret hobby

Although many students tend to think their teachers do not have a life outside of school, often times teachers have interesting, and unexpected hobbies and talents. The majority of teachers also do not tell their students their secret passions.

Take gym teacher Shaun Fennell, for example, who plays the drums in his free time. Fennell has been playing for a while.

“I have been playing the drums on and off since I was about 5 years old,” Fennell said.

Any musician will say they have a reason or overall inspiration as to why they play music and why they chose the instrument they play. Sometimes, a musician’s inspiration is based off of personal experiences or important people in their lives.

“I started playing the drums because my dad was in a band and music was always on in my house,” Fennell said. “We had drums in our basement since the day I was born and have just always been interested in them.”

Playing an instrument is a lifelong skill. Being able to play an instrument will never be unneeded.. There will always be a need for people who can play instruments.

Fennell also said he was inspired and likes to play the drums because he “will be able to do it [his] entire life, unlike playing football or baseball.”

There are a vast amount of people who are inspired by music to express themselves, so they can express themselves. Most musicians say the only way they know how to express themselves is through playing an instrument.

“I just love that people can express themselves through music,” said Fennell.

Being in bands is common amongst musicians. When a performer is in a band, they often tend to improve often because they practice frequently.“I have never been in a band but would love to one day play at least one song live on stage. Mostly I just play as a hobby to relieve stress and have fun. A buddy of mine who plays the guitar and I have played together. We learned a couple of Metallica songs and can play them pretty good,” said Fennell.

Although being in a band is not necessary, without being in a band, someone can still be a musician and enjoy doing what you do.

Fennell also said, “I would like to eventually be in a band but it is not something that I need to do. I am satisfied just playing every now and then in my basement as a hobby.”

Some players choose to stick to a certain instrument and focus on it. While musicians can play multiple instruments, not all do.

“When I was in fifth grade I played the trumpet, but was bored with it and that’s when I first started taking drum lessons. Like I said before, the drums were always around growing up. I would hear my dad play and I just loved the sound and the beats. I never really had an interest in any other instrument,” said Fennell.

A musician’s style is the genre or type of music they play the majority of the time. Normally a musician is known for their special style that is usually unique to that specific individual and their style cannot be found anywhere else.

“My favorite thing to play is a hard rock song or just creating my own beats,” said Fennell.

Musicians’ styles are often based off their favorite band or artist, song, and genre of music they enjoy listening to. Not only do musicians get their style off of their favorite music inspirations, musicians often pick styles that fit what they like to play.

“My favorite band growing up was Metallica and Nirvana they were really big in my high school days. My favorite song of all time would have to be One by Metallica. I used to listen to only hard rock growing up. Now as an adult, I listen to many different genres and I am finding new artists that I really like. Right now I am really into Reggae Rock and just recently went to a concert to see one of my new favorite bands,” said Fennell.

The longer someone has been playing a certain instrument, and with the proper amount of practice given, the better the musician will likely be. Although the number of years been playing does not always determine how good someone is at playing that particular instrument.

“I’ve taken lessons on and off for about five years. Some when I was younger and some as an adult. Most recently was about three years ago but I had to stop because my first son was born and we started to get really busy as a family. I do plan on taking lesson [again] in the near future,” said Fennell

Even though quantity does not always mean better quality, it often relies on how much the musician practices.

“I would label myself as an okay drummer. I can play pretty much anything as long as I have the time to practice. At this point in my life, I am pretty rusty because I have not played or practiced in a few years, just because I am very busy being a father and husband,” Fennell said.

While being a musician full time and attempting to go professional takes dedication, and luck to succeed in, most musicians have a “backup” career or an average job. Most musicians work normal, everyday jobs during the week, and come home and play their instruments on the weekends.

“In order to be a professional drummer, your entire life would be playing the drums. Growing up I was interested in many different things, like sports, and did not practice or have the drive to dedicate my life to becoming a professional.” Fennell said.

Playing an instrument is not the easiest thing to do, so many admire musicians for that reason. Some students realize how difficult it is to master certain instruments, and admire Fennell for being able to play the drums as well as he does.

“I feel that it’s really cool that he is a drummer, and that means he has great upper body strength,” sophomore Andrew Rodgers said.

Students who are just finding out about Fennell’s unknown hobby are blow away and completely shocked Fennell had not told anyone about his hobby. Fennell’s students had no idea he could play the drum and they completely love it that he plays the drums.

“Fennell’s secret hobby is the most amazing thing ever. That just raises his rank on the best teacher ever chart,” sophomore Kayla Haren said.


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