Guitars at Hobby Day

The Fountaindale Public Library District will be hosting its Second Annual Hobby Day on Sunday, January 24th from 2 pm to 4 pm (at the Bolingbrook facility). It’s a showcase for our staff to show off the hobbies that they love when they’re away from the library. 

As a lead-up to the big day, we’re going to share biographies of our staff and a little description of their hobbies from time to time.  Now we’re going to learn from Brian Smallwood, the Audiovisual Librarian, about his hobby of playing the guitar:


One of my favorite hobbies is playing the guitar.  I love to compose songs and randomly play.  I find it to be both relaxing and satisfying.  There are times I like to entertain my family and friends and play other people’s songs.  You can almost say my learning to play guitar was a happy accident.  No one from either side of my family played guitar or any instruments, as a matter of fact. 

In middle school, one of the electives I had was music.  I have always been an avid and eclectic music fan.  I feel, without music, my life would be incomplete.  I listen to music via CDs or records.  I devour them like some people do reading books, watching movies, or their favorite television programs.  I always start my day listening to music and usually end it that way as well. 

In my music class, one of the activities we had was  playing the guitar.  I would come in every day before everyone else in class and would just play for fun, even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  My teacher, Mr. Dewar, would see me and give me the day’s lesson and quickly I would play it back for him.  I did this for days when finally one day before class started he asked me how long I had been playing for.  I looked at him with some surprise and said, “Since this class started, why?”  At that he almost leapt out of his skin.  He couldn’t believe it!  “You mean you don’t play at home?  You don’t have a guitar?  The first time you ever played was in this class?!”  I replied, “Yes.”  He told me I was “a natural” and that I “needed to get a guitar – fast”. To prove his point, he showed me how I was done with the ten lessons with all rows checked on the chart, and how everyone else was still only on their third lesson.   It hadn’t really sunk in and it really wouldn’t for many years to come.  Mr. Dewar had me practice guitar for fun(!)  in his office while everyone else did lessons.  It was a turning point in my life and a moment I will never forget.  I eventually took Mr. Dewar’s advice and got a guitar and haven’t looked back ever since!

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