Ok, here's mine. When I was about 6, I watched the annual parade in our town. I always wanted to be in one of those marching bands after that day. I would even try to follow them and march behind them until my parents stopped me. Eventually, I got to the age of beginning band for our program. The high school band director came in the room and called for anyone who wanted to be in band, and I was the first one out the door to try. At first, he was just formal and nice, and I tried out a couple of instruments. I wanted to be a drummer SO bad, but I just wasn't cut out for it. He said I could play sax or trombone. I wanted the sax, but my dad just wouldn't buy one for me. He said he could get me a trumpet (an old Yamaha student model for $100), so that's what I played. It wasn't even in my top five choices, but the trumpet was for me. Over the years, I got to know Mr. Weller, the band director, better and better. He was really nice and supportive, and he told me I should practice more, I would get better. So I toiled away grudgingly and made it to first chair by 8th grade. He said he thought I would be a soloist in high school, and I practiced even more, this time with much more enthusiasm. I loved trumpet playing, and Mr. Weller was there for encouragement every step of the way. I couldn't pass the seniors in freshman year, so I was stuck in fifth chair. He told me not to get frustrated because I was not on first part, but I could barely stand it. Those meaningless (or so I thought) 2nd and 3rd parts did a number on me, but I kept putting in that practice time at home. Finally, after months of trial and error, I hit that glorious high C in the second half of my freshman year. I was hooked, and there would be no turning back. I got better, and then he told me he was retiring after sophomore year. I was just devastated; he was by far my favorite teacher ever, and he was leaving. I used to come in his office every morning and talk for 30 minutes about music and stayed 30 minutes after school to talk or duet with him. He was leaving, but he promised I'd see him again. So it was my junior year, and the new guy was not high on my like list. (for lack of better terms) Then Mr. Weller called me and said he'd be offering private lessons. I never had a private lesson until November of last year when he called. We still get together and he teaches me theory and everything. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't still be playing, or I wouldn't care half as much as I do now. I owe my life's ambission and my most prized attribute to that man, and I could never repay him.