Started at 9 years old in 4th grade. I also tried to join a community band the following summer, but the director said I was too young to play. So, I joined a different one. Funny thing was, I went to a summer institute run by his brass group, and he was amazed that I could sightread better than him. I'm only 18. It was pretty funny. I said, "yup, that's what happens when you start early, and play in a community band all the time." Started out on my old Holton Collegiate, then got another one, then got a Benge 90B for nearly free, then just kept collecting more. Once you start, you just can't stop.