by Aria Taboada, Metro Music Makers instructor
Anyone who is passionate about their trade can think of that person... that one person who was able to inspire you so much and had a lasting impression on you. All of us should have a great role model to look up to when times get tough and we just feel like quitting.
For me, the person who comes to mind is my middle/high school violin teacher. I found her through the music store where I bought my first "expensive" bow for my violin. I asked them if they knew any good violin teachers, and her name was the first one to come up.
The interesting thing about first impressions is that it is not always about the talent and the skill of that person that stands out. The first thing that I noticed about her was her warm personality and her excitement to help me improve. Sure, she was very talented at her trade, but honestly that wouldn't have even mattered.
All throughout my middle and high school years, she was my mentor. Maybe she didn't know she was that for me, but I could see a genuine interest in me as a person, as well as my musical growth. As an adult now, I can still attribute much of my growth in music to this person, as well as my spiritual growth. She is still a great friend to me and means so much to my life.
You also may be someone's mentor without even realizing it. It's important to work in a field that you enjoy, because people are perceptive and can tell if you love what you do and if you genuinely care about them. In your journey, whether it be musical or otherwise, look for every opportunity you can to inspire your fellow humans.
And be sure and reach out to the mentors in your own life — whether they know it or not — and thank them for the influence they had on you!