Musicians Aren't Hatched
Nobody had a bigger impact on the trajectory of my life than Miss Gause.
She was my fifth and sixth grade music teacher. She was not, it should be said, the kind of teacher who had a warm, fuzzy lifelong Mr. Chipsian teaching career, and she made some dubious choices (like the three and a half hour music program she put on one year). But she did not let the boys sitting in the back being too cool for singing simply drone-mumble away, but confronted us in sometimes-agonizing moments of demanding that we actually listen to the pitch and try to match it. The year before her arrival, I took the usual music aptitude test used to screen students for an instrument and flunked. The next year, I qualified. 
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