I started playing the Piano in 2nd grade and then the French Horn in 5th. I stuck with both through high school and enjoyed the perks which included fostering a general love for music as well as band trips to New York and Georgia. When Christian got to 4th grade, he told us he just wanted to sing in chorus and we were fine with that. His music teacher Mr. Frederick was outstanding and encouraged an appreciation for music that he still has to this day. Because Christian was involved in a variety of sports and other activities, I figured it would be okay to not add an instrument to the mix.
However, Ellee was different. When she got her list for potential band or orchestra instruments, she was so excited. She carried it around as she dreamed of what instrument she would get. She was delighted when she was assigned the violin. We too were excited for her and thought it might just be a good fit for our sweet girl.
God graciously provided a beautiful violin for Ellee, borrowed from our wonderful neighbors, the Skarkas. It had belonged to their daughter Luisa and they were happy that Ellee would be able to use it. We were so thankful. Ellee was so excited about it that when she got it insisted on carrying it around with her everywhere she went that day. I have a picture of her on my phone with it while she was browsing the candy aisle at Rite Aid. To this day, it always makes me smile.
We were also blessed at the end of the summer to have our amazing friend Steven come and give Ellee a few introductory lessons. He played the violin and it was so fun to watch him pass his love and passion for it to Ellee as he patiently taught her all the basics of what she would need to know.
All that being said, Ellee started in the Orchestra this fall and it’s been such a great experience for her. She has an amazing teacher, Ms. Sico and she has been learning so much. A quick story about Ms. Sico… A few weeks ago we were debating possibly pulling Ellee out of orchestra. She was missing key lessons in class when she was pulled out for group lessons and we were conflicted. So I reached out to Ms. Sico with our concerns. And she was absolutely amazing. She offered to have Ellee come in early to get lessons before school and this is what we’ve done and it’s been working out wonderfully. I thought it was so kind of Ms. Sico and Ellee was so happy that she would get to continue in orchestra.
It’s so important to help our kids find their gifts and talents. It’s been so fun seeing Ellee try new things this year and so far she is really loving the violin. So much in fact that she gave me a personal concert the other night, complete with a beautiful new dress up dress from our friend Ms. Kathi.
And much to my delight as I sat there listening, I realized that our daughter can play the violin as well as read music beautifully (for a first year student that is). It was sheer joy for my heart watching her as she played and she was equally delighted and proud of all that she has accomplished so far.
And this would be the beginning of Ellee’s violin story. Thank you to the many people who helped to get everything started for her. We are hoping for many more chapters and years to come as our daughter figures out her gifts and passions, especially when it comes to music.