WARWICK, NY – Monday, May 2, 2022: Sanfordville Elementary School fourth grader Ella Sisco Heller started taking violin lessons when she was just five years old. Turns out, that was too young. However, Ella is playing the violin again now, and she’s playing very well.
Ella recently scored 27 out of 28 points on her New York State School Music Association solo evaluation. She said she was honored to take part in the evaluation, which includes playing a piece of music, playing scales and sight-reading.
“I was really happy when my results came back,” Ella said. “I was really proud of myself.”
Ella also made her music teacher Keely Blaikner proud. Ms. Blaikner was the one who encouraged Ella to do the NYSSMA evaluation and to try out for all-county.
“This year Ella took on the opportunity of auditioning for the Elementary All-County orchestra,” Ms. Blaiker said. “The music was at a higher level than what she was accustomed to. With diligent practice, she prepared the music to the level where no one would have ever guessed it was above her level from the start. She rose to the occasion!”
Ella started taking violin lessons because she loved the way the instrument sounded.
“I heard the violin somewhere and said that sounds really pretty. I want to learn to play the violin,” said Ella, who also plays the piano. “I liked taking lessons when I was 5, and it was fun. But I just didn’t have enough time, so I had to take a break from it for a while.”
Ella started taking private lessons again when she was in third grade and still takes lessons every Tuesday after school. She tries to practice for 15-20 minutes almost every day.
“Ella is a natural leader and has displayed that many times this year in the fourth grade orchestra,” Ms. Blaikner said. “She is also a resilient individual who pushes to be better today and tomorrow at whatever she does than she was yesterday.”
Ella also enjoys art, which is not surprising since her mother, Nicole Sisco, is an art teacher at the WVMS. Ella likes painting with watercolors and oil pastels, sculpting with clay and drawing with colored pencils.
“Ella has such an artist’s mind,” Sanfordville art teacher Leah Mednick said. “She loves to draw and paint. Ella is meticulous and loves to pay attention to detail. She is constantly changing and refining her artwork. She’s always determined to do her best work!”
Outside of the classroom, Ella runs with the Warwick Track Club and takes golf lessons. She’s also playing the lead hyena in the Sanfordville production of “Lion King Jr.” on May 14th.
Although Ella enjoys art and music, she sees her career path going in a different direction. Ella wants to be a neurologist so she can help people like her mom, who has multiple sclerosis
“I’m just kind of very interested in the brain and how it works,” Ella said. “I think how it works is really cool.”