Ella Discovers a New Talent for Songwriting

Michael Casten avatar

by Michael Casten |

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Music helps us to express our feelings, dreams, and aspirations. Ella has been to several Young Naperville Singers rehearsals and is loving it more and more. She can’t wait to get there and doesn’t want to leave when the session is over.

One evening, my wife, Lindsay, and I were sitting outside on our back stoop, catching up on the day’s happenings and taking time to relax. Ella came over in her power wheelchair, gripping a piece of paper. She stopped in front of us and announced that she had written a song. She asked if we wanted to hear it. We said yes and got ready to listen to her performance.

Ella’s voice was in perfect pitch as she sang her song titled, “I’m Free.” It was a beautiful song that incorporated elements of rhyme and rhythm. When she’d finished, Lindsay had tears in her eyes. We clapped enthusiastically as Ella smiled and took a bow.

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We hadn’t realized that Ella was interested in writing songs, but she showed her degree of dedication to her singing journey at that moment. Following our discovery of her new talent, we wanted to support her musical development. We went online and found a songwriting book titled, “I Am Your Songwriting Journal.” The book has composing tips and space for lyrics, notes, and ideas. It even has a pocket for pencils and paper. When we gave Ella the book, she screeched with delight. Her excitement grew as she turned the pages.

She keeps her book in a special place. She sings and hums while moving around the house. We encourage her to write in the book, telling her that she needs to nurture her musical talent. 

We knew that being in a choir would allow Ella to express herself through music. But we hadn’t realized that she has a talent for songwriting. As she develops as a singer, we hope that her love of music grows, too. We want her to use the book to express her thoughts and feelings. We hope that someday she will perform her songs for the world.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


Laura avatar


Always great to find a passion and talent and nurture it. So Happy for Ella and all of you that she has this path to follow and ways to develop it!


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