Summer Camp: Music Lesson with Birdy

Finch’s share of the conversation provided by his Simmer, Caitlin.
For more great stories by Caitlin, including A Musical Legacy, visit Simmerworld.


CT: Finch, I’m so happy that we get to work on music together. I love music–and, knowing that you come from A Musical Legacy, I realize that you love music, too!

Finch: Yeah, I first got inspired to start playing music when my mum played one of my all-time favourite pieces, Hungarian Dance No.5. I love it because it’s so upbeat and lively.


CT: I love that piece! It gets so exciting! So gypsy! So, Finch, when you play a piece of music, what do you hope to express?

Finch: Well I like to express my feelings and let myself flow away with the music. Sometimes I just get absorbed in the music.


CT: Me, too! One of my favorite feelings is when I feel like the music is coming from inside of me, and I sort of disappear, and all that’s left is the music. I love that feeling. Do you have a favorite composer?

Finch: No, I have quite a lot of favourite tunes, but I don’t really have a favourite composer. Do you?


CT: Oh, absolutely! I feel that Bach is a god of the universe–it’s as if he is music. So I set him in his own category. Then, when it comes to all the other composers, I would say that, while Iove Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, Brahms is my personal favorite. Whenever I hear or play music he’s composed, I feel that I understand it. I feel that the experience and emotions that Brahms is expressing are ones that I’ve had–like our hearts beat in the same rhythm. I am slowly learning to play a few of Brahms’ piano pieces. They’re SO hard! And one of my lifetime goals with cello is to be able to play a Brahms cello sonata. That would be amazing.

What are your music goals?


Finch: I don’t really have any goals but I like to play more difficult pieces that get harder and harder so that I can get better at my violin.

CT: That’s a very good approach. And I’ve looked at your repertoire. It seems progressive. So you’re on a good track to make continual progress!

With my music, I feel like my biggest challenge is to bring my technique up to the level where I can express what I want to express. What do you feel is your biggest challenge?


Finch: I feel that my biggest challenge is to just let it flow. When I play I stop at every little bit wrong and work on it till it’s perfect. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

CT: Ah. Sometimes that can be useful, to go back and make corrections. One approach I like to take is to practice the challenging passages over and over and over again until they become the easiest part for me. There are ways of breaking apart passages and playing in different rhythms and with different bowings that can also help to make the challenging parts more comfortable.

Sometimes, when I’m playing through a piece–especially Bach–I will simply keep playing, even if I make mistakes. Then, after I’ve played through, I’ll work on those specific places that were challenging.

Let’s play for each other! Then we can share our responses.  What will you play?

Finch: I’ll play my favourite piece: Hungarian Dance No.5 by Johannes Brahms.



CT:  That was so vivacious! You really captured that gypsy spirit, and your play did flow nicely from passage to passage! Plus, you’ve got the best bow angle! I can really learn a lot from your bowing technique.

Ok, I’ll play the Aria from the Goldberg variations for you. I love it because it’s so lyrical and so slow.



Finch: Wow, Cathy I really enjoyed that. Could you teach it me so I can show my parents when I get home? I know. I have an idea for Joel and his cupcakes. We could form a camp band with me and you playing the violin, River and Joel playing the guitar and Chiyo playing the piano.

CT: That’s a great idea! You know, we’ve got that weenie roast coming up on our last night, so maybe we could perform a concert!

Finch, what’s wrong? You’ve got a scowl. Are you worried about something?

Finch: You know those kids, Emelia and Free-John and Amina Wolff?


CT: Yeah, sure I do.

Finch: Well, the day before I came here I saw them in the park. I ran up to them and asked if they were ok, and they said they were, and they were having an adventure. They also told me to say to you that they are ok, and if you could pass it on to everyone who’s worried that they’re ok. I was afraid to tell you because I wasn’t sure if you’d be angry that I didn’t tell them to come back.

CT: Oh, Birdy! I could never be mad at you! That’s the silliest thing I’ve heard!

Cathy Tea

CT: Ok… You see, Finch, you know how you feel when you know that somebody always means to do the best thing? Well, that’s how I feel about you! And about Free and Em and Amina Wolff, too. I trust you!


CT: So I know that if you didn’t tell them to come back, it’s because you felt that was the right thing to do at the time. I’ve got a feeling that those three need to do this adventure this summer. And I’ve also got a feeling that the great gods of Maxis will keep them safe. They’ll make it home when the time is right, and they’ll be all the better for this wild escapade.


CT: Thanks for telling me they’re ok, Finch. You’re a great kid and a great musician, too!