This diary entry is part 29 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

So there are rehearsals pretty much every day now!!!

We had one today!!!

We got through the piece!  Even though we had to stop a couple of times because those darn clarinets couldn’t come in on time!  Haha!!!

It’s hard, though!  You can’t just doze off – you have to actively listen!  I even flubbed it once, but I managed to get back on time.  The conductor still stopped and said “Wanna try that again, Lily?”  I blushed, but got it the second time.  It really is a different experience with an orchestra!

Still needs a bit of polishing though.  I think it’ll be fine.

in other news, David is still in a lot of trouble, and so is his “girlfriend”.  Apparently the camp also called her parents, and they were signifiicantly more pissed off than Sabby was.  David will be lucky if he gets to use the restroom unsupervised now.  And she’ll be lucky if she gets to stay at camp, but I guess she’s still there for now.  Sabby and her parents are talking now.  They were being pretty civil, though – they’re not mad at each other, they’re mad at the kids.

I know I’m being a hypocrite because of Jack, but, I’m seventeen, and he’s eleven.  The calculus is a little different, I guess.

It really is kind of unfortunate that David gets in so much trouble.  Every time I talk about him he’s doing something or other stupid.  But, I guess that’s a boy.

I asked Sabby if we can go to the waterpark on Sunday.  She said probably, but we’re not skipping church.  Haha!!

Anyway, I’m tired and my fingers are a bit sore.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 28 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

And David’s in TROUBLE!!!

OMG kid never seems to learn!!!

So…  he got to his camp.  I guess he didn’t waste any time because they caught him and his “girlfriend” kissing.  Fortunately they didn’t do anything more than that, but the camp immediately called Sabby and she is PISSED.  She basically got him on the phone and told him that he’d better talk quick if he didn’t want her to come and pick him up right now, and he’d be lucky if his “girlfriend”‘s parents didn’t do the same.  I guess the counselors aren’t going to let him out of their sight now.

Kid’s 11!  I mean after all!!!

Sabby said she’d let him stay but if he pulled a stunt like that one more time she’d be coming to get him and he’d be so grounded he wouldn’t be able to leave his room – and she’d take his games.  I think she threatened to give them to a thrift store but I don’t think she’d actually do that.

Don’t tell David though!!!

So I practiced my fingers off today.  They had a rehearsal without me, so I just kept practicing.  We’ll have another rehearsal on Thursday, and then the dress rehearsal is Friday!!!  And Saturday is the concert!!!

I’m a little nervous actually.

But all I can do is practice!  And I’m doing it a lot!!!!

I played it for my piano teacher today and she said it’s really good.  She pulled out her music and accompanied me.  That was fun!!!

I’m over at Liz’s tonight.  No storms, but she’s a little more cuddly than usual anyway.  I wonder why.  Not going to complain, I love my warm Chinese doll!!!

Hahahah!!! She smacked me!!!  But… she doesn’t really put her heart in it.  I think she likes it, deep inside.

WAY deep inside, she just said.  Hahah!!!

Okay.  Goodnight.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 27 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

We had our picnic today!  It was so much fun!!!

I didn’t even practice!  Well… much.

So we pretty much took over a park, and everyone came!  Diana and her mother!  Crystal!  Allison and her parents!!!  There was all sorts of grilling and a lot of food and after everyone played games!  Like frisbee and tag and…  I think someone arranged a scrimmage for football!  Everyone had lots of fun!!!  Even Marie and Milo were running around playing with each other!

Allison looked so tired when they left.  I bet she slept in the car.

Anyway, that was fun.  I like holidays.  I want to go to the waterpark soon too, but I want to get through that concert first!!!  It’ll be a reward!!!

Oh and I didn’t mention, David went off to camp yesterday.  He’s really looking forward to it – especially seeing his “girlfriend”.  I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid, like, well… last time.  I hope that talk Sabby gave him took.

I told Ai about our picnic, and she was jealous.  But I was jealous about Golden Week, so it all balanced out.

Alright it’s late, and I’m tired, so I’m going to bed!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 26 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

So this morning I went to church.  You know, like usual.  This time, they talked about fallen soldiers and stuff.

I’ll be honest, I don’t get it.

I mean…  Jesus didn’t seem like much of a fighter, did he?

Oh well.  I guess death stinks no matter who dies.

But there were a few veterans in the audience, and the pastor thanked them, and talked about sacrifice and stuff.  I don’t really understand that topic, but…  I guess it’s good that they did what they believe in?

It seems to be important to Dave, too.  He’s never really told me why.

And I know my “benefactor” is pretty high up in the military too…

Ah well.

So after church I came home and went right to practicing again, and Jack came over with some chocolate!  Bless him!  And I don’t mean that in the sarcastic southern way!  I munched on some chocolate and then he listened to me practice.

He said I’m really good… he doesn’t know how to play anything like that.

I blushed a little.

He said it was hot.

I blushed a lot more.

He said he’s glad my fingers are strong.

I think I was radiating heat.


He seemed enraptured though, that was really sweet of him.  I’m sure I’ll feel the same once he figures out what he wants to do.

In fact, he even pointed out a couple of places where he thought something would sound better… and he was right!  Maybe he’s got an ear for it.

We’re also still preparing for the big picnic tomorrow.  It’s going to be lots of fun!!!  I may even not practice!  Oh who am I kidding, I’m gonna practice.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 25 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Today, we had our first real rehearsal.

And it was…  very interesting, actually.

So when I arrived they’d already been rehearsing for about an hour, and he introduced me (again), and said I was going to be the soloist.  And I sat down.  There was a lot of stopping and starting – sometimes he had some feedback for me, but mostly I was just along for the ride and helping them get used to playing with a soloist.

And it was such a different experience for me, too.  You remember last year when I accompanied Liz at her recital?  It was like that, but a lot louder.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  When the orchestra got going, they were almost overwhelming, but pianos are loud too.

We didn’t actually play all the way through any movement, but he kind of jumped back and forth through the music.  We mostly practiced making sure we were all in sync, that we had the cues right, and all that kind of thing.  He had me play all the way through the cadenza so they’d know when they were supposed to come in, and we went right through the coda, and… wow.  It’s so different with an orchestra.  And with several dozen people just patiently watching while you plow through a fairly technically complex part of the music.

But I think we can do this.

Afterwards, he asked me why I sounded different.  And I told him about yesterday, about what the concert pianist told me, and he sighed.  “I wish I could get that through to the orchestra”, he said.  “It could sound so much better, but they still haven’t figured out that it’s not about the notes.”

“Yesterday, he told me I’m seventeen, I know nothing,” I said, matter-of-factly.

He laughed.  “Well, I might have been a bit more tactful, but…  maybe a little less tact is the right thing.  We have another rehearsal without you, so… maybe I’ll use that.”

I giggled.

Next week we have a couple of rehearsals, and then the dress rehearsal is Friday.  I hope this works out.  I’d be so embarrassed if I screw this up.

Anyway, in more teenagery news, I stayed over at Liz’s last night, and we had some fun eating chocolate and playing board games.  She always decimates me at Scrabble, but I’m pretty good at some of the more chance based games.  I also rehearsed her piece with her and she’s coming along fine too.  I told her what the concert pianist told me and she just nodded.  “They’ve been telling me that since I was little, and I still haven’t entirely got it.  It’s the hardest thing about music.”

I guess they don’t tell you that, you really have to discover that for yourself.

Is it that way for everything you learn, really?  You don’t know how much you don’t know until you’re good enough to know how much you don’t know?  And only then do you start to become a master at it?

Maybe so.

We’re getting ready for the big picnic on Monday.  Everyone’s invited.  We’re going to commandeer a park.  We’ve actually invited most of the church, too.  We’ve got all sorts of grills lined up, several dad-types (including Dave and Crystal’s father) to do the grilling, and quite a few of the women are cooking up fixins’.  It’s going to be a thing.  I can’t wait.

I’m not going to the waterpark though until after the performance.  I’m not risking an injury.

Anyway.  Gotta go.  More practice tomorrow.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 24 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

And I’m a little depressed.  But…  not the bad kind.  Let me explain.

So today I asked my piano teacher for some help with the Schumann piece I’m working on.  I have the notes memorized, but… but it doesn’t feel quite right yet.  I’m not comfortable with it, if that makes sense.

So I went over to her house, and she introduced me to someone.  A concert pianist!  A real life concert pianist!  Not Martha Argerich or Wibi Soerjadi or Lang Lang, but if you guessed those, you’d be in that caliber!  So he sat me down and had me play.

I didn’t get past the first 30 bars or so when he stopped me.

“Lily,” he said, “What does this music mean?”

I was confused.  What was he talking about?  It was music.  I play it and it sounds good.  I think I play all the notes right and I’m okay with phrasing and stuff –

“No, Lily… what does it mean?  I mean, how does it make you feel when you play it?  Does each note fascinate you?  Do you listen to a specific note change and marvel at how good it sounds?  How old are you?”


“So young,” he said, almost wistfully.  “So young.  You know nothing.”

I guess a little offense must have shown on my face.

“Listen, Lily.”

And he played.  He played through the entire piece from memory.  And every few bars he’d stop and point out something I’d never noticed.  “Here, Lily, hear how this transitions from a D minor to an A minor, then a G minor?  Listen to how that E flat transitions” – and he just kept going.  Every single thing he pointed out seemed to excite him somehow.  “And here, in the cadenza, hear how the running passage moves from voice to voice – and that F suspending the chord, never letting it rest, as it builds tension -” and he just kept going.

Oh God.

So much I don’t know.  So much I don’t understand.  What am I doing?  What am I doing?  Why do I even think I can do this?

He asked me to play the cadenza, and I did, and I stopped halfway through and tears were running down my face.  It sounded so awful, so disjointed…  compared to him…

“You play well, Lily.  You really do.  But stop practicing the notes – you know the notes.  Start practicing the music.  Learn how it fits together,  Play again.”

And I did.  And again.  And again.  And each time, he kept pointing out how one note would transition to another, one voice would transition to another, and…  and I never quite got it, but I got closer.  It’s so… so much more involved and complicated than I thought.

Finally I just looked him.  “Can I even play this?  Should I even play this?”

“Of course!”, he said.  “It’s important that you do.  But use it.  Use it to learn, use it to understand, use it to be a musician instead of someone who plays the right notes.”

I thanked him for his time, he gave me his card, we left, and I was just shellshocked.  I felt like everything I thought I knew was just pulled out from under me.

And I sat down at the piano, and started over.  From the first note.

After a little while, Sabby came home from the shop, and heard me play.  She sat down and listened.  “Lily?”, she finally said.  “It sounds different.”

“Better?”, I said hopefully.

“Different,” she said.  It sounds like…  it sounds like you know what you’re playing now.”

And I burst into tears.

She was confused.

So was I, honestly.

I learned something today.  Something very important.

I learned the difference between being competent, and being a master.

I’m… a little competent.  He… he’s a master.

Maybe someday I can be a master.  At something.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 23 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

And I practiced even more today!!!  My fingers are worn out!!!  But I guess it needs to be done.  I’m starting to hear it in my sleep now.  I dreamt last night that I was up in front of hundreds of people, and forgot all the notes!!!


That was kind of a nightmare!!!

There was that E that the orchestra plays, and… nothing.

So of course I practiced a lot today.  Oh well.

Today was David’s last day of school!!!  He’s happy and looking forward to camp!!!  He wants to see his “girlfriend”.  Apparently the other “girlfriend” is really jealous but there’s nothing she can do.  I mean, she’s ten.  But she’ll get over it.  Even David just kind of shrugged.  The “easy come, easy go” was a bit much though, and Sabby scolded him for it.

As she should.  But, he’s eleven.  That, well, happens.  Dave and Sabby, however, took him into their room and had a very long talk with him.  He came out an hour later very red and wouldn’t look me in the eye.  Poor kid!  Haha!!!

Probably about that time, I guess.

Okay, I have more practicing to do tomorrow, and Friday nights are always for fun!!!  Marie wants to go to bed anyway.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 22 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! LLkojt

I mean, Lily!!!

My fingers are tired!!! I can’t type!!!

I practiced for six hours again today!!!

I spent one hour on eight bars!!!


But I’m getting a lot better!!! So there’s that!!!  Tomorrow I’m going back to see the conductor again.  The way he explained it to me is, I’m the soloist so I get to kind of be in charge, but it’s like a duet where I’m the piano and he’s the other instrument, so we have to work out what we’re going to do together.  It’s kind of fun!!!  But a LOT of work!!! This weekend I’m going to rehearse with the orchestra!

That cadenza is hard!  But sounds really cool!!!

He told me he’s not going to conduct me, because it’s disrespectful to conduct a soloist.  Good to know!

Sabby’s really getting tired of the piece, she said she’s starting to hear it in her sleep!  Hahaha!!!  I said that it’s kind of a part of my schooling, and she said she knows but it’s still a bit much, and I said it’ll be over soon.  I’m also rehearsing a little with Liz, because I have her recital again later.  And David’s heading off to camp next week!

So everyone’s got something going on, I guess.

Beth’s been doing a lot of stuff with her mentor.  She’s been teaching Beth some basic experiments and experimental protocol, and Beth says she didn’t know she didn’t know so much, but she’s really eager to learn.  I’m not sure she wants to do exactly what her mentor does, but she likes science, and says it’s more of a mindset than anything else.  Kind of like music, I guess!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to going to Japan in a couple of months!!! That’ll be fun!  Ai can’t wait too!!!  David wants to meet Hiroshi!!!

Maybe Hiroshi will teach him to be polite.

I don’t want to think about what he’ll teach Hiroshi.

Oh well.

Okay I have to sleep!  More practice tomorrow!!!

Love werotjyw !! ❤

This diary entry is part 21 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

HI! It’s me! Lily!

And I’m practicing like a madwoman!!!

The conductor gave me some really good tips so now I’m practicing and putting them into place, and trying to actually understand the music rather than just playing the notes.  That’s even harder than playing the notes!  He told he he’d been studying music for like thirty years and still doesn’t know everything.   I even asked the Texan Tinkerer guy because he plays piano too, and he told me to remember that all music is about context – notes are never by themselves but are shaped by the notes around them.  That’s really good advice!  He’s pretty smart, if a little… odd sometimes.

I mean, where do you think I got those animal hats I gave Allison?  Hahah!!!  He gave them to me when he moved.  He’s pretty nice.  Just odd.

So I’m spending almost all my time practicing now.  I think today I practiced like six hours.  I think Sabby’s getting really annoyed, but I told her that at least I’m taking it seriously, she bought me the piano, and if she doesn’t like it she can go bake something.  This seemed to both piss her off and make her proud of me, and that’s the weirdest facial expression.. haha!!!  But It old her that I’ll back off a little after the concert, and she just grumbled and went off to do Sabby stuff.

But anyway, I came up for air tonight.  Beth’s also practicing her singing, and David’s taken to wearing earplugs everywhere.  Hahah!!!  She wants me to accompany her at her first recital, and I said I would IF it’s after Liz and I do her recital because I’m getting all played out and one thing at a time.  She said it won’t be for a few months and she’d pay me a little.  I said she doesn’t have to pay me because I make plenty, but maybe she can do me a favor or two.

Anyway, my fingers are tired.

Monday is Memorial Day and we”re planning a HUGE picnic!!!  It’s so huge all the fathers are pooling their grills!  Haha!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 20 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 23 - May 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

Today I went down to the high school to meet with the music director!

I played through the concerto for him.  He thought I did a pretty good job, but showed me some places where I got the interpretation a little off.  But all in all, it went well.  Then he invited me to stay for his class,, and I sat in a corner and watched him rehearsing with the orchestra!  It was interesting, hearing the parts in person!

Then at the end, he wanted me to play with the orchestra just for a few measures just to see how it felt, and wow, it felt so weird.  I’ve been playing by myself for so long, it feels completely different with an orchestra plugging away in my left ear.  It’ll take some getting used to!

But at least school is over for the summer, at least at ACC, and their school year ends Thursday, so then we’ll have a LOT of time to rehearse.  I guess their orchestra, while it’s a class, is also kind of an extracurricular activity, and they’ll have a concert in June, even though their “real” classes have ended.  Gotta love music nerds, right?  Haha!!!

It’s actually nice seeing so many students my age actually dedicated to doing something.  I like it.

Oh, speaking of school being over, both Beth and I did pretty well.  I didn’t really mention our midterms and stuff because of so much other stuff going on, but we passed, and I guess that’s all that matters, right?  We’ll need to register for next year soon.  We’ve still got a lot of credits to go.  I’m kinda glad we did that, it’s working out pretty well.

After school’s out here (for people who aren’t me), I think we’re going to have a big end of school party!  With all the girls!  It’ll be fun!!!

Oh, Allison sent me a thank you card today for her present!  How sweet!  And she’s good at drawing too!!!  She drew me!  Even my floppy bits!  Haha!!!  But I hear Milo’s a bit sick.  Aww.  Hope he gets better.

Love you all!!! ❤