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Today rsc and I went to see/hear spwebdesign's voice lesson with David Pollard. Pollard is a well-known faculty member at Guildhall (in London) that he's been studying with him for several years. It was quite interesting to witness a lesson having some experience as a voice student myself and seeing the different approach and the effect it has on the singer. The piece being worked on was O Tod from Brahms' Vier Ernste Gesänge. There was a lot of discussion about some adverse criticism Derek had received from some other of his peer students in another voice class and Pollard gave a lot of helpful advice about some of the possible reasons for the criticism which included the idea of not necessarily trusting criticism from peer students who are in some sense in competition. Mt interpretation was that a big point was the idea of always learning a piece at least a month before performing it and presumably practicing it a lot during that interval because otherwise the brain spends too much effort on detailed technique issues instead of actually singing the piece.

Later the three of us went out for dinner at a nice Belgian restaurant with chrishansenhome, dangtri, and HWMBO. Robert ordered raspberry beer jelly for dessert - it was accompanied with pear beer sorbet; there was no discernible beer flavor although when I tried it I did get a raspberry seed stuck in my teeth - one of the things I don't like about some raspberry foods.

Today has been raining a lot, although never too hard. Tomorrow we are going to the Tate Modern and some other yet-to-be-determined tourist destinations. And then on Wednesday we're off to Africa.