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The London Quartet
         
Cantabile   Cantabile   Gyles Brandreth and Harry
         
         

April 14th 2014

James

Barnes Music Festival 2014

I meant to write a second blog last month but never got round to it which is why this article about the Barnes Music Festival is almost a month after the event.

We were fortunate to be able to get tickets for the opening night at which Cantabile, the London Quartet, were singing at St Mary's Church. The last time that Mary and I heard this wonderful group was several years ago at St Paul's School although we look back on that evening with some embarrassment as they chose to serenade us with 'Are you lonesome tonight'. We were delighted, therefore, when, on this second occasion, they did the same to Gyles Brandreth and his wife. Gyles Brandreth, as one of the Festival Patrons, had been asked to introduce Cantabile and, as you might expect, he did this with great humour.

The evening included a moving performance of 'Dirge for Two Veterans', a poem by Walt Whitman put to music by Gustav Holst, which was sung by Cantabile and Motley Croon from St Paul's School, accompanied by brass and percussion instruments played by Paulines, including Harry on trumpet.

The concert was 'live-streamed' and it is from this that the following short video of Gyles Brandreth discussing the evening with Daniel Turner, the Musical Director at St Mary's Church and the artistic Director of the Festival, and two Paulines, one of them Harry, has been taken.

 

Clichés in Medical Education

I have added another of the articles written on medical education by my late father-in-law, Ian Roddie, which you can read by clicking here. It is a piece that was published in several parts in the Lancet in 1984 in which he takes issue with oft-repeated opinions expressed by acquaintances and colleagues regarding medical student teaching. I am sure that you will not be too surprised to see that, forty years later, the same opinions are still regularly voiced.

I cannot disagree with much of what Ian wrote although I do wonder at this comment when discussing the importance of learning anatomy:

Finally, learning anatomy provides good practice for the brain to store large amounts of information and teaches the student the mental tricks and strategies for doing this. We do not have to fear that if we learn too much anatomical detail there will not be room for anything else. The mind seems to have a virtually limitless capacity to store information and the more it is exercised the more proficient it seems to become.

That may be true for young, fresh medical students but age has exacted its toll on my 'little grey cells'; I feel that they reached their capacity some time ago and, as much as I try to exercise them, they leak new and old information at an alarming rate.

 

 





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