How You Do What You Do Matters!

First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” Charles C. Nobel

Imagine your brain is a garden, except instead of growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, you grow synaptic connections between neurons. When you learn lots of new things, your brain builds connections, but they’re inefficient, impromptu connections. Your brain needs to prune a lot of those connections away and build more streamlined, efficient pathways. It does that when we sleep. Researchers are just starting to unravel this mystery, but what they do know is the synaptic connections that get used less get a marker, and your brain cleans itself out when you sleep–your brain cells shrinking by up to 60% to creating space for your gardeners to come in take away the waste and prune the synapses. And in fact, you have some control over what your brain decides to delete while you sleep. They say that if you spend a bit of time just before going to sleep, letting the brain know what habits/thoughts, you want gone it helps the weeding process and it’s these synaptic connections that you don’t use that get marked for recycling. However, the ones you do use are the ones that get watered and oxygenated. So be mindful of how you do what you do when you are practicing, auditioning, performing and presenting your personal brand. It does matter how and what you’re thinking about. Avanti!

Carol Kirkpatrick

For as long as she can remember, singing and performing have always been in Carol Kirkpatrick’s blood. From her beginnings in a small farming town in southeastern Arizona, through her early first-place triumph at the prestigious San Francisco Opera Auditions, and subsequent career on international stages, Ms. Kirkpatrick has thrilled audiences and critics alike. “A major voice, one worth the whole evening.” (The New York Times) Since retiring from the stage, she continues to be in demand as a voice teacher, clinician, and adjudicator of competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Combining her knowledge of performance, business, and interpersonal skills, she has written the second edition of her highly regarded book, Aria Ready: The Business of Singing, a step-by-step career guide for singers and teachers of singing.  Aria Ready has been used by universities, music conservatories and summer and apprentice programs throughout the world as a curriculum for teaching Ms. Kirkpatrick’s process of career development, making her “the” expert in this area.  She lives in Denver, Colorado.