I’m slightly older than 21. Okay, maybe close to double that. It might seem ridiculous for someone in their forties to learn something new because you stop learning when you graduate from high school, or college, or once you purchase an online degree. You know the saying—old dogs and new tricks, and all that. But I’m not letting a fixed mindset stop me. This past January, I began studying under a new vocal teacher by the name of Marc Francis. Marc is an energetic and encouraging teacher, as well as a master of the Bel canto vocal technique. Most of you don’t give a rat’s ass about vocal techniques; I understand. All you need to know for the sake of this post is that it requires me to use parts of my voice that I have NEVER used and Marc is teaching me how to do that. It’s hard. It’s really hard. The experience is painful because I need to move beyond my comfort zone and leave my ego at the door. Well, not exactly the door as Marc gives me lessons via Skype which is another reason why the dude is incredible. I don’t have to sit in the full lobby of a music school and sing a 17-note scale which is slightly less embarrassing than giving a speech in a packed auditorium—nude. Learning hurts. It’s supposed to. Remember the scraped knees after the training wheels came off? As we get older, we tend to slide into a fixed mindset, believing that we can’t change who we are, what we do, or what we can learn. Research (done by Carol Dweck and Chip & Dan Heath, to name a few) says otherwise. Your brain NEVER stops learning—it’s your mind that convinces you that you can’t.