Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Jan 17, 2020

I’m beyond excited to begin 2020 with a brilliant pedagogical mind and someone that I respect tremendously, cellist and pedagogue Hans Jørgen Jensen! 

Professor Jensen shares incredible insight on how to approach practicing and performing!  Among several topics, he talks to us about:

  • His journey from growing up in Denmark to today
  • Why he quit his solo and chamber music career to dedicate himself to teaching
  • How being a performer made him a better teacher and what being a teacher taught him about performing
  • The habits that help his students be successful
  • Why we must develop great discipline and practicing habits in order to maximize our progress
  • How we can expand our musicianship
  • His wonderful books: CelloMind and ViolinMind
  • Focus in the practice room
  • The new book he’s working on, which is about practicing (I know I’ll be buying that!)
  • The importance of setting short goals and the mindset to adopt when practicing
  • The power of focusing on the *result* of a movement (the sound/the music you hear in your mind) rather than the movement itself
  • Why he likes “block practice”


Don’t forget to visit the Mind Over Finger Resources’ page to check out amazing books recommended by my podcast guests, as well as my favorite websites, cds, the podcasts I like to listen to, and the practice and podcasting tools I use everyday!  Find it here:!


And join the Mind Over Finger Book Club in the Tribe!  We meet HERE, and we’ll begin 2020 with The Inner Game of Golf by Tim Gallwey!


Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get your free guide to a super productive practice using the metronome!  This guide is the perfect entry point to help you bring more mindfulness and efficiency into your practice and it’s filled with tips and tricks on how to use that wonderful tool to take your practicing and your playing to new heights!




CelloMind: Have you ever doubted your intonation? Have you experienced the need to place pitches differently from one piece to another, or even from one measure to another? If so, you are not alone. Trying to decipher intonation is often frustrating and undermines the confidence of some of the most accomplished and talented musicians.


CelloMind is a two-part, pedagogical method book that has been written to help musicians understand HOW intonation works and, more importantly, WHY it works the way it does. Purchase of the book includes exclusive access to an online resource portal with supplemental videos and audio.

ViolinMind: ViolinMind is a pedagogical method book that has been written to help musicians understand HOW intonation works and, more importantly, WHY it works the way it does. It is an adaptation of the acclaimed book CelloMind.





Hans Jørgen Jensen is professor of cello at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. From 1979 to 1987 he was professor of cello at the Moore’s School of Music at the University of Houston. During the summer, he is a faculty member at The Meadowmount School of Music and The Young Artist Program at the National Arts Center in Ottawa Canada under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. He has been a guest professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, The Oberlin College Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music, The Academy of Music in Sydney, The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, the Tokyo College of Music and the Musashino Academy of Music in Japan, the Festival de Musica de Santa Catarina in Brazil, The Jerusalem Music Center, and the PyeongChang International festival and School in Korea.


Mr. Jensen has performed as a soloist in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan including solo appearances with the Danish Radio Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Symphony, and the Irish Radio Orchestra under the baton of conductors such as: Simon Rattle, Mistislav Rostropovich and Carlo Zecchi. He has given numerous workshops and master classes across the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Korea, Australia, and Israel.


His former students have been and are members of major orchestras including The New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Portugal, the Graz Philharmonic in Austria and the Montreal Symphony. Mr. Jensen’s former students are currently the principal cellists in the Toronto Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Symphony Nova Scotia. His former students hold teaching positions at Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory, the Cincinnati College Conservatory, the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, the Desautels Faculty of Music at the university of Manitoba and numerous other music schools.


Hans Jørgen Jensen’s students have been first prize winners in competitions such as the 2017 Klein Competition, the 2017 Sphinx Competition, the Casado International Competition in Japan, the Johansen International Competition, the MTNA National Competition, the ASTA National Competition, the Stulberg International Competition, the Chicago Symphony Young Performers Competition, the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, and numerous other competitions. His students have also been prizewinners in the 2017 Queen Elisabeth Inaugural Cello Competition, the Naumburg International Competition, the Lutoslawski Cello Competition, and the Klein Competition.


Mr. Jensen was awarded the prestigious 2010 Artist Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), as well as the Copenhagen Music Critics Prize, the Jacob Gades Prize, the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs Grant for Musicians, the Northwestern Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence award, and the U.S. Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award by the U.S. Department of Education. He was named the outstanding studio teacher of the year by Illinois ASTA. He was also the winner of the Artist International Competition that resulted in three New York Recitals. E.C. Shirmer, Boston, published his transcription of the Galamian Scale System for Cello Volume I and II and Shar Products Company published his cello method book, Fun in Thumb Position. A new pedagogy book “CelloMind” was published in November 2017 by OvationPress.


Jensen studied at the royal Academy of Music in Denmark with Asger Lund Christiansen at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins and pursued  private studies with Pierre Fournier, also appearing in his master classes.



If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review on iTunes!  I truly appreciate your support!

Visit for information about past and future podcasts, and for more resources on mindful practice.

Join the Mind Over Finger Tribe here!




Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!