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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Jan 14, 2022

Welcome to the first Mind Over Finger Podcast episode of 2022! There are many exciting things coming up this year, including the Joyful Practice Challenge. Learn more in the intro to this episode!

There’s no better way to welcome in the new year than with today’s special guest: musician, speaker, and citizen-artist Vijay Gupta. His work embodies the belief that the work of artists and citizens is one: to make a daily practice of the world we envision.

We cover:

  • His musical path from a childhood adoration for music to his multifaceted professional career today (6:57)
  • What drew him away from the LA Philharmonic toward his work to, as he put it, “show up to the world through performing chamber music” (14:50)
  • How playing Schumann in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility helped to recontextualize his view of the role of musicians to provide humanity with nourishment (19:44)
  • His answer to the question: What is citizenship?, and how he chooses to think of musical currency (23:00)
  • How his views on communicating and the purpose of music influences his approach to playing pieces (alongside the social context of their composition) (24:56)
  • Some ways every musician can go out and serve our own communities (30:05)
  • Diving into the process Vijay is taking to record the Six Bach Sonatas (34:30)
  • Vijay’s redefinition of success, the importance of learning how to learn, and his favorite practice room tool (41:12)
  • And finally, the incredible actionable tip that left me speechless (50:19)

Vijay is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a community of musicians creating spaces of connection for people in reentry from homelessness, addiction and incarceration in Los Angeles. He received the 2018 MacArthur Fellowship for his work as co-founder of the Skid Row Arts Alliance, a consortium dedicated to creating art for – and with – the largest homeless community in America.

As an international recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician for over 20 years, Vijay has created a multifaceted and holistic career. I am so happy to share this conversation with you. 




I encourage you to visit for a plethora of resources on mindful practice and information on how to work with me.

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I’m excited to tell you that Practicing for Peak Performance, my transformative workshop, is now available for download! Go to for access to all the tools that will help you transform your practice, gain confidence in your process, and start performing at your best. 

With the purchase of PPP, you gain:

  • Access to all recorded content - over 7 hours of instruction
  • Guidance in effective high-performance systems
  • Detailed handouts



A HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly, who works really hard to make this podcast as pleasant to listen to as possible for you.

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.

Thank you to pianist-singer-song-writer Louise Kelly for the introduction!  You can find out more about Kelly and her creative work by visiting