INTERVIEW: ROBERT HAIG COXON – BECOMING A WORLD FAMOUS MUSICIAN (Part 1)

Children have such busy schedules these days. So much so that parents think twice before sending them for music classes. After all, some may figure that’s it’s better to the child to master schoolwork than spend hours on music.

When bodymindsoul Magazine interviewed world-renowned composer and solo artist Robert Haig Coxon, we brought up this matter. Who better to ask than a person who started out on music as a toddler? Today, he is said to have sold half a million copies of his own instrumental albums, performs at international concerts and composes for television programmes.

Here’s what the Canadian musician who is now in his 70s had to say about music and children. “Music is so powerful. Children who have studied music have better access to understanding mathematics and they are much more able to visualize at a 3D level and spatially in their mind.”

He also pointed out that research shows that children who study music become better architects and scientists. “It’s important. But it’s also important to not make them study music because you want them to be some famous pianist or violinists. I see so much of that.”

He also had a vital tip for parents who have been wondering when to start their child on music. “It’s important to study music very young to bring out the genius in the child. Music is the basis of the universe. It’s sad that a lot of schools in North America are leaving out music.”

The maestro himself first sat at the piano when he was one and a half years old. Inspiration to write his first piano piece came when he was ten.

In his case, he had two loving grandmothers to thank for his path on producing soul-touching instrumental music.

Grannies’ Loving Influence

Other than his parents, both of Coxon’s grandmothers were a huge influence on him. First there was the grandmother with the piano. Though she herself had had only one piano lesson in her whole life, she played amazingly well.

She is the one who taught Coxon easy piano pieces from the time he was one and a half years old. At 9 years old, she sort of bribed him. If he took proper lessons, she promised to give him her piano. Her heartfelt sacrifice saw him starting on classical music. Much later in life, he learnt how to play jazz and popular music.

The other grandmother, who lived in New York city, was always off to lectures on metaphysics and spirituality. Coxon calls her “pre-new ager” as instead of the term “new age”, “new thought” was used.

This grandmother studied with great masters that came to the city. At about 7 or 8, she taught Coxon about spirituality and programming himself. Which explains why when people started talking about chakras much later, he already knew all about it.

Teaching Music

The musician recalled the early years when he used to teach a high school band as well as privately. “My students had to be well-rounded. I was teaching them classical music and also how to dance.” You might be wondering why he did that. “It was important for them to feel the music,” he stressed.

There are many tips to learn from this maestro. For instance he likes the trombone as a learning tool. “It helps to learn how to breathe. Pianists don’t understand that. If you know how to breathe, you can make any instrument sound better.”

As young child, music was not the only thing he excelled at. “I enjoyed art as a child, mainly painting and drawing. I could have been steered into that artistic world. I ran a graphic arts business at about 15 years of age until I was 25. I did a whole lot of things like designing logos for companies and printing for businesses and rock bands.”

When it was time to enter university, he struggled as to whether he should opt for music or art. “Eventually I came to the conclusion that you don’t have to study art. But I had to learn about music as there are so many things to write about.”

He studied six years of music at McGill University. He also has a teaching diploma and what he calls “half a masters degree”! If he had not gone into music, he feels he would have ventured into the arts, perhaps the film industry.

Want to read more ? Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

Robert Coxon will be conducting a live music chaneling session  with Master Umesh H. Nandwani of The Golden Space Global @ Be Onederful Meditation, BODYMINDSOUL FESTIVAL, 1st Dec 2019, 7am, Setia City Convention Centre! Contact hello@bmsfest.com for more info!

Sheela Prabhakaran is a writer and trainer who has a keen interest in people and nature. Her career started out in publishing followed by many years in Corporate Communication. Over time she has reached out to people of all walks of life through copywriting, writing books and articles. Her training experience includes Business English and Communication. She has embarked on an exciting new spiritual journey which sees her exploring more ways to share ideas on leading a healthier and happier life. She can be reached at sheelaprabha@gmail.com