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Mason Music Student Spotlight: Paul Cofer

When you were young, you dreamt of doing extraordinary things. You imagined a life that was built on possibility and wonder, and when someone asked you “what do you want to be when you grow up” you answered without hesitation. As you grew, you began to chip away at the foundation of your dreams, and your “what if’s” became shackled by deadlines, bills, and busy schedules. What do you think you could have been if you held onto those dreams and gave them substance? Would you believe me if I told you that you can still do that?

Paul Cofer Mountain Brook Studio

Paul Cofer refused to let growing up be an excuse for missing out on his dreams. At age 38, his wife gave him a birthday gift of music lessons at Mason Music, and he stepped into the Mountain Brook studio for the first time. Since then, he has gone on to co-write songs, work with incredible musicians, and expand his musical talent. The legacy of music he will one day leave behind to his children is possibly the greatest accomplishment he holds. In fact, fatherhood is a huge part of why he made the decision to give music a chance again.

Paul dabbled in music here and there throughout his college years and young adulthood, but something always got in the way. It’s usually the good habits that are so easy to break, and his creative mind often took a back seat to life. As he got married and transitioned into parenthood, he quickly realized that the taste of regret is much stronger when you experience it through the lessons you teach your children. Paul asked himself how he could ever challenge his kids to step out of their comfort zones, if he wasn’t willing to do so himself. With the full support of his wife and family, he began his lessons at Mason Music.

Paul Cofer Black and White

After a few months of lessons, he began to pursue his true passion: songwriting. He had held on to bits and pieces of song ideas over the years, but his guitar lessons gave him the ability to knit those stories together into songs. From there, he knew he wanted to keep pushing himself to be better. Paul didn’t wait til he felt like he achieved a certain level of skill to start collaborating with others. Instead, he jumped into the deep end and joined the Nashville Songwriting Association International. Through the NSAI, he attended conferences, workshops, and participated in co-writes and would get feedback on his work. He then could bring his feedback to his lessons and hone his musical skills to contribute to his songwriting work. Through the support of his teachers and the collaboration he found at the NSAI, he began to give life to the lyrics he had been collecting for years.

Paul Cofer and guitar

Now, Paul is writing regularly, and his vision board is full of things he has done and things he plans to do. He isn’t afraid to dream big, and he continually sets his eyes towards the endless possibilities ahead of him. Despite his incredible achievements, he is so humble about his accomplishments thus far. He often reminds you that some of his success is due to the “power of collaboration” and always points to the community around him when celebrating his wins. There is something that happens when you bring talented minds together, and Paul’s talents are unifying and inspiring to those he works with. As he grows as a songwriter, he is starting to focus his lessons on more than just guitar skills. He is now adding vocal practice to his lesson work and his teacher, Ryon, is helping him focus on performing and recording. With his passion and dedication, it won’t be long before he can reach his goal of performing his own songs on stage.

Paul Cofer and Ryon Barnes

At Mason Music, we are so grateful for students like Paul, who remind us that music is unifying, inspiring, and worth fighting for. Seeing his dreams become tangible and real is the greatest joy we can find in teaching and sharing music. We are so excited to see what Paul will do over the next few years. If you would like to hear one of Paul’s songs, check out this song that Paul co-wrote with artist Robert Abernathy.

Get more music news on Mason Music’s blog.