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Name That Tune: Solomon Levin

Jenna Mazzoccoli
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Bandmates Ryder Ponton, Solomon Levin, Lucas Wilson, and George Fellows

Bandmates (pictured, from left) Ryder Ponton, Solomon Levin, Lucas Wilson, and George Fellows will rock out at Evelyn's Park to fundraise for Sol's Mitzvah project.

This Name That Tune is brought to you by Solomon Levin, a seventh grader at The Joy School, an independent school for students with learning differences. As he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah, he is using his skills as a drummer and his heart for kids with learning differences to give back to the community. Read on for excerpts from our interview with Solomon and his mom Melissa. Watch his video to see if you can Name That Tune.

Age: 12
School: Seventh grader at The Joy School
Instrument: Drums

How did you get into playing the drums?
Solomon: Right after my 11th birthday, I started with a smaller version of the drums called a cajón. Then about 3 months later, I got a small electric set. And then I moved up to an acoustic drum set a little before Covid hit.

Did you practice a ton during quarantine?
Solomon: I did! I really got connected with it. One time, I played for 8 hours straight.

Wow! Was your family irritated with the loud practicing?
Solomon: We are really lucky because we built out our laundry room into a small studio for me, so it’s not so loud anymore.

What got you interested in playing the drums?
Solomon: Well, five years ago, I tried to learn guitar, but I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I took a few years off from music. Then I considered trying the drums. My mom got me [to try] a drum lesson. 

What kinds of music do you like the most?
Solomon: I enjoy ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s rock! At School of Rock [a music school], we have a house band, where some of the best players come together. We practice together and play really challenging songs. We play gigs. I really like it! We play mostly rock from the decades I love.

Do you have any gigs coming up?
Solomon: I am actually planning a fundraiser concert for my mitzvah project.

What is the fundraiser for?
Solomon: I am preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, so I am working on my mitzvah project. This is a way to give back to your community or to do good. The concert will be a fundraiser to raise awareness for kids with learning differences. We plan to help financially support students with learning differences with profits from the concert.

At The Joy School, we have really great teachers and resources and programs to help students with learning differences. I have really benefitted from my school and want to provide that for other students. At first, I thought I would buy a drum set for a school that doesn’t have a drumming program but helping kids with learning disabilities is closer to my heart.

The concert will raise funds to purchase a Nook Pod structure, which can be helpful for students who have learning differences, for Attucks Middle School. 

Melissa: The Nook is kind of like a pod that blocks out noise and stimulation, which is super helpful for kids with learning differences. But they are expensive! It would be easier just to choose a drum set and buy it for a school. But this is closest to Sol’s heart, so it was a hard choice, but the right one.
Solomon: I am looking forward to playing for a live audience and then the Monday after the concert, delivering the Nook Pod!

Sol and bandmates Ryder Ponton, Lucas Wilson, and George Fellows are hosting “Mitzvah City Limits” as part of Sol’s Mitzvah Project. The rock-concert fundraiser takes place Oct. 1, 5-9 p.m. at Betsy’s in Evelyn’s Park and will benefit students with learning differences at Attucks Middle School. 

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