Alumnus and Musician Matt Butler Performs for Upper School Boys
Folk artist and alumnus Matt Levinson ‘02 (Stage Name:Matt Butler) visited Allen-Stevenson on February 27. He sang and played his guitar for the Upper School boys, while imparting a few life lessons.
Sharing his own vulnerabilities, Matt began by asking the boys if they’ve ever had stage fright and to describe what that feels like, saying even after many performances to large audiences all over the world he still gets nervous.
“I think you are one of my toughest audiences,” he began. “Being here is bringing back a lot of memories,” he told the boys. “I was at Allen-Stevenson from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. I played baseball with Mr. Zufall and I wrestled. I enjoyed English and history with Mr. Haarmann, Mr. Holt and Mr. Kersey. I was a member of the Student Council. I also recall science with Mr. Herschenhous and Mr. Ripple and math with Mr. Zufall. Math was particularly difficult for me. I avoided the things that I wasn’t good at. I felt that way about music. I gave up on the things I couldn’t do well, in case I failed.”
Through song, Matt explained how he’s learned to deal with anxiety and to tackle fear. He sang, “Just One” which was written for a documentary film called Generation Found. It’s about helping others.
Whenever he performs in a city, Matt explained he also tries to play at a prison nearby. He wrote a song “Time to Be a Man” for David, a prisoner he got to know, which helped him realize that the best thing to do in life is to put other’s needs first. Matt said, “By thinking about others, I don’t worry about myself.”
Matt closed by explaining that he recently started a non-profit called the Just One Foundation which helps to bring music with a message to those most in need.