A children’s musical entertainer and counselor who combines music with his mental-health background will perform a free show at Chestnut Branch Park in Sewell on Tuesday, June 28.
Yosi Levin – known as just Yosi onstage – says that while his profession is mental-health counseling, he has been interested in music since middle school, when he took a role in the student musical “Guys and Dolls.”
“My original songs champion inner strength, community, multiculturalism, friendship, imagination and humor,” he explained. “By the time I was in college, I was a punk rocker and lead singer in a punk band. Those were some great times.”
After counseling for a few years, Levin started performing music for his daughter’s preschool class, where he reignited his passion for music and made a drastic career change.
“Before long, I stopped counseling and was a full-time children’s musician, performing over 300 shows a year,” he noted. “I’ve been performing and recording children’s music for 25 years.”
Once COVID hit, Levin went from 300 shows a year to barely any, so he restarted his counseling business. But when he was approached by a colleague to participate in a social- emotional learning program that helps students comprehend their emotions, he realized his true calling was combining his two passions of music and counseling.
“I was asked by another counselor … to do a social-emotional learning program for a local school,” Levin recalled. “It was a perfect marriage of our counseling skills, my music and her art background. The kids and teachers loved it.”
While he discusses serious topics in his performances, including coping skills, post-COVID stress and conflict resolution, Levin knows how to maintain a fun atmosphere with upbeat punk and rock-infused songs from his five award-winning albums.
“I’ve learned a few tricks over the years,” he claimed. “Above all, I want the kids thinking, ‘What wacky thing will this guy do next?’”
Levin’s show begins at 10:30 a.m. and the one-hour event does not require registration. Chestnut Branch Park is at 579 County Highway-alt 553.