Drummer donates kit to help autistic child
The Spectator - 11/8/2017
SWANSEA - In a unique ceremony at Case Junior High School, 11-year-old sixth grader Ryder Liebl received a special gift from a drummer as classmates and staff looked on.
Randy Pinard, a drummer for the band Never Forgotten, made the donation after speaking with the vocalist in the band, Juli Ann Levesque-Silva, who is also a special education teacher at Case Junior High School.
"Juli asked if I had a drum kit," Pinard said. "I was downsizing and this was a perfect situation."
"I support the David Moraes Music Foundation and believe that music is special," Pinard added.
The David Moraes Music Foundation encourages youth to pursue a passion in music.
Levesque-Silva saw the opportunity to assist a child who is autistic.
"Drumming can be a therapy," she said. "It has helped in language, turn-taking, listening, problem-solving and sequencing."
Ryder's father, Eric Liebl, was on hand to film his son's reactions.
"He has a Facebook page," Liebl said. "I will be putting this on there."
His father, who has played guitar in bands, was confident Ryder will get used to the drum kit, although initially the 11-year-old approached the gift with some hesitation.
With a number of his classmates watching in front of the school, Ryder went around the kit and approached closer to tap on the drums from a standing position. His principal Robert Silveira then sat down to encourage the student to follow. Pinard also sat at the drums and eventually Ryder did as well and with the drum sticks.
Many of his classmates watched from inside the school to make him less nervous about the experience.
Pinard met with the father and told him that he may be getting some more cymbals along the way. The father is appreciative of the gift and had a location in his home to set up the drums for Ryder.
"It is a great day and something special for my son," his father said. w