Corbin McKinnon’s roots have been firmly planted in Decatur all 28 years of his life. Although he attended the Georgia Academy for the Blind for much of his schooling, he spent his senior year at Decatur High School (DHS). Corbin enthusiastically recalls his time at DHS as being a “wonderful experience” and expressed fond memories of playing flute in the symphonic band.
Music has always been an integral part of Corbin’s life. “I was inspired to learn the bagpipes after I heard them when I was five-years-old. I liked the way they sounded and I fell in love with them. When I was fifteen-years-old, I started studying the bagpipes. They are definitely hard to play. I also play the drums and sing. I read books with Braille but I learn music by ear.”
When Corbin was born, the doctors would have never imagined that Corbin would excel at playing the bagpipes one day. Corbin was born prematurely at 28 weeks. At that time, the doctors were concerned that Corbin was at high risk for developing lung problems. Corbin beat the odds and over time was able to develop the breath control needed to successfully play the bagpipes, flute, and sing.
In the summer of 2016, Corbin moved out of his parent’s house and into L’Arche Atlanta, located in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. Corbin lives in community with three other adults with intellectual disabilities and three assistants. “Moving out of my parent’s house was a better fit for me. I like it and everyone is nice. My favorite part about living here is having jam sessions with the assistants. They play guitar, ukulele, and I sing harmony. Music makes me feel good. “