Changemakersaathi: Global Leaders and Changemakers
Embracing the Melodies of Life: Michael Korins’ Journey as a Musical Changemaker
In a world where communication often feels like a labyrinth of words, Michael Korins has found his true voice in the universal language of music. A 29-year-old Long Island High School graduate, Michael’s story is a testament to the power of embracing one’s strengths as a means to overcome challenges and inspire others to do the same.
Michael took his first piano lesson when he was three years old. Even then, it was evident that he had an innate connection with the melodies that flowed through his tiny fingers. As he grew older, music became his sanctuary, a place where words couldn’t confine him, and expression knew no bounds. By the age of 13, he delved into singing, further solidifying his passion for the art form.
His parents, Dan and Ellen Korins, fondly remember him greeting people with snippets of classical masterpieces by Mozart and Beethoven, demonstrating his uncanny ability to connect with the timeless compositions. The Beatles also held a special place in his heart, and he voraciously explored his family’s CD collection, absorbing music from various genres and eras.
What sets Michael apart is his ability to transcend the barriers of traditional communication. While he may struggle to find the right words in a typical conversation, his connection to music is seamless. Whenever a microphone or a piano is within his reach, a magical transformation occurs. The stage becomes his home, a place where he feels most comfortable and at ease, and the audience is captivated by the beauty of his musical expression.
Ellen, sitting beside Michael in their Merrick home, attests to the transformative power of music in her son’s life. “One thing he doesn’t have is stage fright,” she says, beaming with pride. “Music and performing have a calming effect on him. Some of his happiest times are when he’s on stage and performing.”
Michael’s high school years were a turning point in his musical journey. He eventually was successful in his High School’s Concert Choir for more advanced singers. However the musical director of the school did not want Michael to be mainstreamed in the school’s music program. Instead he wanted to limit Michael to only participate in a special needs program. After a struggle that lasted a few years Michael was allowed to join the Concert Choir. Michael’s determination and talent shone brightly then. He didn’t just excel; he soared. His remarkable skills earned him a coveted spot in the New York State School Music Association’s All-State program—an achievement that only the finest young musicians in the state attain each year.
Notably, Michael’s success in the All-State program was even more extraordinary because he was the first person from the district’s special needs Prep Program to receive such an honor. His accomplishment not only showcased his musical brilliance but also shattered preconceived notions about the potential of Autistic individuals.
But Michael’s story doesn’t end with his achievements; it is merely the prelude to the impact he seeks to make on the world. Beyond the trophies and accolades, his true aspiration lies in inspiring others to embrace their strengths, irrespective of the challenges they face. Michael believes that everyone has a unique talent, a gift that can be nurtured and celebrated to build bridges and break barriers.
Through his captivating performances at “Autism’s Got Talent” and the “All Autism Wedding,” Michael has touched the hearts of many and shown that autism is not a limitation but a different lens through which the world can be perceived. His journey as a cast member on the A&E channel’s “#theemployables” has also shed light on the remarkable abilities that autistic people possess and the contributions they can make to society when given the opportunity.
For Michael Korins, the stage is not merely a platform for entertainment; it is a canvas for spreading hope and inclusivity. His music serves as a beacon, guiding others to embrace their passions and gifts without reservation or doubt. In a society that often emphasizes the need to fit into predefined molds, Michael reminds us that our true essence lies in celebrating what makes us unique.
As he continues to perform and share his music with the world, Michael hopes to touch more lives, break down barriers of misunderstanding, and pave the way for a more inclusive and compassionate world. His story stands as a testament to the transformative power of the arts, the resilience of the human spirit, and the profound impact a single individual can have on society.
In Michael Korins’ world, melodies resonate louder than words, and through his music, he invites us all to dance to the rhythm of our own hearts. His journey serves as a reminder that when we embrace our strengths and passions, we unlock the potential to create a symphony of change, one that echoes far beyond the stage and into the hearts of all who listen.
Let’s find out what Michael has to say about his musical journey, in a candid chat (text interview) with Shilpi Mayank Awasthi. *Michael’s dad Dan Korins helped him to find the words to express his feelings when responding to his interview questions.
Shilpi : Share a bit about your Autism Journey, and being hugely successful and an award winning singer, how has been this journey so far?
Michael : I am a young autistic man who communicates better through music than I do with words. I hope to inspire everyone to embrace their strengths as a way of overcoming whatever challenges they may have.
Shilpi: Could you also shed some light on your journey as a cast member on the A&E channel’s “#theemployables”
Michael: I was one of the first people picked for the show because of my social media presence. There was a lot of filming for almost a year. It was very hard but I was very proud of myself for completing my role in the show. I had to overcome anxiety and sensory overload over a long period of time. It took me about six months to recover.
Shilpi: What is the one thing that keeps Michael going, with so much enthusiasm, every single day?
Michael: I struggle with many challenges but my love of music always helps me to be enthusiastic.
Shilpi: In so many years of being an amazingly superb singer, what are some of the qualities that you think are crucial to make your mark and be successful in this world and that can go a long way in this journey?
Michael: Singing comes naturally to me. People often look up to me and treat me well because of my talent. All of this helps me with my self-esteem and helps me with my challenges. Sadly, those who don’t know me as a singer often see me someone who is “different” and inferior. I try to be successful doing the things I love. If I inspire others that makes me happy.
Shilpi: How do you unwind? Do you hangout with friends and What are your hobbies apart from music?
Michael: I unwind by listening to music, watching movies and bowling.
Shilpi: Do you want to share some cherished memories with our audience?
Michael: My two favorite memories are singing with Billy Joel’s original band “The Lords of 52 Street”.
My second favorite memory is performing at “Autism’s Got Talent”.
Shilpi: What challenges do you see in the Autism space all across the globe, and what changes would you like to see to overcome them, in the years to come?
Michael: Autistic people should be accepted as human beings who think differently. Our strengths should be supported and we should be helped with our challenges. We should not be “cured”. That would erase who we really are.
Shilpi: Where do you see yourself in the future? What are your Hopes and aspirations for yourself?
Michael: I would like to be a professional singer who lives independently.
Listen to Michael’s music at: