Qualified Teachers

At YaGe Community Arts Center, our teachers are our greatest asset! Coming to us from both the U.S. and the U.K., all of our teachers have received high level degrees from foreign universities and are professionals in their specific field of the arts. Our YaGe teachers are highly trained professionals with experience teaching students of all ages and skill levels. Our entire teaching staff is passionate about transferring their love for the arts into the hearts and minds of each student.

Mrs. Lynne Picker

YaGe’s founder and director, Mrs. Lynne Picker, has been teaching music for over 35 years. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership from Bethel University. Mrs. Picker received her M.A. degree in music from Northern Illinois University. Her thesis: “Where Has All The Music Gone? A Case-Study on the Effects of Migration upon the Musical Practices of an Iu-Mien Community” researched the music of a group of Iu-Mien refugees in central Illinois and traced their passage from northern Laos.

Previously, Mrs. Picker owned and operated two music centers in the U.S. in Rockford, Illinois and Wheaton, Illinois. Most recently she was the music director at Kunming International Academy where she helped them develop their music curriculum for grades K-12.

Mrs. Picker speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. Since registering YaGe Community Arts Center in 2007, she has developed a unique teaching system that enables non-Chinese speaking teachers to teach non-English speaking students. Mrs. Picker loves to teach, loves children, and believes that every child should be given the opportunity to study music! With a passion for high quality music education, Mrs. Picker strives to provide her students the building blocks needed for a life-long study of music.

Katie Daugherty
Piano, Brio Singers, Bell Canto, Jazz Ensemble

Katie Daugherty holds a bachelor's degree in instrumental and classroom music education from the University of Northwestern - St. Paul. During her time at Northwestern, she participated in band, orchestra, jazz band, chamber winds, clarinet choir, and musical theatre performances, and worked as a private lesson instructor and vocal solo/choir piano accompanist. Katie's primary instruments are piano, clarinet, voice, and bass guitar, and she has been teaching private lessons for 8 years. She is trained in a variety of genres, including classical, jazz, and contemporary. Her goal in teaching is to give students a safe and enjoyable environment in which to learn and grow as musicians while also developing social and personal skills that will enable them to be lifelong learners.

Claire Keener
Early Childhood Music; Theory

Claire Keener received her Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Piano Performance from James Madison University in Virginia, USA. While in college, she was the recipient of multiple scholarships, including the Theodore Presser Scholarship, Ruth B. Spitzer Organ Scholarship, and the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship. Claire is a seasoned performer (solo and chamber ensembles) and has been teaching private lessons for 10 years. In addition to classical music, Claire’s experience as a pianist ranges from jazz to musical theatre to contemporary. She has had the honor of working and performing with many outstanding professionals, including Ursula Oppens, Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz, and Hugh Sung. Most recently, Claire was the Head Administrator for the MasterWorks Festival, a 4-week music festival in the United States. She enjoys working with children and is thrilled to be introducing the wonders of the world to her one year old son, Levi.

Jonathan Keener
Piano, ABRSM Exam Preparation, Theory

Dr. Jonathan Keener started playing the piano at about the age of 6, going on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Piano Performance, Pedagogy, and Literature from James Madison University. As a performer, Jonathan won various piano competitions and performed as soloist with orchestra on four occasions. Jonathan has received masterclass instruction from Menahem Pressler, Janina Fialkowska, Eugene Pridonoff, Barry Snyder, and Ludmilla Lazar. In addition to solo performing, Jonathan is an avid chamber musician, having performed collaboratively on many occasions in the US and in China.

Jonathan also has a passion for teaching, having taught all levels of private piano lessons and classes in music theory and music appreciation at the college level. Jonathan has taught at EMU’s Preparatory Music Program, Woodberry Forest School, James Madison University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Opening up students’ world to the magic of music is a driving motive in Jonathan’s teaching. Music is a gift, and Jonathan desires to help his students discover this gift.

Douglas Brown

Composer and educator Douglas Brown is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from West Virginia University with a previous Master of Music in Composition from the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College and a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition from Wayland Baptist University.

Current research focus is on the hyperscale, a scale that exceeds the limits of one octave.

Mr. Brown has been a member of the Society of Composers Inc. since 2007, served as the student representative for SCI Region III for the 2015-2017 term, and has been the president or founder of SCI student chapters at three universities.

An award-winning composer, his experience also includes teaching music theory, composition, and orchestration and conducting choruses, chamber groups, and handbell ensembles. Mr. Brown is also a member of the College Music Society (CMS) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown has over twenty years of experience teaching music in a variety of areas, including voice, piano, music appreciation, and children’s music.

She earned her Master of Arts in Vocal Pedagogy from Stephen F. Austin State University and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Howard Payne University.

Mrs. Brown has taught independently and at the West Virginia University Community Music Program, Wayland Baptist University School of Music, Music & Arts in Hurst, Texas, WBU Academy of Fine Arts, Snyder Music Academy, and The Dallas School of Music. Mrs. Brown enjoys teaching students of all ages from babies to senior citizens.

She has taught private lessons, masterclasses and voice classes and hosted student recitals and has also staged small scale musical theatre productions, arranging musical selections with original dialogue. After becoming a mother in 2013, she discovered the joy of introducing music to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and added early childhood music to her course offerings. She enjoys blending art, language and music together in creative ways to help children learn.