We believe the arts provide personal growth and development for all ages and abilities.

Our caring and qualified music teachers will provide individualized instruction through weekly 30-minute private lessons. Students will learn universal concepts including reading music, music theory, and music composition in a positive learning environment. Instructors will take the time to discover the needs of each student, as well as their goals, interests, and learning styles.

Throughout the year, students also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of local performances.
Voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele lessons are currently offered. Please add your student’s name to the waiting list HERE to be notified when the next opening becomes available!

Reach out to Alison Berndt, Arts & Humanities Director, with any questions: [email protected]

Click here to fill out our interest form

Meet Our Instructors

Click each instructor to read more.

Doug Mahlum is a long-time local entertainer, who teaches guitar and ukulele at the Houser YMCA and Holmen Lutheran Church locations. He has spent many years soloing around the Coulee Region, including performances with Viterbo’s Platinum Edition. For over 33 years, Doug was the lead singer, and trumpet, flugelhorn and rhythm guitar performer with Double-Take, a local variety band. Doug was a member of the La Crosse Coulee Chordsmen Barbershop chorus and the lead singer of New Image, a barbershop, jazz, and bebop quartet, for over 20 years. He continues to be a member and soloist with the Coulee Region Gospel choir since joining in 1995. Most recently, he and his three young adult kids have started to entertain in the area as a group called “Family Matters.”

Matt Fischer has spent the majority of his life making music and now shares his knowledge teaching guitar and ukulele at the Houser Y. The first instrument he picked up was the trumpet at age nine. Since he has continued learning about music and a variety of instruments. He started playing the guitar when he was thirteen and has not been able to put it down. Though the guitar is his main instrument, he has also learned and performed on a vast variety of instruments ranging from strings, to brass, to woodwinds. Through school, college, and on Matt has performed in large and small ensembles both as an amateur and at a professional level.

Vincent Sederstrom

Kaye Lehrman is originally from Dubuque, IA. She received her BA in Music from Luther College and then went on to receive her Master’s in Music from the University of Iowa, with emphases in Church Organ and Voice. She started playing for churches at age 15, she’s played viola in the Dubuque Symphony, clarinet in the Tri-State Wind Ensemble, and also played piano for many shows at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque. She has taught piano and voice at the Northeast Iowa School of Music and then piano and violin at SSE Music. Kaye has been an accompanist for Logan High School and currently plays clarinet with the La Crosse Concert Band. She is also currently the organist and Senior Choir Director at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Onalaska, and she has a home guinea pig sanctuary called the Hyde a Way Piggery! Kaye is excited to teach piano and voice at the Y and find what motivates each of her students.

Marilyn Lee holds a B.A. in Vocal Music Education from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa and an Associate degree in Theological Studies from Biblical Life College & Seminary in Marshfield, Missouri. Formerly, she has taught high school music and directed children’s and community choirs. Marilyn has been teaching piano and voice for over thirty years to students of all ages and is a current member of Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. She frequently performs as a soloist for the UW-La Crosse Choral Union and is the current director for River’s Harvest Church choir. In addition to traditional piano and voice lessons, Marilyn teaches contemporary improvisation for worship leaders and praise band keyboardists. Instruction is designed to meet the student’s personal goals. Marilyn joined the YMCA music staff in January of 2015 and teaches piano and voice.

Renata Vaughn is a junior at UW-La Crosse majoring in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Clinical Microbiology. She is from Austin, Minnesota and started playing piano at 7 years old. She continued piano lessons through high school until she graduated. Along with piano, she is also a violinist and vocalist. Renata has been playing the violin since 5th grade and was part of the Symphony Orchestra in Austin. She has been singing since she was a freshman in high school and has been to 4 Solo and Ensemble Festivals where she received 1 first-place award and 2 second-place awards. She hopes to inspire her students to love music as much as she does, and help them find their talents!

Siyu Gao was born in Beijing, China and started to play the piano at a very young age. She participated in numerous school musical performances from elementary school through high school. After receiving degrees in piano performance and music education and studying under Dr. Zhou Guangren for ten years, she served as a piano teaching assistant for three years at China’s leading music school, the Central Conservatory of Music. Siyu has been teaching private lessons in La Crosse since 2014 and is a passionate and caring piano teacher. She welcomes students of all ages, music interests and abilities and especially enjoys teaching young beginners and helping them find their love for music. She believes each student is an individual with a unique learning style and strives to tailor her instruction to fit the student.

Abbey Sasse is a junior at UW-La Crosse majoring in Music Education. She is from Platteville, Wisconsin where she started her musical journey by taking piano lessons in second grade. She continued these lessons throughout her grade school experience. Along with piano, she is also a percussionist and two-time WSMA State Honors Musician. At UW-L, Abbey is involved in the Screaming Eagles Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and percussion studio. In addition, Abbey has assisted with the Platteville High School and Logan Middle School drum lines and is excited to work with them both again in the future. She hopes to help her students at the Y learn to love music and encourage them to explore the wonderful things it can bring them!