Dr. Lena McLin was born in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of five she was sent to live with her uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey. She attended the Pilgrim Baptist Church as a child, where she was exposed to gospel music and served as an accompanist to her uncle’s choir. McLin has a bachelors in music, specializing in piano and violin, from Spelman College, and a graduate degree in music from the American Conservatory of Music.
She taught in Chicago at Hubbard High School, Harlan High School, and Kenwood Academy. At Kenwood she taught people such as Mandy Patinkin, Deitra Farr, and Kim English. Her students have included R. Kelly, Tammy McCann, Chaka Khan, Da Brat, Jennifer Hudson, Mark Rucker and Robert Sims, and she has been called “the woman who launched a thousand careers” by art critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune. R. Kelly has stated that it was McLin that convinced him to pursue a career in music over basketball, and that he considers McLin his “second mother”, and has remained an influence in his career continuously since his high-school days. R. Kelly wrote his first song through her encouragement, which he wrote about the subject of poverty in Africa. She officially retired from teaching high school in the mid-1990s but continued teaching voice lessons. In all she taught for 36 years, all at Chicago area public schools. She has also given lectures at the Peabody Institute. McLin published the book Pulse: A History Of Music in 1977. She also has a library of choral works published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company. –Taken from Wikipedia