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Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance




The Importance of Creativity and Performance Dynamics
Five tips to enhance your on-stage experience!

Dance Classes in River Ridge, LAMandeville LA Piano Lessons at Laapa in Covington, Mandeville, River Ridge, LA

Whether you've been taking music lessons or dance classes for years or are interested in getting started and just now doing some research, I wanted to discuss something that often isn't discussed enough with beginning students in particluar - and that is "Performance Dynamics."
Ooh, that sounds like a complicated subject doesn't it - perhaps something you'd find in a physics textbook? In reality, all music and dance students at any level can utilize the following concepts to truly enhance their performances and make them unforgettable masterpieces!
1.) Tell the story behind the piece. What is the performance about? Music and Dance are forms of art that tell stories via an expressive means, so it's of the utmost importance to know WHAT idea(s) your performance is trying to convey. A song or dance about a bird for example should look and sound very different than one about an elephant! When performing, think about how each note or step contributes to your overall communication of the story.
2.) Be sure your performance has an Expressive Tone. Musicians have written guidance in the form of "dynamic markings" in their sheet music i.e. "f", an Italian abbreviation meaning "forte" and to "play loud" or "p" the abbreviation for "piano" meaning to "play softly." In dance choreography, this would equate to various moods and/or energy levels throughout the piece. As previously mentioned, your performance is a communicative piece and the same ebb and flow that you'd find in an enjoyable verbal exchange should be present. Not placing enough attention to expression in your performance will result in a much less engaging experience for the audience (i.e. they may fall asleep!).
3.) Don't think of the performance as just a technical exercise to be completed. Once you have the fundamentals of your piece down, always practice as if you are performing. Don't rush through the piece just to play the notes or run through a few steps. Think about how you'd want the piece to look or sound in an auditorium with hundreds or even thousands of people watching!

4.) Experiment with alternate stylistic approaches to your piece. Sometimes it's fun to try a different approach to a piece than what is originally envisioned by the composer or choreographer. For example, try performing the piece in the opposite context of what was originally envisioned just for experimentation if nothing else! One of the easiest ways in music to do this is to try putting a "Swing" feel on the eighth notes in any classical piece which will instantly give it a bouncy feel.

5.) Sometimes, a wrong note or step may be an improvement! Have you ever stopped in the middle of your practice session when you realized that you made a mistake and then thought, "Hmm, that actually looked or sounded pretty cool!"? I do it all the time! If this happens, be sure to make a note of it (pun intended) and be sure to discuss your discoveries with your teacher at your next lesson. Who knows, you may end up making the change a permanent one!
For additional tips on performing creatively, be sure to check out a new video from LAAPA Faculty member, Katarina Boudreaux on this very subject in our Lagniappe Lesson Video Series at
Lagniappe Music Lessons and Dance Classes at Laapa
Finally, don't forget to HAVE FUN when you perform -- if you relax and enjoy what you are doing, these other points will most likely happen naturally!
Ryan Cullen, Academy Director


August 1-31
Registration Open to all Prospective and Former Students for the Fall.
September 2
Labor Day Holiday


Covington School of Music Voice Lessons Student, Mallory Bogle

Covington School of Music student Mallory Bogle (pictured above) recently attended Louisiana State University's Opera Camp and was selected to perform at the New Orleans Opera House in July. Additionally, she recently landed the role of Cosette for the upcoming Fall production of Les Miserables by Perkins Productions. Performances will be held at Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington and the Columbia Theater in Hammond. Congratulations Mallory!

Mandeville School of Music Voice Lessons Student Michael Austin Verges

Mandeville School of Music student Michael Austin Verges (pictured above) sang the National Anthem in the Superdome for the Voodoo Arena football game on June 1. Go Michael!

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Piano Lessons in Mandeville, Covington, River Ridge LA at Laapa

Mandeville School of Music piano student Cameron Ellis has been taking piano lessons at LAAPA for the past 8 months! We recently had a chance to speak with Cameron and learn a little more about her and her interests!

What is your favorite thing about taking piano lessons?
How I can see myself getting better each time.
What kinds of things do you work on in your piano lessons?
Many things! Chords, hand position, new songs.
Why do you enjoy coming to piano lessons each week?
It's a thing of freedom. I get to play and enjoy and not think of anything else.
What have you accomplished so far in piano lessons?
Slow Dancing which I played at the recital. I am learning Imagine. It is a whole new set of hand positions for me. Also, learning Bye Bye Black Bird.
Ms. Katarina lets me pick my own music!
What are some of your short term and long term goals while taking lessons?
My short term would be to fully play to the best of my ability the songs I'm playing now. My long term would to be a better pianist and go on to other instruments.
What do you enjoy about your teacher the most here at LAAPA?
I love how spastic, light hearted, creative and quirky she is. She is very forgiving when I make mistakes.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Oldies, Jazz and classical.
What are some of your other interests/activities?
Anything with the arts, reading, photography and swimming- definitely swimming. Doesn't matter what time of year it is!

Other comments:
I want to thank everyone at LAAPA for being so supportive.

For more news, photos and videos, please be sure to VISIT AND LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE at FACEBOOK.COM/LAAPAFACE!


"I'd like to thank Ms. Maggie for being a great piano teacher and being there for my first recital!"

~ Gabby R.

"The Chaplin/Johnson/Sledge family would like to say, 'Thank you' to Mrs. Kasey for her support and EXCELLENT TUTULAGE of our daughter Aniya Chaplin. Your patience and expertise is so appreciated. We all are so pleased with our chilld's performance and knowledge, and we know that it is a direct reflection of your commitment to your class."

~ Deven S.

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail Please note that we are now publishing our newsletters monthly, and if you don't see your submission in this edition, it will be published as soon as space is available!


Many of our LAAPA INSTRUCTORS are totally booked!  If you need a schedule change or would like to be added to a waiting list for a particular teacher, day, or time, please contact any of our office staff team and they can add you to the waiting list. 

To inquire about openings for August and September, send an email to or call one of our locations: (504) 738-3050 for River Ridge, (985) 674-2992 for Mandeville, and (985) 590-4545 for Covington. The following is a PARTIAL list of who is BOOKED!


Maggie: FRI & TU – BOOKED!
Kathleen: TU – ALL BOOKED!
Cara: FRI 1 spot! MON &SAT– ALL BOOKED!
Bonnie: TH 1 spot! MON, WED – ALL BOOKED!
Jennifer: MON – BOOKED!
Russell: MON & FRI 1 spot! TU, WED – ALL BOOKED!
Meredith: MON & TH 1 spot! TU, WED – ALL BOOKED!
Katarina: TH 1 spot! TU, WED, SAT – ALL BOOKED!
Meghan: TH 1 spot! WED & SAT – ALL BOOKED!
Baylie: TH – BOOKED!
Rebecca: MON 1 spot!
Carolyn: TU 1 spot! MON, WED – ALL BOOKED!
Daniel: WED & TH 1 spot!
Bethany: SAT – BOOKED!
Victoria: MON & SAT 1 spot!
Mirka: TU 1 spot!
Catherine: SAT 1 spot!


Bill: WED 1 spot! MON, FRI, SAT – BOOKED!
Curtis: TU 1 spot! TH, FRI – ALL BOOKED!
Josh: WED, SAT 1 spot! MON, TU – ALL BOOKED!
Adam: MON 1 spot!
Jessie: TH 1 spot!


Kate: MON 1 spot!
Gabriel: MON 1 spot!
Simona: WED, TH, SAT 1 spot! M, TU – ALL BOOKED!
Denise: MON & TU 1 spot! WED – BOOKED!
Vanya: MON & SAT 1 spot!


Vitalie: MON 1 spot!
Ryan: TH – BOOKED!
Reid: WED & FRI 1 spot! MON – BOOKED!
Brittany: FRI 1 spot!


We are so happy that you’ve chosen to study at LAAPA. 
We know you will do great things this year!

Alexander D.,
Anna G.,
Ashlyn B.,
August S.,
Azlyn S.,
Cohen C.,
DJ L.,
Dominick B.,
Emari S.,
Frederick D.,
George G.,
Isabella M.,
Joshua P.,
Kaitlyn G.
Kalia J.,
Kate P.,
Katherine H.
Keilah V.,
Lauryn R.
Luke R.
Ledgyn S.,
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Mackenzie C.,
Madeline T.
Michael P.,
Miguel D.,
Norma W.,
Omar V.,
Pam P.,
Pedro I.,
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Skylar S.,
Victoria B.,
Xander C.,
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Yesin R.



This student waited too long to Register for Fall Classes and didn't get his preferred schedule & teacher...

New Orleans, Mandeville, Covington, LA - Register Now for Back to School Music Lessons and Dance Classes


If you took the summer off and are ready to resume lessons in either August or September or are a brand new student who is ready to get started in music lessons or dance classes this Fall:


NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE US A CALL before our most convenient schedules are gone!


Give us a call now for more information about current scheduling options!


Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music


River Ridge School of Music & Dance


Dancing with Fiddles Loisiana Academy of Performing Arts Violin Lessons in Mandeville, Covington, River Ridge, Metairie LACovington LA Choir for all Ages

Dancing with Fiddles and Choir

Attention all violinists! Are you ready to move with your music? Ms. Vanya Karachobanova will be starting brand new fiddling ensembles at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance and the Mandeville School of Music which will incorporate dancing while learning fiddle tunes!
Attention all singers! Are you ready to perform in a group that has gigs already scheduled for the Fall? Ms. Carolyn Russell invites all interested vocalists (ages 12-up) to come and sing with the Covington School of Music Choir! So far the choir is confirmed to sing the National Anthem at a Hornets Game, Christmas Events in Mandeville and Madisonville plus more. The choir will also be working on district and all state choir audition music that is coming up
These New Classes will begin in September - to enroll or for more information, please contact the school office!


Mandeville New Orleans LA Jazz Trio Abiea


You can catch piano/voice faculty member,

Maggie Probst performing on Saturday, August 17th at the House of Blues with Bobby Lounge!

Ryan Cullen, piano/saxophone/jazz ensemble faculty member, will be performing Friday, August 2 with his jazz trio, Abiea (pictured left) from 6-9 PM at the Grand Opening of Jubilee Restaurant - 301 Lafitte St. in Old Mandeville.






Take Music Lessons and Dance Classes with us at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts!


Enjoying your experience at LAAPA?


If you have a friend who might like to take lessons, if you refer them to LAAPA and they enroll, we'll give you a gift certificate for a free lesson! It's very easy to refer someone. Just visit:

Type in your name, their name and their contact information and we'll take care of the rest! There's no maximum to the amount of free lessons that you can receive! We’re so glad that you’re with LAAPA and this is just our way of saying THANKS!