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Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance





Rock Band and Jazz Band Classes in Mandeville, Covington, and New Orleans, LA

It's hard to believe the Holidays are once again upon us. We'd like to extend to you a special invitation to our Christmas Concerts. Even if you won't be performing this year, we hope that you can join us to enjoy the many wonderful performances from our talented music and dance students!
As our Academy continues to grow, we will be holding 11 concerts this year jam packed with over 446 performances and 16.5 hours of music and dancing - all in two days!
Our concerts for the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music will be held on Saturday, December 14 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Times are 9 AM, 11 AM, 1:10 PM, 3:20 PM. 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Our concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Sunday, December 15 at St. Martin's Solomon Theater in Metairie. Times are 11 AM, 1 PM, 3:15 PM, 5:15 PM, and 7:15 PM.
Student Recital time assignments have now been posted on our website at

In lieu of tickets, each December, our students, faculty, and staff put on a Benefit Concert to support the Teresian Sisters and their Mission in Batesville, Texas. Just 30 minutes outside of Uvalde, Texas, Batesville is a small, impoverished town near the Mexican Border.

Sister Angeles Sendin, STJ (Society of St. Teresa of Jesus) of the Batesville Mission recently wrote us to provide an update on the wonderful work their ministry provides:
"Our missions in Batesville, LaPryor and Uvalde keep us busy, but as I always tell you, our people teach us so much more than we teach them! Right now we are helping a family that would steal your heart if you could meet them! A couple with six children, four of them grown and already out of the house, has taken into their family five young children who were going to be placed in separate foster homes. They are beautiful little ones, ages one to six.
We have helped them fix their trailer house a little so that CPS would allow them to keep the children. The two grandmothers also live with them. Unbelievable!
Now we have added one more activity to our regular ones. We distribute bread! The Uvalde H.E.B. chain, a very strong Texas food market, gives us their one-day-old bread three times a week. You should see the loooong lines! For many of them, that's the only thing they have until they get paid again, a life-saver in many cases!
Our apostolate is basically to teach them about Jesus, but it's impossible to overlook the urgent needs in their everyday life. The happiness in their eyes when they receive their Christmas gifts! You are going to make so many people happy!" 
Wanda Cullen, Assistant Director, recently visited the Mission and interviewed some of the sisters and families. You can learn more about these families, items needed for donation, and watch a video presention at or just click on the video below!

Rock Band and Jazz Band Classes in Mandeville, Covington, and New Orleans, LA

Every year we and the sisters are continually in awe and so grateful for your tremendous support! Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your talents with us and being a part of our Academy. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!



December 13-14
Christmas Past Festival in Historic Old Mandeville
Click Here for Full Details and Press Release!

December 14
Covington & Mandeville Schools of Music Christmas Recitals
December 15
River Ridge School of Music & Dance Christmas Recitals

December 21 - January 3
Christmas and New Year Holidays


Mandeville Louisiana Voice Lessons student Cindy Van DuyneMandeville School of Music, Cindy Van Duyne performs regularly with the Pat Barberot Orchestra at the Jefferson Orleans and on Monday's at Vasso's.

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Nicholas Byland made the Holy Cross Honors Chorus!

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Vito Eshleman has made it into the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra Sinfonia!

Congratulations to Mandeville School of Music student, Blakely Shouse for her 4.0 average for the first 9 weeks of the school year and for having the highest average in her class! Blakely has also been selected to play "Tiny Tim", a lead role, in Slidell High School's production of A Christmas Carol (the Musical Version), December 7-9 at Slidell High School in Slidell, LA.

Congratulations to River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, August Speisman who was one of the teddy bear winners of our October "Bring a Friend Week" contest!

Have News to Share? E-mail your news to! Connect with us on Facebook at and now on Twitter at @laapatweets



One of my favorite things to do as a musician is to come up with new music to play both for my own enjoyment and that of others.
So what's the secret to composing? Are you ready? I personally think that it's the ability to LISTEN.
I've always been a pretty good listener - and those of you who know me probably would agree that I tend to listen more than speak!
As a beginning composer, you need to listen to everything. Of course listen to many different types of music and composers so that you have
something to draw upon when you begin coming up with your own ideas.
Listen when you are performing and hit a wrong note...maybe it's not so bad and you can figure out what you did and use it later in your own piece!
Listen to all of the sounds around you...what do the trees sound like, what does the rain sound like, what does the truck passing by your house sound like, what do your parents, brothers and/or sisters sound like (I hope I don't get anyone in trouble for that one!)
Take for example the "major" and "minor" triads we've discussed in past newsletters. What happens if you play a Bb in your left hand and keep the C major triad in your right hand? Why, you get a pretty neat sound (essentially a Bb6/9#11 chord)!
Now try playing a C minor triad in your right hand and an A in your left hand...another great sound (Am7b5).
Listen, Explore, Create...

That's the way you'll find your inner composer!



River Ridge School of Music & Dance Students of the MonthRiver Ridge School of Music & Dance students, Echo & Lily Pryor take Zumba and Parent & Tot classes here at LAAPA! We recently had a chance to speak with them and learn a little more about their lessons and interests!

How long have you been taking Zumba and Parent and Tot classes?
I have been taking Zumba for about two months now. Lily and I have been taking the Parent and Tot class for 15 months.

What is your favorite part about your Zumba and Parent and Tot classes each week?
Zumba- Being able to have fun and relieve some stress! Parent and Tot- Seeing Lily interact with her teacher, Candace, and her peers. She is usually very shy. Seeing her grow each week has been so exciting. Also, having that hour for us is very important.

What are some of your personal goals while taking Zumba and Parent and Tot classes?
Zumba- I have a job that requires me to sit almost all day, on the computer and on the phone for meetings. It is very sedentary. I get bored easily at the gym and wanted something I will keep doing. Candace makes sure we have a great workout! Even if it is just one day a week right now, it is so much fun and when I am done, I feel like I have really accomplished something.

Parent and Tot- I wanted Lily to have a strong foundation in something that would give her balance and grace. I think dance is a beautiful art that she can enjoy for the rest of her life.

Tell us about some of your other hobbies outside of Laapa?
My family is very busy. Our 13 year old son is in Martial Arts. My husband coaches 9-10 year old football in our community. I am currently in school finishing up my Master's Degree in Nursing. Both me and my husband teach youth in our church and I sing on our Worship Team.

What made you choose Laapa when you decided to enroll in Zumba and Parent and Tot classes and how has your experience been so far?
I chose Laapa because of all it has to offer! I would like to get my son involved in playing an instrument. I plan to have Lily doing the same thing when she gets old enough. It is so nice to have everything in the same place. I don't have to worry about driving all over town for different activities.

Also, when I called to set up the Parent & Tot class, everyone was so nice, trying to arrange a class that would fit my schedule. I chose to stay with Laapa for Zumba because I wanted a teacher I was comfortable with. Candace does so good with Lily, when I found out she was teaching the class, I signed up right away. I knew I could be a mess during the workout and she would still remain positive and encouraging. Laapa is my home for all of my artistic needs now and in the future!

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



"We wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU to Mr. Russell for being such an amazing piano teacher and for being a terrific role model! Our son, Kacey, has loved every lesson! Even so much that he asked to continue his lessons throughout the summer. Russell has contributed immensely to his growing confidence and self esteem in so many ways! It takes a very special person to teach a child...and we believe Russell is as special as they come!"

~ The Cognevich Family

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!



As the New Year approaches, many of our teachers are already nearly or 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. There are still limited lesson spots available for December and new classes starting in January.

To inquire about openings for December or January, 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. Here's just a partial list of who's currently full at all campuses:


Kathleen: TU & WED –BOOKED!
Cara: FRI 1 spot! MON, WED, TH,SAT –BOOKED!
Jennifer: MON –BOOKED!
Russell: MON, WED, TH 1 spot!
Meredith: MON, TU, TH –BOOKED!
Katarina: TU, WED,TH, SAT –BOOKED!
Meghan: SATI 1 spot! WED, TH, FRI –BOOKED!
Rebecca: TU, WED, FRI 1 spot! MON & TH–BOOKED!
Daniel: TU 1 spot! WED, TH –BOOKED!
Victoria: SAT 1 spot! MON BOOKED!
Jessica: TU & WED 1 spot!
Catherine: SAT –BOOKED!
Elizabeth: SAT 1 spot!
Maggie: FRI 1 spot!


Bill: MON & FRI 1 spot! WED & SAT –BOOKED!
Curtis: MON 1 spot! WED & TH –BOOKED!
Ben: MON & SAT 1 spot! TU,TH, FRI–BOOKED!
Adam: MON 1 spot!
Mark: TU 1 spot!


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


Mark: TU 1 spot!


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

Aiden D., Akshara M., Alyvia X., Amelia R., Andrew C., Ashlyn B.,Austin K., Autumn C.,
Brandon V., Brooke S., Cameron C., Cameron V., David D., Dylan V., Ella N.,
Emile B., Emily M., Erin G., Gabriel B., Kaitlann R., Kalia J., Lexye W., Liam M., Luke M.,
Lundyn L., Maci C., Margaret O., Matthew H., Michael M., Sarah C.,Sophia P., Spencer F.,
Stephanie W., Sydnie F., Zachary G.


Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts & Louisiana Philharmonic Violinist Kate WithrowAdam Bock (faculty member at the Covington School of Music) will be performing New Year's Eve for a double header with the Victory Big Band and the award winning Jump Jive and Wail show both at the National World War 2 DDay museum! You can also catch him at his regular gig each Sunday for brunch at Sunrise Cafe in old towne Slidell which is a solo guitar set from 10 AM - 12 PM.

Cara Williams (faculty member of the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music) will be
performing in An Evening of Christmas Carols featuring Cara Williams, a benefit concert hosted by the Franklinton Rotary Club. The concert will be held at Franklinton First Baptist Church on Dec. 7 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from Cara; proceeds benefit Rotary International End Polio Now.





Is someone you know getting an instrument this Christmas?
Know someone who loves to sing but could really use a few singing pointers?
Is there a couple you know that would like to be better prepared for their first dance as newlyweds?
Give them the perfect gift this Holiday season with a gift certificate from the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts.
Gift certificate packages start at just $35 for a single 30 minute private session.
For more information, call 985-231-0875 option 1!


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!