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Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance




Developing Life Skills through Music & Dance
What our students really just accomplished on stage!

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Piano and Guitar Recitals
(Pictured above, Mandeville School of Music student, Cecilia Falkenstein takes a bow after her performance)

Our Spring Recitals have now come and gone, and as I mentioned at each performance, I was truly pleased and proud of all students for a job well done!

Once we receive all of the photos and videos back, we’ll definitely be sharing those in a future newsletter as well as on our Facebook and YouTube channels!
In the meantime, I thought that it was important to take a moment to translate exactly what took place and was accomplished at all of these wonderful events!
1.) Our students have just built a great deal of self-confidence by performing on stage!
I always like to compare performing on stage with public speaking. Public speaking is many times feared more by most adults than almost anything else!
With our student performers, we need to additionally recognize your courage and success because in most cases, you were not only “speaking publicly” through your performances, but you were doing so while still “learning how to speak” through the art of music and dance in your lessons! Wow! One can only imagine what you will continue to achieve with a growing sense of self-confidence.
2.) Our students have truly learned the importance of meeting deadlines.
No matter what you do in life, you’re going to be required to accomplish things by a certain date.
All of our students knew when they needed to be ready for the recitals. There was no option to delay their performances. There was no option to perform without anyone hearing or seeing you. It took a great deal of commitment, sacrifice, and hard work in your studies and practice for you to succeed in meeting the deadline. So, congratulations on succeeding in this very important area!
3.) Our students have inspired many others in the audience who witnessed their talent.
Performing for any group of people is an emotional experience not only for our student performers but also for the audience as well.
Audience members will appreciate the performance, but one never knows who in the audience will additionally be inspired to perhaps try a new program or work harder at one they are already studying.
Indeed, it may have been your performance that convinced someone else to think, “Hey, that was awesome, maybe I CAN do something like that, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if next time that was me up there?!”
So you see students and parents - you have truly accomplished a lot this past month!
Ryan Cullen
Academy Director

Congrats to students Madelyn Kennedy and Addyson Belk who each won an iPad Mini in our recent giveaway. Watch the official giveaway video here!

We're planning another big giveaway this Fall so stay tuned!

Student News

Metairie Music Lessons in Piano, Voice, Guitar, Violin, Drums and More at Laapa!

Kate Rush, violin student of the Mandeville School of Music, was recently honored in a statewide ceremony as part of the Duke Talent Identification
Program. As a fifth grader, Kate scored in the 99th percentile on the 8th Grade Explore Test.

Mandeville School of Music violin students, Madeline Moore, Grace Dumdaw, Melissa Moore, and Kate Rush recently performed as a string quartet for the DiLeo-West wedding. They are all currently students of Ms. Simona Gronic.

Covington School of Music piano student, Austin Knauff, had an audition this past May at a talent agency and has just signed on with J. Pervis Talent Agency in the commercial department. He will be training for roles in film and television.

Congratulations to our Graduating Seniors!

Mandeville Jazz Band at the Mandeville School of Music

(Pictured above left to right, Rebecca Posey with her student Amanda Boe - Joy Meade with her student Sage McGee,
Christopher Koehl, Samantha Morris with her instructor Daniel Campbell.)

On Sunday, June 8, 2014, four of our graduating senior students at LAAPA put on a very special Senior Recital held in LAAPA’s own Performance Hall on the campus of the River Ridge School of Music & Dance in Harahan.

The concert began with Sage McGee, soprano, performing “Nel cor piu non mi sento”, “Step Sister’s Lament”, and “Till There Was You.”

Next up was Samantha Morris, piano, who performed “Farewell Aragog”, “Minuet in G”, and “Sonata 20 Opus 49 No. 2 (Beethoven).”

Christopher Koehl, bass, wowed the audience with his renditions of “Come Together” and “Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1 (Bach).”

The concert concluded with Amanda Boe, 2014 LAAPA Hall of Fame Inductee and mezzo-soprano, singing “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Spark of Creation”, “I’m Not Afraid of Anything”, and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

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! Connect with us on Facebook at,, and now on Twitter at @laapatweets.

Important Dates

July 1-5
Summer Break
July 7-25
Summer Music Camps at the Mandeville School of Music (very limited openings remain)
July 7-25
Summer Music & Dance Camps at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance (very limited openings remain)

Summer Music & Dance Camps Start Next Week - Call Today to Reserve One of Our Few Remaining Openings!

Register Now for Summer Music & Dance Camps at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts in New Orleans, LA

It's hard to believe that it ALREADY time to start making your summer activity plans! Summer will be here before you know it and so will our 2014 Summer Music & Dance Camps held this year from July 7-25 at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance and the Mandeville School of Music.

Our Summer Music Camps and Summer Dance Camps provide all campers (ages 5-16, beginning, intermediate, and advanced) with the opportunity to choose and explore up to five of our instrumental, vocal, and performing arts programs.

For Brand New Beginners with Little or No Experience...

Campers are able to explore our various programs and see what program(s) interest them!

Perhaps your child has shown an interest in music, dance, piano, singing, guitar, violin, drums (just to name a few!)? Wherever his/her interest lies, we are happy to provide a formal introduction to the programs of your choice in a structured and fun environment!

At the conclusion of each week of camp, the faculty members write a brief overview of your child's aptitude for each program/instrument which is extremely helpful in determining which program/instrument would be a good match in terms of regular classes and private lessons.

For Experienced Students...

Our camps also provide experienced students with the opportunity to try out other programs of interest or may also serve as an opportunity for concentrated study to accelerate proficiency and to generate motivation... giving new life to the student's instrument or vocal study.

All Students...

At the end of each day of camp, all students come together for performance classes which feature what they have learned that day in camp!

In order to maintain a balanced atmosphere of fun, creativity, and education, only 25 students are admitted each week.

Is your child younger than age 5? For ages birth-4, we recommend our Preschool Music Program which includes signing, singing, music & movement, percussion, and more!

Additional information including programs offered may be found on our summer camp at

Is Your Teacher Completely Booked?

As the Summer continues, many of our teachers are already nearly or totally booked! Due to demand however, we have opened several new music and dance classes. 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.
Here’s just a partial list of who’s currently full at all campuses:


Maggie: FRI, 1 spot!
Kathleen: TU & WED, 1 spot!
Cara: WED, 1 spot! MON,TH,FRI-BOOKED!
Bonnie: MON & TH, 1 spot! WED & SAT-BOOKED!
Jennifer: MON-BOOKED!
Russell: MON,TU,WED-1 spot! TH-BOOKED!
Mirka: TU-2 spots!
Rebecca: MON & TU-1 spot! TH & FRI-BOOKED!
Carolyn: TU-1 spot! MON,WED,FRI-BOOKED!
Daniel: TH-2 spots! TU & WED, 1 spot!
Bethany: TU,WED,TH-1 spot! SAT-BOOKED!
Joy: MON-1 spot!
Yulene: SAT-2 spots!
Jessica: TU & WED, 1 spot!
Catherine: SAT – BOOKED!


Aaron: WED, 2 spots! TU, 1 spot! MON-BOOKED!
Bill: WED-1 spot! SAT-BOOKED!
Curtis: MON, TH, FRI-1 spot!
Josh: SAT-1 spot! TU,WED,TH-BOOKED!
Ben: WED & TH, 1 spot! MON,TU,FRI, SAT-BOOKED!


Gabriel: MON 1 spot!
Simona: TH & SAT-BOOKED!
Denise: MON, 2 spots! TU, 1 spot! WED-BOOKED!
Vanya: MON 1 spot!


Ryan: TH – BOOKED!
Reid: TU,TH,FRI-1 spot! MON & WED-BOOKED!

We had a record breaking number of students begin lessons this June, and we're so pleased to welcome all of you to the LAAPA family!

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

Addie C.
Aiden T.
Alaina M.
Alison M.
(thanks Logan R.)
Alissa P.
Analiyah J.
Anel T.
Ashley B.
(thanks Daniel B.)
Ashley E.
Ashley N.
Austin F.
Averi B.
Avery W.
Bella R.
Bella Rose C.
Benjamin V.
Bryanna L.
Cadence P.
Camille V.
Celeste V.
Charles M.
(thanks Hank M.)
Chasity D.
Chloe P.
Chloe C.
Cole W.
Collin B.
Corinne C.
(thanks Allison A.)
David M.
Elise E.
Emily A.
Eric D.
Evan D.
Gabriella B.
Gavin W.
Giuliana N.
Gracelee S.
Graham J.
(thanks Haley V.)
Hampton A.
(thanks Abbey A.)
Hannah S.
Harrison W.
(thanks Kelly W.)
Isabella S.
(thanks Lauren & Miranda B.)
Isabella T.
Isabella N.
Isabella L.
Jaden B.
James F.
Jake L.
Jayden C.
Joshua E.
(thanks Carolyn R.)
Julia C.
Kristen F.
Landon D.
Lillian S.
Madeline M.
Madison R.
Maria N.
Marianna C.
Marissa D.
Marissa G.
Marley C.
Mary Grace M.
Matthew K.
Michael M.
Myles T.
Neha G.
Noel O.
Olivia A.
Oumar D.
Paige O.
Payton B.
Peggy R.
Peyton T.
Peyton C.
Pierce J.
(thanks Haley V.)
Piper C.
Rick P.
Royal H.
Sarah T.
Shelby L.
Shriya G.
Sofya V.
Sophia G.
Spencer R.
Tate W.
Veronica J.
Victoria T.
(thanks Christian T.)
Victoria H.
Will F.
William K.
Xavier B.

Quick Practice Tip for Music Students - by Carolyn Russell

One of the biggest struggles I find students of all ages have is keeping the correct tempo of the piece and playing smoothly. How to fix that? Use a metronome when learning a piece and learn how to count out loud rehearsing. Start off as slow as needed to play the most difficult section correctly. Then gradually increase tempo only as you can play or sing the piece correctly at the slower tempo. Your teacher can help you with this skill. This will give your piece a cleaner and more energized feel. What kind of metronome is best? The one you will use constantly! Find your favorite metronome app or purchase a traditional metronome but be sure to use it when you practice!

Faculty News

Class Openings at Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts in NOLA

(Pictured above left to right, Katarina Boudreaux, Mae King-Alvarado, Carolyn Russell, Cara Williams)

Katarina Boudreaux, instructor of piano/voice, and the “Ra-Ra Racket” with Reid Poole, instructor of brass/winds/percussion/guitar, will be performing each Sunday in July for brunch (10:30 AM - 1:30 PM) at the Live Oak Cafe in New Orleans (intersection of Oak and Dublin).

Mae King Alvarado, instructor of dance, has started a new dance performance company called “Audac!ty Dance Collective.” They will be performing August 9&10 at the Marigny Opera House. The performance will feature modern dance and is sure to be a wonderful evening!

Carolyn Russell, instructor of piano/voice, will be performing at the CWC women’s luncheon on Wednesday July 9th at 11 AM. Women can purchase tickets for this luncheon by calling (504) 812-1821. The lineup will additionally include LAAPA faculty member, Reid Poole on trumpet along with LAAPA student Chris Hebert on vocals.

Cara Williams has been cast in the lead role of Anna in Covington Playmakers' production of The King and I. Performances will be July 11-27.  Tickets can be purchased at