New Classes Are Starting this - Call Us Today to Get Started!


Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance




Sharing Ideas to Move our Students Forward

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Piano and Guitar Recitals

This past August, the Faculty and Staff of the Covington, Mandeville, and River Ridge campuses met in the LAAPA Performance Hall to discuss the state of the Academy, how we can continue to improve our teaching methods, etc. It is through the sharing of our ideas that our faculty are able to continue to move forward and provide our students with the finest music and dance education here in the Greater New Orleans area!

Academy Director, Ryan Cullen opened the seminar and discussed the importance of meeting the needs of “The Evolving Student”. Students are technology aware today more than ever, and through the use of our school iPads and variety of different apps, our Faculty have a plethora of supplemental information at their fingertips that will truly enhance the value and outcome of each lesson.
Carolyn Russell, Instructor of Piano/Voice at the Covington and Mandeville Schools reminded us all of the power that education in the performing arts has through her presentation entitled, “Impacting Lives Through Music Lessons.” She also generously shared her variety of resources - one in particular was a questionnaire that helps to identify the student’s learning behaviors. Knowing this information for each student allows her (and now all of our Faculty) to better tailor each lesson according to the student’s learning patterns.
Bill Solomon, Instructor of General Music at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance discussed the importance of “Student Assessment” which he personally works through on a more verbal basis vs. a questionnaire format. Knowing which questions to ask the student and seeing how they react to the types of exercises and lesson plans that he brings to each lesson helps him to continually ensure that his students are on successful paths.
Jennifer White, Instructor of Voice/Piano at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance discussed the extremely important aspect of “Structuring Lessons for Maximum Value.” She discussed in depth how to structure lessons differently for students who are very young and just beginning versus adults who have a solid idea of what they’d like to get out of each lesson.
The seminar concluded with Mandeville School of Music Instructor of Piano/Voice, Rebecca Posey’s presentation entitled, “Inspiring Confident, Expressive Performers”. Ms. Posey focuses heavily on the extremely important aspect of having students practice as if they are performing on stage each time! Ms. Posey (pictured above) was additionally named “2014 Teacher of the Year by the Faculty/Staff!”

Student News

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Ella Bertucci recently visited St. Francis Assisted Living Center to play piano for the residents during lunch. She played some past pieces along with some new ones from Mrs. Bonnie!

Mandeville School of Music student, Matthew Folse made the Jazz Band at his school: Mandeville Middle School! Matthew is 12, in 6th grade, and he’s just started drum lessons with Mr. Ben this past July.

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.

Happy October Birthdays!

We'd like to wish the following Students, Faculty, and Staff a very Happy Birthday this September!

(Students) Bre-Yion W. (4), Tommy P. (12), Michael C. (13), Connor C., Joshua B. (15), Mason F. (7), Wayne H., Madison M. (7), Gabriella B. (12), Heyleen D. (6), Karen A. (15), Sireen M. (7), Gabrielle C. (12), Royal H. (4), Gabriella V. (15), Elisa M. (10), Victoria T. (7), Shay D. (16), Rayanna B. (10), Corinne C. (11), Brad M., Jase D. (7), William R-M. (14), Kate B. (11), Lillian H. (6), Sherman A., Branden R. (12), Brennan S. (10), Tyler V. (9), Caleb S. (10), Ian S. (10), Stephen K. (17), Sophie R. (11), Sadie G. (7), Kristen P. (7), Ayden L. (8), Dylan B. (8), Andrew J. (6), Caleigh M. (14), Natalie R. (14), Chauncey A. (9), Riley S. (8), Frankie J. (5), Paige O. (8), Kinley G. (12), Kaylee S. (13), Brian B. (15), Tammy W., Rosie N. (7), Mariah M. (11), Caleb S. (11), Sophia G. (4), Robert K., Spencer R. (14), Geoffrey G. (11), Alexander S. (7), Elle G. (8), William K. (9), Kate Z. (18), Jasaiah M. (7), Adele S. (10), Dylan V. (15), Jace C. (13), Cole W. (9)

(Faculty/Staff) Bill Solomon, Meredith Bradley, Curtis Staples, Jessica Martin, Kirk Duplantis, Lindsey Page.

Important Dates:

October 20-25 - Bring a Friend Week
Bring a Friend to your music lesson or dance class
October 31
Halloween - Open for Lessons - Come to your Lesson in Costume!

Students of the Month - The Guerra Family

River Ridge School of Music & Dance students, Olivia, Isaack, and Laney Guerra take or have taken piano, guitar, voice, drum lessons and dance classes! We recently had a chance to speak with them and learn a little more about their lessons and interests!

Tell us about yourselves and how long you’ve been taking classes at LAAPA.

Olivia - I’m in the 7th grade at St. Christopher. I have been taking music lessons at River Ridge for 5 years. I’m presently taking piano, guitar, and voice lessons. I also write music and performed a song that I wrote at one of the recitals. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in LAAPA Fest for the last two years.

Issack - I’m in the 3rd grade at St. Christopher and have been playing drums at River Ridge for 2 years.

Laney - I’m in the 4th grade at St. Michael’s Special School. I was enrolled in dance lessons at River Ridge for almost a year and decided to switch to drum lessons with Mr. Bill this past spring.

How and why did you get started in music lessons?

Olivia - I thought it would be a cool thing to take music lessons. I’ve always wanted to be a rock star and thought this would be a great start.

Issack - I thought it would be fun to be a drummer and I would love to be famous one day.

Laney - I wanted to take lessons so I could be with Olivia and Isaack.

What do you enjoy most about coming to lessons each week?

Olivia - Ms. Meghan and Mr. Ben are really nice. I always look forward to showing them what I’ve learned.

Issack - I just love playing my drums with Mr. Bill. I really enjoy having him as my teacher.

Laney - I like playing the drums and singing with Mr. Bill.

What are your other interests and hobbies?

Olivia - I love to read books and write music. I’m in honors classes at school and am presently focused on choosing what high school I’d like to attend. I’ve also been taking Kinjitzu lessons for the last three months.

Issack - Besides playing my drums, I like riding my bike and drawing. I have also been involved with the cub scouts for the last 3 years. I am now at the bear level with the scouts.

Laney - I love playing on the ipad, participating in gymnastics, eating at different restaurants with my family, and playing baseball. I also love school and the color pink.

What has your experience been (Brigid & Raul - parents)?

We wanted our children exposed to music. We felt that by having them enrolled at LAAPA that it would allow them to do something that they would enjoy and that they could do for the rest of their lives. We are absolutely pleased with the our children’s lessons. We have nothing but good things to say about the faculty and staff at LAAPA.

Ready to Get Started in Lessons? October Teacher Openings.

A HUGE welcome to our 100+ new students who began lessons this September!

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

Aimee L.
Alexander N.
Alexis M.
Alicia M.
Andrew G.
Anthony G.
Arabella G.
(thanks George G.)
Armani G.
Audrey Lane C.
Bayli M.
Beau D.
Ben D.
Brayden R.
Brennan S.
(thanks Strickland Family)
Brookelyn D.
Bryce D.
Cahler L.
Caleb S.
Caleb B.
Camille P.
Chase K.
Chloe C.
Christian W.
Christian B.
Christian S.
Cindy L.
Diego D.
Eleanor C.
Elizaveta D.
Embry P.
Emily S.
Geoffrey G.
Grace B.
Grace H.
Hailey S.
(thanks Carolyn R.)
Hannah A.
Hayden M.
(thanks Patrick F.)
Hayes D.
Hien N.
Hudson M.
Ian S.
Jack A.
Jacqueline M.
Jase D.
Joan S.
John B.
Joseph G.
Joseph D.
Joshua M.P.
Josiah J.
Julian F.
Justin D.
Kaitlann R.
Kaitlyn G.
Kate C.
Kaylee S.
Kenley D.
Kennon R.
Kenny G.
Kinley G.
Lauren B.
Leah E.
Lila H.
Lily W.
(thanks Strickland Family)
Londyn D.
Loreta H.
Luke A.
Lynn M.
Maddox Jacob T.
Madeline M.
Madison H.
Mae K.
Marissa G-M.
Mason V.
Mason F.
(thanks Mae K-A.)
Matthew B.
Medha D.
Meg G.
Mason M.
Melaya M.
Melissa M.
Melody M.
Nicholas G.
Noah A.
Olivia N.
(thanks Rosie N.)
Patrick D.
(thanks Wyatt I.)
Peter B.
Rayne K.
Riley K.
Rita G.
Rob R.
Rojoh Z.
Sahithi K.
Scout H.
Shianne P.
Sophie N.
Spencer F.
Starr M.
Taylor L.
Tristan S.
Victoria D.
Warren D.
William T.
Win S.
Wyatt P.
Yaira E.
Zyla B.

Meet the Artist - Michaela Howell

Many of you have asked about the new artwork on display at the Mandeville School of Music and (coming soon) to the River Ridge School of Music & Dance. All of these works are available to take home with you (please inquire at the front desk) and will support a very talented local artist as well as future LAAPA students through a special scholarship fund.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Michaela Howell attended The University of Louisiana Lafayette in which she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. While working her way through college Michaela found Lafayette to be a hot bed of artistic interest complete with great food, live music, and lots of fun! Michaela met a man who shared her interest in “Les Bon Temps” and shortly after graduation they were married. Now, a full time mom and a resident of southern Louisiana, Michaela pulls her inspiration from the commonalities of the Cajun and NOLA cultures...both centered on Music!
With down home country humble beginnings Michaela has always been very resourceful. She cuts, sands, primes, paints, and in some cases stains her abstract versions of the wooden instruments, creating very hands-on works of art. This resourcefulness has “Played” out very nicely in her most current work. Though the recycling of varying musical instrument components including guitar strings, violin knobs, music sheets featuring the instrument showcased, Michaela portrays a ‘current’ sense of style combined with a very vivid color pallet, creating a symphony for the senses.
Michaela is very grateful for the opportunity to display her latest work at The Mandeville and River Ridge Schools of Music and Dance. When recently asked about the upcoming display Michaela commented “I just feel so blessed to be able to do what I love so much and that passion for all kinds of art can transcend to connect with others. The fact that this work will go on to help others to share that love is a blessing on its own.”
Michaela will donate 10% of proceeds towards a scholarship for students who cannot afford music lessons.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“I am currently taking alto saxophone classes with Reid Poole. The guy is an awesome teacher! He imparts the essence of music theory exceptionally well. He is also a great motivator. When I leave each class, I am always anticipating the encore. I am truly enjoying the music experience.

~ Rodney L. Johnson Sr.

“Lessons are going really well. I’m very impressed with Josh. I haven’t had too many teachers with the amount of knowledge he has.”

~ Charles McLoughlin

Faculty News

Aaron Boudreaux, instructor of drums/guitar at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance as well as the Covington School of Music was recently in Helsinki, Finland and Tonder, Denmark on tour with Cedric Watson, Dirk Powell, and John Boutte. He is pictured left with New Orleans jazz vocalist, John Boutte.