July 2015 Newsletter
Articles include, "Shopping for Your New Musical Instrument", Student News, Summer Music & Dance Camps are Coming!, Students of the Month - Cole & Tate Wegener, Will You Win $600?, and more!"...
Here at the Academy we often receive questions regarding how to choose a new musical instrument. Is it best to buy an instrument brand new, or would a used instrument be a better value? When does it make sense to rent an instrument, and what are some of the brand names to consider?
There are some consumers who will only buy new because they believe in purchasing once and having the item last for a very long time. A manufacturer’s warranty will cover any issues should they arise. If you have the means to buy a new instrument and don’t really mind the depreciated value (once it becomes a used instrument), then by all means go for it.
Because of those consumers that only buy new, however, incredible values can be found in used instruments if you know where to look, and what to look for. In Japan (home of the most popular mass produced pianos - Yamaha & Kawai) consumers tend to only buy brand new pianos for their homes as they don’t believe in buying used. Many times these instruments end up being barely used and are sold for 50-75% off the current comparable model’s price. These pianos are often purchased by and shipped to U.S. piano retailers who specialize in restoring and reselling used instruments. Instruments like this are usually 30-40 years old (more or less) but can easily last a lifetime if they have been properly restored and cared for. When buying them from a reputable retailer, they will look like new and you’d never know the difference. Many of these retailers will even include a 5-10 year warranty! For further reading when shopping for a piano, visit piano expert, Larry Fine’s website http://www.pianobuyer.com. The used pianos I mentioned here are often referred to as “Grey Market” pianos; find out more on this subject in Larry’s book.
When compared with purchasing a new piano, it’s a lot easier to purchase a new and “cheap, beginning” violin. Be careful though - there is such a thing as “too cheap.” Avoiding the cheapest of the cheap will spare the student from unnecessary frustration and discouragement. A few good starter brands to consider are Ricard Bunnel & Rosalia. Look for the term “outfit” for a case and bow to be included, otherwise the listed price includes the violin only. Prices are determined by build quality, type of construction (i.e. hand made vs. mass produced), and finish.
If the student is still growing, it would be wise to work with a local store and inquire about their trade-up policy (or rental program) as violins come in 9-10 different sizes. Having to purchase a new instrument outright each time could end up being costly (plus you’ll have to continually try and sell the smaller instruments if there is no trade-up program). Keller Strings in New Orleans is our recommended local violin shop.
For guitars, Fender, Yamaha, Fender Squier, Gibson, Taylor, Ibanez, Martin, PRS are all very good brands to consider. With beginning students, we highly recommend starting with an acoustic model. For younger beginners, the softer nylon strings are recommended as they are gentler on the fingers. When purchasing a new or used guitar, it’s also extremely important to have the instrument professionally setup. Some shops will include this, others may not and charge ($30-100), so just be sure to ask them about this. A good setup will ensure that the instrument is in tune with itself and strings are set to the proper height for ease of playing. For the largest selection of guitars and best pricing, we recommend Sweetwater.com - call Austin at ext. 1282.
Brass & Woodwind instruments are probably the hardest to find in excellent condition used due to constant moisture. Nevertheless, there are deals to be had with well maintained instruments (parts cleaned/lubricated, pads changed when needed, cork replaced when needed, etc). All around brands to consider are Yamaha, Selmer, Buffet, Gemeinhart. Slidell Music and Michon Music are our recommended retailers.
Finally, whenever buying anything used (warranty or no warranty), it’s always worth the investment to have a professional accompany you to properly evaluate the instrument.
Have fun finding your new instrument!
Ryan Cullen, Academy Director
Our Summer Music Camps and Summer Dance Camps provide all campers (ages 5-16, beginning, intermediate, and advanced) with the opportunity to have fun exploring up to five of our instrumental, vocal, and performing arts programs. Campers (even those with little or no music or performing arts background) are able to take a hands on approach and see what programs and instruments 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!
Very Limited Space - only 25 campers enrolled each week.
We are so extremely grateful to you our students and parents who continue to refer us to your friends, colleagues, and associates day after day, month after month, etc. Your referrals are the highest compliment we can receive here at LAAPA, and we wanted to do something extraordinary for our current and former students who continue to refer the Academy to new students.
Now through July 31, 2015 if you refer a friend or colleague to the Academy and they enroll, you AND your friend/colleague will be automatically entered in our $600 Sweetwater Gift Certificate Giveaway! Please make sure that your friend mentions your FULL NAME
at the time of enrollment.
The more friends you refer that enroll - the more chances you have to win!
Sound too good to be true?- Stay tuned for a video from Academy Director, Ryan Cullen for more information! Winners will be announced on Monday, August 3 ONLY via our Facebook page at facebook.com/laapaface, so be sure to like us!
Kate Rush, a 6th grader at Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School, was recognized in a state-wide ceremony at Northwestern State University of Louisiana for scoring in the 99th percentile on the ACT Explore test for 8th graders. Of the approximately 6,500 4th through 6th grade students in several states who took the test, only 286 qualified for state-wide recognition.
Kate was also recently selected by the Missionary Childhood Association as one of 24 Christmas artwork winners out of thousands of entries nationwide. Kate’s pencil drawing of the three wise men will be displayed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. in an exhibition that runs throughout the 2015 Advent/Christmas Season. Her drawing will also be featured on the children’s website (www.MCAKids.org) as an e-greeting. Kate has been a violin student at LAAPA since 2008.
Rebecca Posey (Voice Faculty - Mandeville School of Music) performed a concert at Christwood Retirement Center in Covington on April 18. Everyone had a great time! Students who performed were: Melissa Moore, Sarah Posey, Madeline Moore, Emily Ruli, Kate Gauthreaux, and Shannon Reuter
We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 facebook.com/laapaface, youtube.com/laapatube, and now on Twitter at @laapatweets.
We'd like to wish the following Students, Faculty, and Staff a very Happy Birthday this Month!
(Students) Aleah B. (4), Alexander H. (11), Alexandra J. (16), Angelina W. (6), Asa Z. (7), Ashlyn W. (14), Audrey Lane C. (11), Autumn P. (6), Baylen G. (5), Beck T. (16), Brian F. III (14), Brice H. (9), Caitlen M. (8), Camille C. (8), Christian W. (14), Christian H. (6), Christopher K., Christy H. (9), Claudia D., Cullen W. (6), Dario S. (9), Devin I. (8), Domenic M. (10), Edir G., Elliott L. (9), Emily B. (17), Gabby R. (9), Gavin M., George G. Jr. (6), Gina R., Gracyn D. (9), Haley V. (8), Hannah P. (9), Isabella M. (13), Isabella L. (11), Jack L. (6), Jaidyn P. (9), Jakob B. (15), Jaydn F. (5), Jennifer G., Jordan P. (7), Julian S. (11), Kate C. (11), Kate P. (14), Katelyn C. (14), Kayla M. (5), Kyla A. (7), Kylie S. (5), Lexie R. (11), Lily W. (7), Loreta H., Luke R. (8), Madeline M. (15), Madison L. (14), Marie C. (11), Mary Grace M. (14), Meghan T. (15), Michael C., Miya D. (14),
Monique V. (12), Pamela K., Pat C., Pratyush S. (9), RJ H. (17), Ryan W., Sam G. (8), Sofia C. (8), Sophie N. (13), Tate W. (8), Tom C., Trey K. (8), Vanessa T. (4), Victoria G. (17), Victoria H. (9), William C. (10), Wyatt I. (10)
(Faculty) Kanako Fuwa, Carolyn Russell, Mirka Jichova, Robin Wallace, Jeannette Prater, Aaron Boudreaux
July 13 - Summer Camps begin at the Mandeville & River Ridge Campuses
August 3 - Fall Registration Begins
Mandeville School of Music students, Cole & Tate Wegener, take piano lessons with 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 lessons with us?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Christian Rock, VBS Music, songs on the radio, Rock and Roll.
What is your favorite part of the lesson each week?
What do you enjoy practicing each week?
What are your other interests/hobbies?
Soccer, basketball, Wii, playing with friends, reading, football (we like the Pittsburg Steelers!), Pokemon, fishing
Molly (parent), what made you choose LAAPA?
We looked into a couple of places, but we needed lessons where the boys could take at the same time, so this was the best fit! Plus, the staff was enthusiastic!
(thanks Anna M.)
(thanks Erica B.)
(thanks Addie C.)
(thanks Bill L.)
(thanks Thomas H.)
John G. Jr.
(thanks Josh R.)
(thanks Oliva A.)
Rhyne S. Jr.
(thanks Charlie H.)
“I live in New York City, but I was in New Orleans doing research for the summer. I needed to find a camp for my young son and daughter. I did some research and decided that the LAAPA-River Ridge camp had a lot to offer for a very good price. My experience exceeded even my most ambitious fantasies about what the camp would be like. The camp is held in a very controlled and well-organized environment. The staff is very friendly and thoughtful. I would often observe the classes for a few minutes before leaving or come early and the students always seemed really excited about what they are learning. And yet, while making sure that learning is fun, the staff also manages to help students appreciate how important it is to be disciplined, to stay on task and remain focused, during lessons.”
~ Michael Ralph