Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - HomePage

River Ridge
(985) 590-4545
(985) 674-2992
(504) 738-3050
1111 Village Walk Rd
105 Campbell Ave #3
2020 Dickory Ave #200
Covington, LA
Mandeville, LA
Harahan, LA

New Orleans Music Lessons and Dance Classes at Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - Louisiana Icon

Now Enrolling for
Music Lessons & Dance Classes.

It's Easy to Get Started - Call us Today!


October 2017 Newsletter

Articles include, "Customizing the Learning Experience for Our Students", Students of the Month - Isaac & Nico Perdigao, Student News, Welcome to Our Newest Students, Happy October Birthdays, and more!"...

Download in PDF Format

Customizing the Learning Experience for Our Students

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

On August 31, our entire faculty and staff came together to meet at the LAAPA Performance Hall on the campus of the River Ridge School of Music & Dance to learn about what’s new at LAAPA this school year! Five of our faculty members pictured above shared what has been working well for their students. We wanted to share just a few highlights to demonstrate how committed our Faculty/Staff are to providing a truly unrivaled and first class music and dance education here in the Greater New Orleans area.

Ryan Cullen, Academy Director, opened the meeting and shared what’s new with LAAPA this year! The most exciting news was the announcement of the official move in date (this October 2) at our brand new 4,000 square foot campus for the Mandeville School of Music & Dance at 105 Campbell BLVD #3. The new campus features improved parking, waiting space, 9 teaching rooms, a full recording studio, and two large performance halls (one of which will serve as our dance studio). The performance halls will also be outfitted with the ability to record and live broadcast performances. Conveniently located near I-12 at Highway 59, our new campus is now centrally located in Mandeville near Church of the King and Fountainbleau High and Jr. High Schools.

Next, Mrs. Mary Shaffo, Dept. of Dance Chair, discussed a variety of approaches to managing different personalities in the classroom. One of the things that we instill within each faculty member at LAAPA is the importance of meeting the student where they are and ensuring that our teaching methods are able to meet the needs of each personality. Sometimes this can be incredibly difficult (especially in a dance classroom), but Mrs. Shaffo’s tips were highly appreciated.

Ms. Kadi Helms, instructor of voice, piano, and preschool music, discussed the importance of tailoring lesson plans to the interests of each student. “Most students have the same books with little to no variation!” she mentioned. Not everyone wants to learn about one style of music or dance. Excellent points - at LAAPA, we teach what students want to learn! Interested in popular music, great, contemporary Christian, no problem, how about rhythm and blues - why certainly!

Ms. Alexandra Fontini, instructor of voice/piano, discussed the importance of staying true to one’s teaching methods. She thought back to her first days as a young piano student and reminisced about her experiences - the good and the not so good. She also discussed the importance of a routine and variety in each lesson to ensure that the entire lesson does not consist of just one topic. By keeping a consistent routine with variety, students are more likely to remain engaged and productive for the entire lesson.

Finally, Mrs. Carolyn Russell, instructor of voice and piano, concluded the meeting with her presentation on “The Leadership Engine - how to serve our students through unlocking their purpose.” During her presentation she discussed her process for getting to know new students so that she knows how to customize their lessons to be most productive.

Congratulations to all of our faculty presenters this year and to Ms. Alexandra Fontini for being named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by her colleagues! It was an extremely tough vote this year with our first ever tie breaking vote! Finally, thanks to all of our faculty at LAAPA - it’s a privilege to work with the most devoted and talented educators in the area!

Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

Reserve Your Fall Lessons Today!

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons
It’s Not Too Late to join the FUN this Fall with Music & Dance Lessons!

Give us a call today at the school campus nearest you! Covington (985) 590.4545, Mandeville (985) 674.2992, and River Ridge (504) 738.3050 or e-mail contact@laapa.com or save time and enroll online via the red button below!


Free concert featuring Dr. Vera Zholondz - Oct. 29

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons
Join Dr. Vera Zholondz on Sunday, October 29 - 6 PM for our inaugural concert at the Mandeville School of Music & Dance’s Elwood J. Dufour Performance Hall for an evening of William Bolcolm’s “Ghost Rags”. Dr. Vera will be briefly talking about each piece as well so this will be a fun learning experience for all! This concert is free admission and open to the general public.

The Night Before Christmas - Dance Auditions

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons
LAAPA’s department of dance will be presenting “The Night Before Christmas” on December 16th! All students (music or dance) from all locations are welcome to audition and everyone who auditions will be assigned a part. Male and female performers are needed for singing, ballet, tap, hip hop, and modern. Auditions will be held at the River Ridge campus on Saturday October 7th at 2:30 PM for ages 5-8 and at 4:00 PM for ages 9-up.

Student News

Mandeville School of Music & Dance, Diana Peters, serves as a worship leader in Kings Kids at Church of the King. Diana also has been spending most of her summer in Mandeville High’s Marching Band. She plays alto and tenor saxophones. This summer Diana has been working on her first original worship song. She takes piano lessons with Mrs. Carolyn. She is pictured below performing with fellow Mandeville campus students, Shay Dennie and Jamie Planchard at the 2017 Spring Recital.
Piano and Drum Lessons in New Orleans at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance
Covington School of Music student, Lolo Loris, saved 24 tickets from Superior ratings in her lessons and received an Academy water bottle!
Piano and Drum Lessons in New Orleans at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance
River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, James Ellis,, saved 24 tickets from Superior ratings in his lessons and received an Academy water bottle!
Piano and Drum Lessons in New Orleans at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance
River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Reece Heflin, was accepted to the Ella Dolhande Student Council! Reece is in 4th grade and takes Hip Hop/Jazz 2 and Musical theater with Mrs. Mary.
Piano and Drum Lessons in New Orleans at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail studentnews@laapa.com. 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.

Happy October Birthdays!

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

(Students) Abby S. (13), Aimme R. (7), Alexander S. (10), Alivia C. (13), Allison C. (adult), Alyssa A. (13), Amaiah L. (11), Amelia S. (6), Amy H. (adult), Ana G. (5), Anaya J. (7), Annabel S. (10), Asher A. (3), Ashleigh W. (adult), Ashley Z. (13), August S. (8), Aydan L. (11), Bryan N. (6), Camila A. (7), Catherine M. (11), Cayden S. (7), Christopher C. (adult), Colin G. (6), Colin F. (8), Courtney C. (13), DeAndre’ S. (8), Eden L. (2), Elena K. (5), Elisa B. (2), Forrest W. (adult), Gabrielle B. (14), Gavin H. (14), Gavin M. (7), Genivieve G. (5), Georgia G. (10), Giana A. (11), Hannah D. (10), Heather P. (adult), Hunter S. (8), Jace C. (16), Jaci W. (8), Jack H. (7), Jase D. (10), Jax C. (5), Jennifer Z. (13), Kai C. (5), Kamahri S. (11), Kamryn R. (5), Kristen P. (10), Logann L. (14), Lolo L. (9), Lydia C. (adult), Madelyn H. (16), Mary B. (adult), Mary R. (13), Mason F. (10), Mason C. (adult), Mason S. (8), Matthew B. (8), Mia T. (10), Michael C. (7), Michael D. (10), Molly B. (9), Nahla R. (8), Natalie R. (17), Nicole M. (10), Owen D. (4), Q (John) R. (7), Sadie G. (10), Saniya C. (7), Savannah N. (2), Sherri M. (adult), Sophia P. (13), Taelor W. (10), Tamy N. (adult), Taylor I. (15), Thomas M. (9), Timothy P. (14), Tucker S. (12), Vayle G. (14), Victoria T. (10), Wayne H. (adult), William C. (7), William K. (12)

(Faculty/Staff) Bill S., Kadi H., Jessica M., Kirk D., Kimberly D., KC T.

Lagniappe Lesson Video Series - Open vs Closed Position Chords

Looking for some extra lessons every now and then? Maybe you just need a few "how to get started" lessons in various instruments?

Check out our brand new Lessons and Tutorials website which features a compilation of all of our video lessons over the past few years. You're bound to find something helpful and interesting! This month, we'd like to feature LAAPA Director, Ryan Cullen, demonstrating some the difference between open and closed position chords.


Important Dates:

October 24-30
Bring a Friend/Wear Your Halloween Costumes to class!

October 29 - 6 PM
Dr. Vera Zholondz Recital - “Ghost Rags” - free concert!

October 31 - Halloween
No Classes

Music & Dance Artwork

You can now browse and purchase the beautiful Music and Dance artwork of local artist Michaela Howell in the LAAPA Store. Just goto http://store.laapa.com/art/. She is currently offering 10% off, so be sure to take a look soon!
Local artist, Michaela Howell has graciously decorated our schools with her music and dance themed artwork (just one example of which is pictured right). All of these pieces may be purchased for your home or as a gift! Please inquire at the front desk.
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!

Students of the Month - Isaac & Nico Perdigao

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

Mandeville School of Music & Dance students, Isaac & Nico Perdigao, take drum and saxophone lessons at LAAPA. We recently had a chance to speak with them and learn a little more about their lessons and interests!

What program are you taking and who is your teacher?
I: I take Drum lessons with Mr. Rossi.
N: Saxophone lessons with Dr. Mark.

How long have you been taking lessons with us?
(Mom) This is their second month.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I: Maroon 5. My favorite song is “Moves like Jagger”.
N: I like Jazz/Funk music, and the Beatles!

What is your favorite part of the lesson each week?
I: Following the beat with the IPad, and just about everything else!
N: Learning the different notes and scales. I am learning High “D”, “E”, “F”, and “G”.

What do you enjoy practicing each week?
I: The Flashcards!
N: Playing along with my brother on the drum.

What are your other interests/hobbies?
I: Playing with Legos
N: Building Legos and I do Tae Kwon Do!

(Parent) What made you choose LAAPA?
I received an email about lessons and it was hard finding Saxophone. Happy to find both at Laapa!

A HUGE welcome to our newest students who began lessons or added programs in September!

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

Addison L.
Ainsley K.
Alexandra S.
Anaya T.
Anaya J.
Andre M.
Angel R.
Anna S.
Asher A.
August S.
Benjamin N.
Brandon T.
Brayan C.
Carla C.
Cayla N.
Cherish W.
Christian S.
Christopher H.
Clay S.
Dave V.
David B.
Delaney B.
Derrick M.
Elizaveta D.
Elora C.
Emily K.
Eric Y.
Evelyn S.
Gabrielle S.
Grant S.
Harlee S.
(thanks to Alyse K.)
Isabella A.
Jack D.
James H.
James W.
Jamiya M.
Jean Paul C.
Jemma Z.
Jimmie W.
John B.
John K.
John Michael M.
Joseph U.
Joshua T.
Josie R.
Jude G.
(thanks to Sharon B.)
Laila L.
(thanks to Broussard family)
Lainey L.
Leanne B.
Lexi A.
Lilly V.
Linden B.
Lucas S.
(thanks to Bridget B.)
Mallorie C.
Mani V.
Matt C.
Matthew B.
Matthew G.
Melody D.
Michael T.
Mikaela W.,
Milan C.
Nick V.
Noah A.
Ohanna J.
Owen R.
(thanks to Elenore B.)
Percy P.
Q (John) R.
Race H.
Rayne K.
Rita G.
Sahar G.
Scotty C.
Scout H.
Shelbie S.
Siri R.
Sophia S.
Sophia H.
Sophie H.
Steven M.
Susan T.
Teresa C.
Thomas M.
Tristan W.
(thanks to Stephanie B.)
Tristan K.
Tucker S.
Vincent C.
Walsh B.
William B.
Zackary G.
(thanks to Brooke H.)

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“Parker loves his preschool music classes. I appreciate the fact that Dr. Vera teaches the children a variety of different concepts - it’s not just about having fun, she’s introducing musical terms, etc. ” ~St. Pe Family

“Reece can’t wait to show us what he has learned in his piano lessons with Ms. Mirka. He comes out of each lesson super happy and excited!” ~ Stumpf Family