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River Ridge
1111 Village Walk Rd
105 Campbell Ave #3
2020 Dickory Ave #200
Covington, LA
Mandeville, LA
Harahan, LA
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December 2018 Newsletter

Articles include, "Transforming the Lives of our Students through Music & Dance", Student of the Month - Madison Livaccari, Student News, Give the Gift that Will Last a Lifetime, and more!"...

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Transforming the Lives of our Students through Music & Dance

LAAPA December 2018 Newsletter for Music Lessons & Dance Classes in Mandeville, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans, River Ridge, Harahan
December is finally here and soon it will be showtime with our Christmas Concerts and Christmas Dance Show! Our productions are the culmination of months of practice, patience, determination, and, of course, fun, and we’re so thankful to all of our faculty, staff, parents, and students for making it possible. Even if you aren’t able to perform this year, you’re still welcome to watch either in person or via our live stream at laapa.com/live! I look forward to some exciting performances this year and know you’ll all be great!

As another year closes (our 40th this year!), I always like to reflect a bit on our mission. Maybe it’s sappy, and I know I say it every year, but I don’t think it’s possible to say thank you enough to everyone who makes LAAPA able to continue it’s mission here in the Greater New Orleans community, so I’m going to keep doing it!

Thanks to all of our students and parents who have either recently joined our academy or (in many cases) have been studying with us for years. As our student body continues to grow, it gets harder and harder for me to personally know all of our students and see them progress. This is why recital time is more and more valuable to me each year. Being able to share what I consider one of the greatest gifts the world has to offer and see how it transforms the lives of our students and families is an awesome privilege. I believe our faculty and staff would concur on this point, and it’s probably what makes up for their having to put up with me. :)

Also, if you’re brand new to LAAPA or considering getting started, please know that many times brand new music and dance students come to us and let us know upfront that they aren’t really interested in performing in our concerts for one reason or another, and we let them know that’s perfectly fine! However, after taking lessons for a little while and building additional self-confidence, many eventually choose to participate! So just keep that in mind down the road.

Thanks to our hard working faculty. They are all some of the most genuine and qualified educators in the New Orleans, Mandeville, and Covington areas that you’ll ever meet and work with. We receive hundreds of applications each year from prospective educators, and while many are excellent performers or may be qualified, not everyone has the unique ability to communicate their experience and methods in a variety of intelligible and personable ways as our faculty do. So thank you so much faculty, we appreciate all that you do for us.

Thanks to our fantastic staff. While we receive hundreds of applications over the year for our outstanding faculty members, we literally receive hundreds of applications each time one of our staff positions becomes available. They are all truly the best of the best at what they do in my book. They work countless hours behind the scenes keeping everything organized and running smoothly for which we are grateful every day. It takes very special people to administer our three campuses as they constantly have to multi-task between customer service and a variety of projects.

Our concerts for the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 15-16 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Music Concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Saturday, December 8 at Victory Fellowship in Metairie. Our Christmas Dance Show, “Santa’s Christmas Adventure” will be held on Saturday, December 22 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Solomon Theatre in Metairie - 7 PM.

Student Concert time assignments are published at:

Each December at our music concerts, we support the Teresian Sisters and their Mission in Batesville, Texas. For more information on the Mission, please visit:

Donations for the mission are accepted in lieu of tickets at our music productions. To streamline entry into our dance show, tickets will only be sold ONLINE this year. Please purchase all tickets in advance at http://events.laapa.com.

Merry Christmas & see you at the concerts!
Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

Give the Gift That Will Last a Lifetime
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore

This Holiday, give the gift that will last a lifetime. Music & Dance Lessons for kids, teens, and adults! Whether you're a brand new beginner or already experienced, our faculty and staff provide a welcoming and fun learning environment customized for your goals and interests.

Gift certificates are available for purchase here:

We offer the most comprehensive selection of programs under one roof including MUSIC LESSONS in piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, guitar, electric guitar, banjo, ukulele, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, preschool music, theory, composition, jazz band, rock band and DANCE CLASSES in ballet, hip-hop, tap, musical theatre, tumbling, parent & tot, and more!

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, email us at contact@laapa.com, or save time and enroll online via the red button below!


Student News

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Sophia Mitchem (pictured above) recently auditioned and was selected for the Chorale at St. Edward the Confessor. She will be singing at the school mass and for Celebration in the Oaks. Sophia also auditioned and was selected to be a soloist during her class’s performance of This Land is Your Land during her school’s Cochon de Lait fair. Sophia has been with LAAPA for 6 years! She is currently enrolled in musical theater and piano. Great work, Sophia!

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Covington School of Music students Calvin and Frank Schneider (pictured above) claimed these awesome flying prizes from the treasure chest after earning 5 tickets! Keep up the great work, Calvin and Frank!
piano lessons at Mandeville School of Music & Dance, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans

River Ridge School of Music & Dance Preschool Music student Alannah Bauer (pictured above with her instructor Ms. Kadi) saved up 30 tickets and cashed them in for a LAAPA tote bag. Great job Alannah!

Mandeville School of Music & Dance student James Plaisance earned first chair as lead alto saxophone for the 2018 LMEA All-State Jazz Band. James has worked very hard this year and it has definitely paid off! James has been taking saxophone lessons at LAAPA since 2010!
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore

Now in its 24th season, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras (GNOYO) is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to engage, educate, and foster music awareness across the community. Young musicians, ages 7 to 19, are placed by audition in GNOYO’s challenging and rewarding orchestral programs. Five orchestras and three outreach programs are offered. Below are some of GNOYO’s upcoming events:

GNOYO Fall Festival Concert
Saturday, December 8th
3 PM at Mandeville High School

Winter Auditions
Saturday, January 5th
Loyola University

Go to http://gnoyo.org/audition-application/" to sign up!

LAAPA Recording Studio!

Alexandra takes voice, piano, music lessons, Covington, Northshore, Mandeville, New Orleans, Harahan

With the Holidays approaching, your recording will make a great gift for Family and Friends! Our recording studio is located at the Mandeville campus and features a 32 track ProTools system, 4k video cameras, premium mics and equipment. Click the button below to learn more, schedule a studio tour or Book Your Session today!

Learn More!

FREE Dance Class!

Alexandra takes voice, piano, music lessons, Covington, Northshore, Mandeville, New Orleans, Harahan

We are happy to announce that we are now offering a Strength & Conditioning class FREE to all dance students (ages 7+) enrolled in 2 or more dance classes. The class will be Thursdays at 7pm in River Ridge and Saturdays at 12pm in Mandeville. Inquire at the Front Desk or click the button below for more info!

Learn More!

Send us your news!

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail at 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 December Birthdays!

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

Students: Abigail C. (15), Amelia R. (8), Anna B. (17), Anna C. (13), Arivan S. (7), Arjun S. (2), Ashley O. (9), Avery A. (11), Ben W. (18), Blake D. (10), Brady S. (11), Brenda S. (56), Brice H. (11), Camille T. (16), Carrietta Y. (11), Charles A. (21), Charlotte T. (7), Cheryl E. (66), Chloe B. (13), Danielle S. (17), David R. (11), Deanna C. (31), Diego O. (5), Dominick T. (5), Drin P. (5), Elias C. (6), Elise L. (8), Ella S. (8), Emily R. (14), Ethan C. (8), Evelyn T. (5), Eviana R. (8), Felicity P. (13), Finley T. (9), Fredy Caleb B. (3), George B. (73), Gracie S. (13), Haley G. (14), Haley H. (18), Hannah C. (10), Hannah W. (9), Hayden P. (6), Hazle S. (6), Henslee S. (5), Hope S. (7), Hudson B. (7), Isabella O. (8), Jace R. (9), Jaden B. (12), Jennifer C. (12), Jonah J. (19), Jonathan T. (6), Kaan M. (6), Kayleen G. (12), Keith D. (55), Kent T. (5), Khalil E. (14), Kimea C. (6), Kingston J. (4), Kuillin O. (2), Lachlan C. (2), Larry M. (64), Laylah W. (4), Lily Kate P. (7), Logan T. (12), Mary R. (60), Max L. (11), Max E. (13), Melody D. (10), Mia D. (10), Mia R. (7), Michael T. (13), Michael C. (13), Monya S. (83), Nick V. (9), Nilaja W. (11), Olivia M. (2), Patrick H. (16), Reagan H. (11), Rebecca R. (18), Ridhaan D. (8), Rusty B. (42), Sanjana S. (16), Sophia R. (15), Stephanie D. (16), Terrence D. Jr (15), Trace P. (15), Tracy M. (44), Vian G. (3), Victor S. (2), William C. (14), Yousef F. (9)

Faculty: Anton Z., Cassie W., Kari B., Dr. Vera Z.

Video of the Month - 5 Essential Ballet Positions with Mrs. Mary

In this episode of our Lagniappe Lesson series, Mrs. Mary demonstrates the five essential ballet positions for beginning dancers.


Important Dates:

December 8:
River Ridge School of Music & Dance Christmas Concerts

December 15 - 16:
Covington and Mandeville School of Music & Dance Christmas Concerts

December 22:
Dance Christmas Show: Santa's Christmas Adventure
Buy Tickets Here: http://events.laapa.com

December 24 - January 4:
Winter Holiday Break - No Lessons

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!

Student of the Month - Madison Livaccari

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

Covington School of Music student, Madison Livaccari, takes piano lessons here at LAAPA! We recently had a chance to speak with her and learn a little more about her lessons and interests!

How long have you been taking lessons at LAAPA?
“11 years”

What are some of your interests / hobbies outside of music?
“I run for Saint Scholastica’s cross country team and participate in multiple clubs there as well.”

What style of music do you love to play the most?
“I enjoy playing many different styles of music like classical and some pop hits are also always fun.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be something in the medical field, but specifically a trauma surgeon.”

What has been your overall experience at LAAPA?
“My overall experience has definitely been a positive one. Taking lessons for 11 years at LAAPA, I have had multiple teachers who have each taught me something different that I can use for the rest of my musical career.”

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

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

Abigail D.
(Thanks to Brooke F.)
Ally S.
Amelia K.
Barbara Ame B.
Brayden C.
(Thanks to Sara V.)
Brazil H.
Caleb S.
Cambre S.
Carlos A.
Charlotte J.
Charlotte B.
Christopher G.
Cierra W.
Dan S.
Daniel B.
(Thanks to Devin G.)
Donna O.
Elias C.
Elijah S.
Elizabeth D.
(Thanks to Evee P.)
Elizabeth L.
Emiily S.
Emma R.
Gabriel S.
(Thanks to Nohemi P.)
Gabriel B. 
(Thanks to Devin G.)
Hailey S.
(Thanks to Carolyn R.)
Haley G.
Harper G.
Hazel H.
Joshua D.
Kayla G.
Keon K.
Kevin G.
Lauren M.
(Thanks to Ryan W.)
Lynne D.
Mackenzie D.
Makayla B.
Mayah J.
Michelle V.
Myles J.
Nicholas L.
(Thanks to Sofia S.)
Nylah M.
(Thanks to Ryan W.)
Paul E.
Rain H.
Riley D.
(Thanks to Elizabeth T.)
Ryenne L.
(Thanks to Sofia S.)
Samantha M.
Sean K.
Winston J.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“We have been blessed with Mrs. Autumn Beck at LAAPA Covington and we couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. She is calm and understanding. She is thorough and helpful. She gives the extra push when she sees the need and slows down if more time is needed. My son has progressed quickly in piano because of her patience and talent. Thank you Mrs. Autumn! We know we are in great hands with you and look forward to seeing you every week!”

~ Carmichael Family

“My daughter has been taking tumbling for tots lessons for about 3 months and loves it. Her instructor Audra has been great and is very patient with all of the kids! We would definitely recommend LAAPA.”

~ Thompson Family