Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - HomePage

River Ridge
1111 Village Walk Rd
105 Campbell Ave #3
2020 Dickory Ave #200
Covington, LA
Mandeville, LA
Harahan, LA
Now Enrolling for
Music Lessons & Dance Classes.

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


October 2018 Newsletter

Articles include, "Creating the Best Music & Dance Educational Experience", Student of the Month - Jaelyn Jarrell, New FREE Dance Class, Register NOW for Fall Music & Dance Lessons!, and more!"...

Download in PDF Format

Creating the Best Music & Dance Educational Experience

LAAPA August 2018 Newsletter for Music Lessons & Dance Classes in Mandeville, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans, River Ridge, Harahan

On August 31, our entire faculty and staff came together to meet at the Elwood J Dufour Performance Hall on the campus of the Mandeville School of Music & Dance to learn about what’s new at LAAPA this school year! Three 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 and discussed how all faculty and staff can take the experiences we provide for our students and families to the next level! He also took some time to discuss LAAPA’s unique “8 point plan” for a great lesson/class every week which specifically outlined the areas that need to be a part of each lesson for maximum student engagement and progress.

Next, Ms. Carol Lyon, instructor of strings, discussed how to make note reading a breeze especially for the young beginner. While the Suzuki method (which is extremely popular and widely used) is fantastic, it can sometimes leave beginning string students behind in terms of reading music properly. This is why all of our string instructos are encouraged to supplement it with traditional methods as well as our own LAAPAPRESS music theory texts/flashcards. Carol’s system is extremely innovative, utilizing a variety of colors, large posters, and creative games which she mentions will greatly improve student note reading in about 2 weeks.

Note reading is indeed an important subject for any instrument. As Carol mentioned, “When students can’t read standard notation, it’s much more difficult for them to be able to participate in standard ensembles.”

Dr. Vera Zholondz shared a wonderful discussion on “The Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self,” a book by William Westney, an internationally renowned concert pianist and educator. Zholondz particularly noted that Westney praised the importance of young students getting started in a preschool music program which he himself participated in prior to the piano. Westney says that in a preschool music setting, the young beginners are naturally uninhibited and able to fully immerse themselves in music by bouncing around, dancing, etc. which is a key point of initiation and development. As students age, that natural freedom of expression is not always as present; yet by having that experience at a young age, they are able to take that foundation with them as they begin their lessons in other instrumental or vocal areas.

Finally, Mrs. Carolyn Russell, instructor of voice and piano, concluded the meeting with an outstanding presentation on “Writing Your Story to Impact the Lives of Those Around You.” During her presentation she discussed the importance of and formats for teachers sharing stories of their own musical journeys and experiences to help encourage students to overcome obstacles that may arise in the learning process.

Congratulations to all of our faculty presenters this year and to Mrs. Carolyn Russell for being named the 2018 Teacher of the Year by her colleagues! Thanks to all of our presenters, and thanks to all of our faculty and staff at LAAPA - it’s a priviledge to work with the most devoted and talented educators and staff in the area.

Ready to reserve your spot for the Fall?

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

Mandeville School of Music & Dance student Brenda Sillinger, recently performed original songs written by her father live on WWOZ. Brenda takes Mandolin lessons and is pictured above with her instructor Mr. Chris T. Awesome job, Brenda!

piano lessons at Mandeville School of Music & Dance, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Sofia Sayyad was chosen to be a Junior Tee Retriever at this season’s Saints game against the Cleveland Browns. Sofia takes Musical Theater and Hip-Hop Dance with Mrs. Mary. Congratulations, Sofia!

piano lessons at Mandeville School of Music & Dance, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans

October 24th - 30th is Bring a Friend Week! All students are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a friend to their lessons!

Free Concert at LAAPA!

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

Join Dr. Vera Zholondz and Mr. Anton Zholondz on Sunday, November 11th - 6 PM for a concert at the Mandeville School of Music & Dance’s Elwood J. Dufour Performance Hall. Dr. Vera and Mr. Anton will be performing 3 duet pieces on piano and violin. They will briefly talk 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!

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 October Birthdays!

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

(Students) Abby S. (14), Abigail W. (5), Adam P. (40), Adler B. (10), Aeva P. (8), Aimme R. (8), Alannah B. (4), Alex B. (19), Alyssa A. (14), Amelia T. (6), Ana G. (6), Anaya J. (8), Ansley G. (9), Ashleigh W. (26), Ashley A. (27), Ashley Z. (14), August S. (9), August L. (6), Ava D. (9), Aydan L. (12), Bailey W. (4), Bradford K. (4), Brianna C. (10), Brooklyn P. (14), Bryan N. (7), Caitlin C. (10), Camila A. (8), Cayden S. (8), Cole F. (10), Colette T. (3), Courtney C. (14), Cyrus G. (13), Elena K. (6), Ellia T. (3), Ian P. (5), Isaac M. (4), Isabella C. (10), Jaci W. (9), Jackson K. (6), Jax C. (6), Jennifer Z. (14), Johanna L. (5), John A. (52), John Parker B. (11), Kai C. (6), Kamahri S. (12), Kristen P. (11), Lily P. (12), Linda L. (36), Logann L. (15), Lolo L. (10), Lydia C. (34), Mabyn B. (5), Mary B. (65), Mary R. (14), Mason F. (11), Matthew B. (9), Mia T. (11), Michael T. (17), Michael M. (6), Michael D. (11), Miely G. (11), Mila K. (11), Morgan P. (15), Moriah D. (16), Natalie R. (17), Nicole M. (11), Olivia C. (4), Owen D. (5), Pamdora W. (49), John R. (8), Rebekah R. (12), Reed S. (67), Ryan A. (13), Selin M. (8), Shannon F. (10), Sherri M. (37), Stephen R. (65), Taylor W. (5), Tess H. (33), Thomas M. (10), Tim H. (63), Timothy P. (15), Travis T. (5), Trent C. (12), Tucker S. (13), Tyler B. (15), Vyoone L. (56), Wyatt W. (6)

(Faculty) Bill S., Kadi H., Jessica M., KC T.

Video of the Month - Contemporary / Modern Recital Performance - "Hallelujah"

The River Ridge School of Music & Dance Contemporary / Modern Dance class shared this performance with us at our most recent Spring recital.


Important Dates:

October 24 - 30
Bring a Friend Week / Wear Your Costumes to Class

October 31
Halloween - No Lessons

November 11
Free Concert featuring Dr. Vera Zholondz and Mr. Anton Zholondz

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 - Jaelyn Jarrel

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Jaelyn Jarrell takes Ballet and Contemporary Modern Dance lessons 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?
“I have been dancing at LAAPA with Mrs. Mary for about 1 and a half years.”

What are some of your interest/hobbies outside of dance?
“I love to read and write!”

What does dance mean to you?
“Dance is a way for me to let go and focus.”

What is your favorite part of the lesson each week?
“My favorite part of lessons each week is learning new choreography and being challenged.”

What has been your overall experience at LAAPA?
“My experience at LAAPA has been amazing!”

(Parent) What made you choose LAAPA?
“I heard great things from friends about LAAPA. I wanted Jaelyn to be in a good environment where she would grow.”

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!

Abbey C.
Abigail L.
Addison D.
Aiden S.
Alana B.
Alannah B.
(Thanks Madison H.)
Amanda R.
Amelia R.
Amy C.
Anderson D.
Andre M.
Anne H.
Anya H.
Ashley O.
Ashton E.
Athena B.
August L.
August S.
Aurora B.
Ava B.
Braelynn M.
Brayleigh B.
Brianna N.
Brynn H.
Calvin B.
Catie P.
Chandler S.
Charlie M.
Christian C.
Christian S.
Christopher P. 
(Thanks Aubrey R.)
Christopher S.
Ciaran L.
Coby T.
Cohen M.
Connor B.
Daniel W.
Danyan L.
Dave V.
Drin P.
Elena K.
Eli C.
Elise L.
Elle H.
Ellia T.
Emily R.
Emily O.
Felicity M.
Felicity P.
Felix P.
Gabriel R.
(Thanks Yvette S.)
Gordon K.
Grace T.
Grayson G.
Gwen S. 
Hailey L.
Hendrix C.
Hope C.
Hope S.
Ishana G.
(Thanks Anjali G.)
Jack M.
James W.
Jaxson E.
Jayden Rose M.
Jimmie W.
John A.
(Thanks Sarah A.)
Joseph A.
Joseph U.
Joshua L.
Josie W.
Kaan M.
Kenna L.
Kennon R.
Kobey H.
Kolther A.
Leana K.
Linda Sabine S.
Logan G.
Lyla M.
Mackenzie M.
Madison D.
Mani V.
Marcus J.
Maria A.
Mathimalar J.
Matthew B.
Maverick V.
Max E.
Max L.
Mia S.
Mia T.
Mila K.
(Thanks Payton B.)
Nick V.
Noah A.
Nola K.
(Thanks Payton B.)
Nola M.
Paige F.
John R.
Race H.
Ragnar K.
Riley P.
Robert Allan C.
Rojon Z.
Rokaya A.
Rusty B.
Selin M.
Sophia E.
Sophie T.
Susan G.
Sutariya B.
Taylor P.
(Thanks Alicia M.)
Tucker S.
Vannida H.
Vian G.
(Thanks Anjali G.)
Victor S.
Violet N.
Walsh B.
Zacha S.
Zachary F.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“Our son has been playing piano at LAAPA for the last 4 years. His teacher, Mrs. Katarina, has helped advance his skills beyond our expectations. She takes the time to teach his lesson, answer all his questions and share her vast knowledge of music history. We cannot be more satisified with our experience here.”
~Tuccio Family

"“Mr. Bill ROCKS!!! Summer camp, private lessons, Christmas concert... ALL genius things for kids to experience year round. Love it!!!” "
~Reily Family