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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 2019 Newsletter

Articles include, "Transforming the Lives of our Students through Music & Dance", Students of the Month - Kahlan & Lailah Davis, Student News, Give the Gift of Music & Dance, and more!"...

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Transforming the Lives of our Students through Music & Dance

LAAPA December 2019 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 41st 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.

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 14-15 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Music Concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Saturday, December 21 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Solomon Theatre in Metairie. Our Christmas Dance Show, “Santa’s Christmas Adventure” will be held on Sunday, December 22 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Solomon Theatre in Metairie - 6 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

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

Give the Gift of Music & Dance!

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: http://store.laapa.com/giftcertificates.php

At LAAPA, we offer the most comprehensive Music & Dance Program in the Greater New Orleans area with three campuses located in Covington, Harahan, and Mandeville. For over 40 years, we’ve provided lessons to tens of thousands of students in Piano, Guitar, Voice, Violin, Drums, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, Brass, Woodwind, Bands, Preschool Music, and more!

Covington: 985-590-4545
Mandeville: 985-674-2992
River Ridge: 504-738-3050

New Daytime Dance & Music Classes!

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
We are now offering daytime dance & music classes! If you’re looking to get yourself, a home-schooled student, or your little one involved, we may have a class for you!

River Ridge Daytime Dance Classes:
Parent & Tot (ages 18 months to 3 years) - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00-9:45 AM
Adult Ballet - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 AM

Mandeville Daytime Dance Classes:
Parent & Tot (ages 18 months to 3 years) - Tuesdays, 9:00-9:45 AM
Pre-Ballet (ages 4 to 6 years) - Tuesdays, 10:00-11:00 AM
Hip Hop I (ages 5 to 8 years) - Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 AM
Adult Ballet - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00-12:00 PM

Please call for music lesson availability.

Student News

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Covington School of Music student Hannah Wilson (pictured above) saved up 10 Superior Student tickets for this awesome cat hat. Hannah takes piano with Mrs. Autumn and has been a student at LAAPA for almost 2 years! Way to go, Hannah! Keep up the hard work.
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Mandeville School of Music & Dance students Andres and Sam Garza (pictured above with their dad) went to Baton Rouge last month to support their teacher, Mr. John S.! Mr. John S. (pictured below with LSU symphony) performed with the LSU Symphony Orchestra to accompany Ben Folds at a concert. Mr. John teaches bass, guitar, and piano at our Mandeville and Covington campuses.
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Mandeville School of Music & Dance student Gideon Shapiro (pictured above) saved up enough Superior Student tickets to claim 2 prizes from the treasure chest! Gideon takes voice lessons with Mrs. Rebecca. Way to keep having awesome lessons, Gideon! We’re so proud of you - keep up the great work!

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.

LAAPA Recording Studio!

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

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!

Happy December Birthdays!

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

Students: Alex N. (3), Amelia R. (9), Anna C. (14), Apsara P. (8), Arivan S. (8), Ashley M. (3), Ashley O. (10), Avery A. (12), Avilys S. (5), Belle O. (5), Brady S. (12), Brice H. (12), Carlos V. (8), Carrietta Y. (12), Charlotte T. (8), Cheryl E. (67), Chloe B. (14), Christal H. (38), Cleounsee W. (18), Daniel C. (7), Danyon T. (12), Dax S. (5), Drin P. (6), Eldrige B. (7), Elisha G. (5), Ella G. (7), Emilio G. (2), Emily R. (15), Emma L. (12), Emma L. (15), Ethan C. (9), Evelyn T. (3), Eviana R. (9), Finley T. (10), George B. (74), Grant M. (5), Habeer S. (5), Hannah C. (11), Hannah W. (10), Hayden P. (7), Henslee S. (6), Hudson B. (8), Jace R. (10), Jaden B. (13), Jennifer C. (13), Jhonny Z. (9), Josie S. (5), Julianna F. (6), Kembell P. (12), Khalil E. (15), Kimea C. (7), Kuillin O. (3), Laylah W. (5), Leah A. (7), Logan T. (13), Lucas B. (8), Lyla M. (5), Maiah O. (8), Max L. (12), Melody D. (11), Mia R. (8), Michael C. (14), Michael T. (14), Mike F. (10), Nathan Z. (10), Nick V. (10), Oakley W. (6), Olivia M. (3), Opal M. (7), Patrick H. (17), Rebecca R. (19), Rileigh C. (11), Sage B. (5), Sailor S. (8), Sandra S. (5), Sanjana S. (17), Sean M. (12), Sophia L. (4), Tanishka P. (9), Thalia T. (9), Trace P. (16), Tracy M. (45), Vivienne A. (7), Yousef F. (10), Zander G. (10)

Faculty & Staff: Dr. Vera Z.

Video of the Month - "An Afternoon of Tango"

Featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla. Instructor of piano, voice, and violin, Dr. Vera Zholondz and her brother Anton Zholondz, shared this performance with us at the Mandeville School of Music & Dance last month.


Important Dates:

December 14-15:
Northshore Christmas Concerts

December 20-22:
River Ridge Christmas Concerts and Dance Show

December 23-January 3:
Holiday Break - No Lessons

New Artwork by Michaela Howell

We are very fortunate to work with local artist Michaela Howell. Many of her paintings and art are on display at all three of our school campuses!

Michaela recently brought in new artwork that can be viewed at both of our Northshore campuses. The beautiful piece above is available for purchase at our Covington location for $425.

Interested in purchasing art from Michaela? 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 - Kahlan & Lailah Davis

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

Covington School of Music students, Kahlan & Lailah Davis, take voice and piano lessons here 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?
Kahlan: “I take voice lessons with Dr. Vera.”
Lailah: “I take piano lessons with Ms. Bethany.”

What kind of music do you listen to?
Kahlan: “I like the group Queen. I also like musicals!”

Lailah: “I like the music in the movie The Greatest Showman!”

What is your favorite part about lessons each week?
Kahlan: “Singing!”
Lailah: “Knowing the notes.”

What are your other hobbies/interests outside of music?
Kahlan: “I like dancing, drawing and reading.”
Lailah: “I like soccer, dancing, singing and drawing.”

(Parent) What made you choose LAAPA?
“We knew our daughter liked to sing, but we did not know what music program she would want to study. We love that the teachers at LAAPA are so well-educated and so multi-faceted."

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!

Anabella F.
Auggie W.
Brian B.
(Thanks Gordon K.)
Calvin B.
Cassidy L.
Colton B.
Courteney T.
Destiny P.
Elisha G.
Emily R.
Emmalia P.
Ethan T.
(Thanks Daniel C.)
Faith G.
Gianna M.
Gracynn Y.
Isabel M.
Jaxton S.
(Thanks Rawls Family)
Joseph O.
Julia R.
Kate O.
Lara D.
Lilia T.
Lilly Grace S.
Madeline P.
Madison D.
Mia K.
Olivia R.
Parker B.
Randall A.
(Thanks Bronson B.)
Rojon Z.
Sarah L.
Sofia S.
Sophia L.
Timothy F.
(Thanks Reed S.)
Will R.
Zooey M.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“Mrs. Catherine has been a phenomenal violin teacher. She is the perfect teacher that understands how to reach a child and capitalizes on this skill in many ways. Our child is not only learning about music and violin but about the influence of music in her world.”
~ Rynick Family

“My bass teacher, Mr. Bill, is just fabulous. He is extremely knowledgeable, down to earth, patient, and fun. My drum teacher, Layla, is also phenomenal. She inspires me to pursue my hobby, and she is the best part of my Saturday. I have not missed one lesson, and I’ve been enjoying lessons since last December.”
~ Jeanine G.