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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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September 2019 Newsletter

Articles include, "Knowing When to Get Started in Music & Dance", Student of the Month - Caitlin Cambre, Student News, Now Registering for Fall Music & Dance Lessons!, and more!"...

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Knowing When to Get Started in Music & Dance

LAAPA September 2019 Newsletter for Music Lessons & Dance Classes in Mandeville, Covington, Northshore, New Orleans, River Ridge, Harahan
Dear Students and Parents,

The new school year is now officially upon us. As I mentioned last month, it’s a time of great anticipation, excitement and learning many new things! Our entire faculty and staff just had a fantastic training workshop sharing and discussing our teaching strategies and goals to ensure that our students have another awesome school year in their music lessons and dance classes!

During this time each year we love to welcome our eager new music and dance students to the Academy. We have just concluded our open houses and would like to thank everyone who came out and especially our faculty and staff for making them fantastic experiences! Of course, we’d also like to welcome our 150 + new students who began lessons this August. We are so glad to have you join the LAAPA family!

As we have been speaking with many new prospective students and families this month, one of the questions that we are frequently asked is “How do I know when it’s the right time to get started or if music lessons and/or dance classes are going to be a good fit for me or my child?”

Having four children ages 3, 6, 9, and 12, I fully understand that kids show an interest in many different things, and it can sometimes be hard to predict what will stick. While many times, it’s obvious what children will enjoy, sometimes you just don’t know until they try it out! Some students have a natural talent for music and dance, others may need to work harder but progress equally as well. What I have personally found over the past 20 years here is that whether or not music and dance lessons becomes a life long pursuit for students is often dependent upon parent/guardian support.

Support in terms of commitment, encouragement and environment are key.

Commitment can be a real challenge today! As technology improves to make our lives simpler, we are able to add more and more to our schedules! Parents and children are busier than ever, often running to a different after-school activity each day. A full commitment to everything can be very difficult for children to manage alone. For example, if you bring a new puppy home, your new pet will need care outside of the fun times you share together such as baths, walks, meals, etc. Children many times need help remembering these additional details to ensure that the new family pet remains in good health. Just because they forget to bathe or walk the pet doesn’t mean that they don’t love him/her! The same can be said for music and dance lessons. In addition to attending their regular lessons, time must be spent in practice, feeding their inspiration by watching/listening to a variety of music/dance performances, and learning to clean/maintain their instruments. Doing all of these things are necessary in order for students to grow in their love for and relationship with their instruments and programs. While some students will naturally embrace all of this on their own, many others will need some help. I personally ALWAYS needed help in these areas. I’m glad my parents were more than happy to oblige, because music is now a huge part of my life.

Equally important is the creation of a supportive environment. Parents are the most influential people in their children’s lives. Children need to know that you believe in their journey. Take the time to listen to their home performances when they ask you to sit down for a concert. They also need to have a place in the home where they are free to practice. The environment can sometimes be a challenge because of the location of the piano or overstimulation from too much sound in the home with louder instruments. While it’s great to let students practice when inspiration strikes so it doesn’t seem like a chore, in many cases, it truly is best to institute a daily schedule so that everyone in the house knows what to expect.

Finally, I always like to mention that music and dance classes are more than just the instruction - they build the character and feed the soul of students. Whether or not they choose to continue in the arts down the road, the skills they have developed will always be a part of who they are. So if you’ve been on the fence for awhile now about whether to give music and dance a shot in your life - you really can’t go wrong!

Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

Register Now for Fall Music & Dance Classes!

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

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

Welcome Ms. Desiree - New Dance Department Chair!

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
As many of you already know, Mrs. Mary Shaffo is moving to Israel with her husband in pursuit of his PhD in Biblical Studies and will no longer be able to continue with LAAPA.

Though we will miss Mrs. Mary dearly, it is with great joy that we introduce our new Dance Department Chair, Ms. Desiree Wardsworth!

Ms. Desiree Wardsworth has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University of New Orleans (UNO) and a Master’s in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She has been featured in the UNO productions of “True Confessions of a Go Go Girl” and “As You Like It.”

Ms. Wardsworth’s training includes scholarship awards with the Boston Ballet School, School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Universal Ballet Academy, and the Bolshoi Academy at Vail. Her professional experience includes the esteemed companies Ballet Met, New York Theatre Ballet, Ballet USA, Louisiana Dance Theatre, Zhoux Zhoux Dance Theatre, Delta Festival Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Ensemble, and Ballet Hysell. Ms. Wardsworth received instruction in teaching dance from Dena Moss of the Joffrey Ballet School, and later taught at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Fellom Ballet, Tangipahoa Parish Schools, Jefferson Parish Schools, and numerous dance schools from New York to Louisiana.

Welcome to LAAPA, Ms. Desiree! We are so excited to have you join and lead our amazing dance faculty!

Student News

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Gerardo Enamorado (pictured above), was recently selected by the New Orleans Opera Chorus to perform in their upcoming production of “Carmen.” Gerardo takes voice lessons with Mr. Gary. Great work!
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
Mandeville School of Music & Dance student, Shagun Agarwal (pictured above), saved up 10 superior tickets and traded them in for an awesome prize! Shagun takes voice lessons with Mrs. Allison. Way to go!
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop Dance, Music New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan, Northshore
River Ridge School of Music & Dance ballet student, Victoria Wiebelt (pictured above), recently played Glinda in City Park Movement and Art’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Great job!

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 September Birthdays!

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

Students: Abigail N. (9), Addison D. (5), Adonis A. (6), Aiden S. (9), Ainsley C. (8), Ally B. (5), Amelia C. (4), Amelia H. (10), Amelia K. (7), Anna’leeda C. (7), Anthony R. (12), Ashton S. (6), Aydin S. (8), Barbara B. (71), Ben S. (24), Benjamin C. (7), Benny P. (3), Braedon E. (7), Bronx S. (10), Brooke W. (16), Calvin B. (9), Camille F. (7), Carleigh Q. (16), Carolina H. (9), Casey A. (5), Chance H. (5), Charlie Marie J. (3), Christina I. (29), Coby T. (7), Dan L. (49), Dan S. (66), Darlene F. (61), David S. (53), Dhyuti M. (7), Dr. Gary A. (65), Dylan M. (12), Ella B. (14), Elle P. (8), Emily F. (7), Emma L. (9), Evan G. (9), Fatima A. (15), Felicity M. (10), Garrett B. (15), Gianna C. (13), Gili M. (14), Helen B. (5), Henry M. (9), Hope S. (16), Ian C. (6), Isaac M. (5), Isabella C. (6), Jack B. (15), Jamari H. (12), Jax K. (11), Jaxson H. (9), Jaycee H. (13), Jayde C. (8), Joey A. (9), Joseph T. (5), JR R. (76), Jude C. (17), Kahlan D. (10), Kaia M. (5), Katelyn W. (16), Katherine T. (13), Kay On W. (3), Kennedi B. (4), Kolther A. (14), Kyle K. (16), Lillian S. (14), Linda Sabine S. (9), Linden B. (5), Lola H. (13), Lucy G. (40), Macie C. (6), Madeleine L. (7), Madeline W. (14), Maja B. (11), Marianna M. (10), Matthew Y. (5), MayLan D. (3), Melody M. (15), Mikaela W. (8), Nick F. (12), Nora T. (4), Olive W. (6), Oliver S. (25), Parker T. (7), Patricia S. (7), Penelope R. (7), Richard H. (10), Ricky P. (15), Ruby M. (4), Ryan M. (8), Samantha S. (4), Samir P. (12), Sarah D. (18), Scotty C. (7), Shea A. (6), Soni Elizabeth H. (2), Sophia S. (6), Steven T. (7), Taylor P. (7), Thomas B. (3), Thomas H. (10), Thomas M. (8), Tiernan P. (17), Victoria T. (7), Wesley H. (12), Wyatt T. (11), Yahanna N. (6), Zoie R. (4)

Faculty & Staff: Ben H., Layla S., Lisa W., Dr. Mark W., Rebecca G., Rebecca P., Reggie S., Tina A.

Video of the Month - "Writer's Block"

River Ridge School of Music & Dance Contemporary / Modern Dance class shared this performance with us at the Spring Recital.


Important Dates:

September 1 - 30:
Fall Registration Open to All!

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 - Caitlin Cambre

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

Covington School of Music student, Caitlin Cambre currently takes voice, ukulele, and guitar lessons here at LAAPA! We recently had a chance to speak with her and learn a little more about her lessons and interests!

What program are you taking and who is your teacher?
“I take guitar with Mr. Gary, voice with Ms. Bethany, and Ukulele with Mr. Brian.”

How long have you been taking lessons?
“About 2 years.”

What kind of music do you listen to?
“I’m not quite sure what type, but I like to listen to Taylor Swift.”

What is your favorite part about lessons each week?
“For voice, my favorite thing right now is my new song ‘Colors of the Wind.’ For guitar, my favorite thing is practicing scales - it’s really fun! And for ukulele, EVERYTHING!”

What are your other interests/hobbies outside of music?
“I play a lot of sports! I play soccer, cross-country, and my favorite sport is volleyball. I also love sewing - I’ve even sold some of the things I’ve made!”

(Parent) What made you choose LAAPA?
“Caitlin plays piano and is active in her school choir, so music was already a big part of her life. She became passionate about learning to play the ukulele and LAAPA is a great fit because they are able to provide lessons specifically for ukulele. And now she’s found a great voice teacher and is even expanding into guitar. She loves her teachers and looks forward to learning and growing each week!""

A HUGE welcome to 150+ our newest students who began lessons or added programs in August!

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

Aaron L.
Abigail N.
Abigail N.
(Thanks Thomas M.)
Adele M.
Aiden S.
Alejandro V.
Alexah H.
Alexander D.
Allie B.
Allie S.
Alyson A.
Amber P.
Amelia M.
Ana P.
Anabelle S.
Anderson L.
Andres G.
Andrew O.
Angela A.
Angelina C.
Anna’leeda C.
Annalise C.
Ashley M.
Ashton S.
Atley L.
(Thanks Juliana S.)
Audrey A.
Audrey B.
Avery W.
Avi P.
Bailey H.
Ben S.
Bentley K.
Brady D.
(Thanks Ashley F.)
Brennan B.
Brooke W.
Caleesi Y.
(Thanks Lyla H.)
Camille R.
(Thanks Norah T.)
Camille O.
(Thanks Tina J.)
Caroline G.
Casey A.
Chase O.
Christa R.
Claire C.
Colleen W.
Daniel C.
David Z.
Demi H.
Dracos M.
Easton N.
Elena K.
Elise S.
Elle P.
(Thanks Kasey S.)
Ellie F.
Elliott H.
Elsa M.
Emary S.
Emma La.
Emma Lo.
Emma Ly.
Eowyn R.
Erika D.
Evangeline P.
Fabiano P.
Farah A.
Francesca C.
Gabrielle G.
Garrett B.
Gauge D.
Gianna Pa.
Gianna Pi.
Henry T.
Isaac P.
Jacob W.
Jamie H.
Jax E.
Jenesis B.
Jenna H.
Jesse P.
Jessica Q.
Joey A.
Jonathan H.
Joyce A.
Jude R.
Juliana S.
Kaia M.
(Thanks Barthels Family)
Kate W.
Katelyn L.
Kayleigh W.
Keely E.
Kendall Y.
Kennedy K.
Khamilia L.
Kimberly I.
(Thanks Tabatha D)
Kingsley W.
Kinlee K.
Kristen L.
Kyleigh O.
(Thanks Collin K.)
Landon B.
Layla P.
(Thanks Lora P.)
Layla B.
Leah A.
Leana K.
Leilany M.
(Thanks Karolyn R.)
Leonte C.
Lia T.
Liam B.
Lilli Kate C.
Daisy L.
Logan K.
Logan M.
(Thanks Aydan L.)
Lucia F.
Lucille C.
Luke C.
Lyla M.
Madeleine L.
Madison A.
Makenzie S.
Marianna M.
Matt L.
(Thanks Robin W.)
Matthew B.
Megan B.
Michael L.
Michael M.
Naomi L.
(Thanks Jax E.)
Nathan Z.
Nynah H.
Oakley W.
Oliver O.
(Thanks Tina J.)
Olivia A.
Pamela G.
Penelope R.
Penelope N.
Peyton S.
Phaedra S.
Preslie R.
(Thanks Melo Y.)
Reese M.
Rivers H.
Rosanna L.
Rylee Anne M.
Sachi A.
Sailor S.
Samantha S.
Sean R.
Shea A.
(Thanks Mary T.)
Siena S.
Skylar M.
Sophia R.
Stella C.
Stephanie L.
Stephen S.
(Thanks Alex M.)
Stephen M.
Tabatha D.
Tabitha A.
Theomie W.
Thomas H.
Tim H.
Valencia A.
Vanessa S.
Vera M.
Victoria P.
Vida V.
Vincent C.
Will R.
Yahanna N.
Zeyneb C.
Zlata K.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“Kayla is LOVING her lessons. All-around a wonderful experience so far. We love that Ms. Gracie challenges her and she’s been doing very well! We are also quite fond of Ms. Jeannette- she’s so sweet!”
~ Elder Family

“At the end of lessons Mr. Ryan asks Dylan what he’d like to play, so Dylan gets to pick a song after he’s done well throughout his lesson and he really likes that part. I really enjoy watching him and how happy he is here. He loves it!”
~ Stein Family

“Emma LOVES the free dance time at the end of each lesson- that is by far her favorite part! I appreciate that the teacher lets the little ones decompress after practice!”
~ Sibley Family