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Monthly Newsletter - 2021 In Review, A Heartfelt Thank to our Students, Families, Faculty & Staff, Student Spotlight - Jenna Abi Rafeh and more!...

2021 In Review A Heartfelt “Thank You” to our Students, Families, Faculty & Staff

Now Enrolling In Music & Dance Classes - Mandeville, Covington, Harahan, LA

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff:

As our 43rd year here at LAAPA concludes, I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect a bit on our mission, and 2021 like 2020 certainly brings many thoughts and emotions front and center. For all of us, it has been a time of reflection, making tough decisions, and trying to focus in on top goals, priorities, and what we really value day to day. So this year more than ever before, I don’t think it’s possible to say thank you enough to all of our parents, faculty, students, and staff who have allowed LAAPA to continue our mission here in the Greater New Orleans community. 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. So although it may come across as a bit sappy, I think it’s important that I go into a little more detail about what I’m thankful for here at LAAPA this year.


I’m thankful for our amazing faculty members who have really gone the extra mile again this year to make the learning experience for students seamless, entertaining and progressive whether in-person or online. Even though they have been through the same year as we have, our teachers consistently uplift our students with their warm personalities, occasional jokes, and pedagogical prowess instantly transforming a challenging or just OK day into an exceptional one. 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 countless applications each year from prospective educators (many times unsolicited), 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.


Equally amazing is our administrative staff! I’m sure you all know this from your regular communications with them! No matter how you look at it, keeping up with customer service for nearly 1600 students, hundreds of families, and nearly 70 faculty members takes a lot of patience, hard work – especially over this past year! Despite this, they continue to excel at what they do with excellent leadership by our management. Our staff members have also had a truly prosperous year in their family lives with at least 5 new babies arriving or on the way soon as well as several marriages (faculty and staff).


While so many workplaces are struggling to find amazing people to work with, we are truly blessed here to have some of the best!


I’m thankful to our students for their hard work and focus. Hearing and seeing them improve each week while having fun at the same time is an awesome experience. We’re gearing up for our largest recital and performance season ever in just a few weeks with 13 recitals plus our Christmas film! We can’t wait to see the final results of many weeks of preparations!


I’m thankful to our parents for their patience, support, and trust! We truly would not be here without your commitment to your children’s education. Whether they continue education in the arts at the professional level down the road or are just happy building their love for music and dance, we know that they will look back on their experiences with grateful hearts. Additionally, your children are building skills that will translate well and positively impact any future profession.


As we celebrate the accomplishments of our students in 2021, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our upcoming music recitals. Our concerts for the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 18-19 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Music Concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Saturday, December 11 at Victory Fellowship in Metairie. A Live Stream for all productions will be available at as usual for all those who are unable to attend in-person.


Student Concert time assignments will be published very soon at:


There are no tickets to purchase for our Christmas Music Concerts. In lieu of tickets, we ask for donations to a variety of charities that we’ve been supporting for several years now. More information on this mission is available at


We look forward to seeing you all on stage this Holiday Season!


Ryan Cullen, Executive Director


Let Us Do the Shopping For You this Holiday Season!

Give the Gift of Music & Dance

Get this one-time-a-year special and we’ll prepare a special stocking for the special person in your life to include:

  • Fully stuffed stocking
  • One month of lessons certificate
  • Voucher for a FREE Membership
  • Candy canes, Holiday candy
  • Instrument/Program specific goodies: Drummers get drum sticks, Guitar players get Snark tuners, voice and piano students get special music theory flash cards, dancers receive a LAAPA Dance Notebook, toddlers get an egg shaker!
  • And remember, we offer curbside pickup as well!

  • Music Stocking Total value: $189.00
    Your cost: $99.00

    Purchase Music Stocking

    Dance Stocking Total value: $114.00
    Your cost: $69.00!

    Purchase Dance Stocking

    Toddler Class Stocking Total value: $114.00
    Your cost: $65.00!

    Purchase Toddler Stocking

    We offer lessons to kids/teens/adults in piano, guitar, banjo, ukulele, voice, singing, drums, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, tuba, trombone, songwriting, ballet, hip hop, toddler classes and more!

    Now Enrolling for Winter/Spring Classes!

    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
    Enroll Today!

    Important Dates

    Take a moment to review the following upcoming dates:

    Acting Spookiness:

    Addams Family at LAAPA 2021

    Students in Mr. Nicoli’s Acting class spooked it up this past Hallow’s Eve with a creative spin on the Addams Family! Students in the class filled all roles of the show including performers, stage management, and lighting/sound! Participants in this show were: Chloe A., Liam B., Brooke C., Anna C., Noelle C., Macey D., Alex F., Cate G., Bentley G., Tanner G., Amanda J., Mia M., Lillian R., Addie S. (not pictured, Aaron R. (lighting/sound) and Tanner G. (stage manager).

    Student News - Joy K.

    LAAPA Music Classes in Covington, Mandeville & River Ridge

    Congrats to Ms. Joy K. for being featured in a recent edition of Sophisticated Woman magazine! Joy takes piano lessons at the Covington School of Music!

    New Class Alert - Mandeville Rock Band!

    Rock Band Classes in Covington, Mandeville & River Ridge

    Check out our new Mandeville School of Music & Dance Rock/Pop Ensemble jamming out at their first class this past month with their teacher MC! If you’re a current LAAPA student looking to make friends and music with likeminded peers, we have several ensembles gearing up in the New Year. For more information, see or give us a call for more info!

    Click Here to Enroll!

    Student Spotlight - Jenna Abi Rafeh

    Student of the Month at - LAAPA

    This month, we are excited to highlight student Jenna Abi Rafeh! Jenna takes drum lessons with Mr. Ben Hurst at the Mandeville School of Music & Dance. She’s been taking lessons now for several years. She recently auditioned for the Honor’s Jazz Ensemble and is now the band’s drummer and backup vocalist!

    Jenna discovered her love for the drums after taking piano lessons as well as hip hop classes! Her favorite part of her drum classes is when she gets to learn new songs and work on funky beats/musical styles.

    Outside of LAAPA, Jenna’s favorite subject in school is English and she is an avid tennis player. She hopes to one day become either a singer or pediatrician or both! Thanks so much for sharing Jenna, and keep up the awesome work!

    Video of the Month - "Home for the Holidays"

    Mandeville School of Music & Dance student Caroline Tebbs wrote and recorded this original Holiday song at our studio last year. It's sure to become a Holiday classic at LAAPA! Have you booked your recording studio time yet for the new year?


    Student "Shout Outs!"

    “My 6 year old daughter takes piano lessons with Angie and she is incredible. Angie has been unbelievably kind, caring and patient with my daughter. We highly recommended Angie and Mandeville School of Music & Dance.”
    - Chavez Family

    “Ms. Elle is the best teacher for mommy and me at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts. She has such patience with my little one. I can’t rave enough about this school. Can’t wait for Isabella to continue to grow with her dance within this community. Thank you Laapa and Ms. Elle!”
    - Bustillo Family

    A HUGE welcome to our newest students who recently began lessons or added programs this past month!

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

    Aaliyah B.
    Aaron Z.
    Alaina L.
    Alisha H.
    Alyson D.
    Annie G.
    Aubrey C.
    Audrey L.
    Benjamin S.
    Bowen W.
    Caleb S.
    Callie G.
    Camila R.
    Carolina H.
    Caroline T.
    Carter J.
    Catherine H.
    Charlotte B.
    Christian W.
    Claire W.
    Clara H.
    Danielle S.
    Dara F.
    Elliot B.
    Galilee S.
    George S.
    Germany R.

    Gina G.
    Giulianna K.
    Grace C.
    Grant L.
    Henley V.
    Irie N.
    Isaac S.
    Isaiah G.
    Jacei P.
    Jacob E.
    Jacob H.
    Jahzara D.
    Jahzara B.
    Jameson A.
    Jayaji S.
    JD G.
    Jennifer R.
    Jesse P.
    Jessie S.
    Jiemin Y.
    John D.
    Jordan W.
    Joshua S.
    Journei B.
    Kaia L.
    Kaia S.

    Karen K.
    Kayli P.
    Keita K.
    Kemariyah B.
    Kora V.
    Krystal G.
    Lanna S.
    Liam O.
    Lilly D.
    Lucia W.
    Lyla W.
    Lylian R.
    Mabel S.
    Madelyn A.
    Major M.
    Margaret B.
    Mark J.
    Marlyn M.
    Mary J.
    Mary Kate T.
    Max M.
    Mayari R.
    Meru D.
    Mia T.
    Nadia G.

    Nestor A.
    Nicholas K.
    Olivia B.
    Paula S.
    Pearson A
    Reagan L.
    Riley V.
    Rowan S.
    Savannah P.
    Scarlett L.
    Shane V.
    Sharon S.
    Shavoni W.
    Sofia P.
    Sophia N.Z.
    Starla W.
    Talha M.
    Trinity A.
    Truth A.
    Van C.
    Vanessa C.
    Vivian M.
    Vivian C.
    Zoe H.

    Happy December Birthdays!

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

    STUDENTS: Avery A. (14), Andie A. (5), Pearson A. (6), Thad A. (12), Madelyn A. (13), Hannah A. (7), Joshua A., Kyla A. (14), Shruthi A., George B., Bella Jade B. (11), Lucas B. (10), Imani B. (7), Iris B. (2), Elise B. (4), Kemariyah B. (8), Gabriel B. (7), Sophie B. (6), Borne B. (7), Jaden B. (15), Hudson B. (10), Laniyah B. (5), Rosalyn B. (5), Sophia B. (13), Ella B. (11), Elias C. (9), Braden C. (11), Daniel C. (9), Van C., Evelyn C. (13), Kadence C. (8), Danny C., Kimea C. (9), Genevieve C. (12), Hannah C. (13), Rileigh C. (13), Brooke C. (1), Don C. (6), Eleanore C. (6), Anna C. (16), Michael C. (16), Delfina D., Macey D. (13), Alyssa D. (9), Jaime D. (12), Khalil E. (17), Juliana F. (11), Yousef F. (12), Annie G. (6), Deron G. (13), Addi G. (7), Howard H. (7), Zoe H. (11), Delilah I. (8), Carter J. (8), Mary J., Sylvia J. (8), Laila J. (8), Michael K. (8), Shaan K. (7), Nicholas K., Saavi K. (9), Emma L. (14), Karen L., Mia L. (9), Addison L. (14), Sofia L. (9), Alison M. (10), Cooper M. (8), Alexander M. (11), Morgan M. (10), Major M. (2), Kaden M. (3), Alex M.I. (7), Max M. (12), Talha M. (11), Allison N. (10), Payton N. (7), Holly O. (15), Hayden P. (9), Trace P. (18), Sofia P. (11), Apsara P. (10), Gabriel P. (16), Mia P. (15), Xavannah P. (4), Rex P. (3), Drin P. (8), Roman R. (5), Amelia R. (11), Jace R. (12), Eviana R. (11), Allie S., Gabrielle S. (4), Leigha S. (10), Anna Grace S. (7), Jackson S. (16), Riley S. (4), Arivan S. (10), Jayla S. (9), Henslee S. (8), Finley T. (12), Logan T. (15), Ariel T. (17), Charlotte T. (10), Megan T., Ava U. (6), Adaline U. (3), Alonni V.L. (6), Nick V. (12), Soleiny V. (5), Henley V., Laylah W. (7), Sadiyah W. (3), Faith W. (10), Hannah W. (12), Abby W. (13), Aaron Z. (10)

    FACULTY/STAFF: Mr. Skiles, Ms. Earthelena, Mr. Kilian, Dr. Vera

    Recording Studio

    Private Music Lessons at LAAPA

    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!

    New Artwork by Michaela Howell

    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 Mandeville location.

    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!
    View 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 Please note that we publish 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,, and now on Twitter at @laapatweets.

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