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Monthly Newsletters - Maximizing your Practice Sessions, Families, Faculty & Staff, Student Spotlight - Brendan May, Student News, Online Lessons, and more!...

Maximizing your Practice Sessions

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

Dear Parents and Students,

We all know that consistent practice is the key to progress and developing a long term love of music and dance. Being a parent of 4 children enrolled in lessons, I also know first-hand that not everyone always wants to do it! Many students struggle with developing healthy practice habits, so here are ten things to implement at home so that you’re ultimately getting the most out of your lessons.


1.) Check the student assignment notebook for weekly lesson updates as well as your email (for MyMusicStaff updates). Progress and goals will be logged here weekly! Your teacher will note specific areas of focus each week that are manageable goals so that over time you’ll be able to accomplish larger milestones – such as a favorite song or routine. The first step though is weekly communication and knowing exactly what is to be accomplished for each lesson. If for some reason you are not receiving weekly communication from your teacher, please speak with them about it.


2.) Once you know exactly what to work on, be sure that you have a comfortable area in the home, free of distractions, that is easily accessible and already set up. Temporary spaces can work, but in our experience, if it takes a lot of time just to set everything up before you practicing can begin, that will not only cut into practice time, but can also be an excuse to avoid practicing altogether! If your instrument/weather permit, you can even practice outside! Outdoor practice for dancers in particular will not only give you more space to work on bigger steps like leaps, but the soft grass can serve as a “cushion” to protect your joints when practicing new or difficult steps.

3.) Ensure that basic instrumentation/gear is present. Pianists – at least a 61 note keyboard with full sized keys and music stand; vocalists - tuner, access to digital media player (phone/iPad); drummers – practice pad and sticks; and other instruments – a functional beginning level instrument. You can also improvise when it comes to creating your dance equipment: a chair or countertop can always serve as a ballet barre, and a wall or bathroom mirror can be used to help you check your form.


4.) While practicing, don’t forget warm-ups! This time is important to get your limbs and vocal chords tuned up and ready to go! For dancers, it is always a good idea to work on your flexibility and stretching - try holding various poses (like the splits) while you are watching television! You can find a variety of cool warmups for vocalists, pianists, and more on our YouTube channel at


5.) You should always practice like you are performing, but don’t perform while you’re practicing! Wait a minute, what? When we practice, we still need to perform with all of the emotion and artistry that we would give a piece on stage. So dynamics and musicianship are still very much important once we have mastered the basics such as correct steps, notes, and timing. While practicing, however, our goal is not to play things we already know over and over simply for fun…set aside some additional “FUN” time just for that! Practice time means rolling up your sleeves and getting down to business. Actual time spent practicing should be spent on working on areas specifically mentioned by your teacher and in small sections over and over until they are as comfortable as your other repertoire. Some teachers may specifically ask you to practice sections a certain number of times each day – and that work well too! Parents – if you are only hearing the same highly polished complete pieces during practice sessions, chances are that the student is not progressing in his practice sessions and may soon lose an interest in the program.


6.) Younger students will not always want to practice! While it’s wonderful if your child naturally gravitates toward the practice area, the majority of students tend to need help/reminders from parents. With multiple children enrolled in lessons where only one practice instrument is available, a schedule is highly advised so that each child has uninterrupted time on the instrument. Schedules also help to establish a daily routine!


7.) Set reasonable expectations! Every student will learn and progress differently, which is why our teachers customize each lesson plan specifically for the needs of the individual student or class. Young beginners in music are generally asked to start with 5-10 minutes of practice a few times each week. For beginning dancers, your body may need time to adjust to new levels of physical activity, making it difficult to jump into practicing for long periods of time right away. Give yourself a goal to practice for ten minutes a day when you first start out, and then eventually try to build up to a half hour, as your schedule allows. Even five minutes of stretching a day or reviewing new choreography before you go to sleep each night can make a huge difference in your dancing!


8.) Try to avoid “cram sessions.” For the best long term results, we encourage students to practice a little at a time consistently rather than longer sessions right before a performance.


9.) We also realize some students lead very busy lives and are happy with the progress they are able to make simply by attending their lessons each week. Again, the needs of each student are very different, and we’re happy to meet them wherever they are!


10.) Teachers – remember to constantly feed your students nuggets leading to their long term goals! Showing them one fun key combination or one really cool riff from the song they are working on will inspire them to and create a whole new outlook within their practice sessions!


Do you have an awesome practice space that you’d like to share with us? Send us a photo and tell us all about it!


Happy Practicing!

Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

Join the Fun with Music & Dance

Enroll Today for In-Person or Online Music & Dance Classes in New Orleans, Mandeville, Harahan and more

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!

Student News

Student News: Recording Fun!

The instructors here at LAAPA are not only wonderful teachers - they’re phenomenal performers, too! Over the Mardi Gras break we had the privilege of recording Mrs. Rebecca and Dr. Vera as they performed a few beautiful Italian arias. Mrs. Rebecca, our multi-talented Master Teacher, created each of the costumes she wore during her performances! We’re so fortunate to have such skilled and talented instructors.

Talent Showcase

Our dance classes have all been preparing mini-showcases to show their families what they’ve been working on. Pictured is Lizzie L. in our Mandeville School of Music & Dance Monday night Hip Hop/Jazz 1 class. They’ve been hard at work prepping and we’re so excited to watch them steal the show!



Tiny Dancers

These precious Parent & Tot dance students have been working hard practicing their balance on the balance beams. They’ve all been loving dancing to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”!


Not only is our friendly staff incredibly knowledgable and helpful - they are talented, too! Pictured above is LAAPA Operations Coordinator, Ms. Bethany, enjoying her weekly voice lessons with Mrs. Rebecca at our Mandeville campus. We love watching our team learn!

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.

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!

Happy March Birthdays!

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

Adele M. (11), Adriana E. (18), Alexa M. (7), Alexander S. (7), Alice Catherine D. (6), Amelie B. (11), Aminah B. (2), Anabella J. (9), Ananya R. (9), Anderson B. (8), Andres G. (13), Annabella C. (7), Anson P. (14), Ashlyn T. (10), Asia B. (15), Aubrey W. (13), Aylin W. (9), Brendan M. (9), Brianna O. (13), Brooklyn V. (8), Caitlynn C. (6), Carolina R. (12), Caroline S. (10), Carolyne S. (7), Charlotte S. (6), Claire M. (5), Corine N. (7), Daian T. (17), Diego G. (12), Eason H. (5), Eleanor C. (5), Eli B. (11), Emma M. (18), Emmalia P. (13), Esther T. (3), Finlee C. (12), Frank S. (6), Gabriel S. (8), Gianna B. (5), Graham S. (7), Isabella P. (7), Isabella S. (8), Jack B. (8), Jacob W. (10), Joel B. (7), John G. (12), Jordan B. (4), Journee J. (11), Juliette G. (7), Kacey C. (14), Katie S. (12), Kayla A. (8), Kayleigh D. (6), Kiley M. (11), Klaire E. (15), Kylie M. (8), Lily M. (5), Luke Z. (3), Luke K. (11), Lyla S. (10), Maci C. (9), Madison R. (13), Madison W. (21), Marisha M. (22), Marissa D. (14), Mason U. (8), Max V. (10), Mickey W. (8), Molly B. (41), Nakia A. (41), Norah S. (3), Oliver O. (8), Pablo W. (8), Paizley K. (5), Paloma-Maria A. (5), Payton C. (11), Rakshitha R. (17), Ryan T. (7), Ryleigh B. (13), Samantha B. (9), Samantha M. (27), Sanvi P. (7), Sarah S. (14), Shiloh B. (10), Sloane P. (13), Sophia M. (11), Stella C. (8), Stella R. (7), Svaraathmika B. (7), Todd W. (44), Vera M. (6), Victoria V. (6), Vivian A. (9), Will L. (10), Xander Y. (11), Zoe M. (17)

Video of the Month - Rebecca Posey and Dr. Vera perform "Liebst Du Um Schonheit"

LAAPA's very own Mrs. Rebecca and Dr. Vera stopped by the recording studio during the Mardi Gras break to record this beautiful aria.


Important Dates

Take a moment to review the following upcoming dates:

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 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!

View More!

Students Spotlight - Brendan May

Student of the Month at River Ridge - LAAPA

This month’s student spotlight is River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Brendan May. Brendan currently takes Hip Hop dance with Mrs. Alyssa.

Brendan says his favorite thing about lessons at LAAPA is learning new things about dancing and different kinds of music. Outside of LAAPA he enjoys drawing, playing video games and reading Harry Potter. He’s currently on the 5th book in the series! His favorite dancers are Poppin John and the Jabbawockeez, and his favorite type of music to dance to is Hip Hop, naturally!

Brendan has big aspirations for when he gets older - including teaching or dancing professionally - but his favorite would be a paleontologist!

When we asked Brendan’s dad why they chose LAAPA, he told us he and Brendan watched a ton of dance videos on YouTube, and since he grew up in Harahan and knew the are pretty well, they signed Brendan up for lessons as soon as they knew it was something he really wanted to pursue!

Thanks so much for sharing, Brendan! We’re so thrilled to have you as a member of our LAAPA family.

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

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

Aaliyah S.
Adelai B.
Adelaide C.
Adelina V.
(Thanks Isaias L.)
Aedan M.
Aminah B.
(Thanks Robin G.)
Baileigh L.
Bella Jade B.
Charles D.
Charlotte E.
Charlotte E.
Chris A.
Christian V.
Claire M.
Coraline S.
(Thanks Indira S.)
Cristian L.
David B.
David G.

Diego G.
(Thanks Sully A.)
Donovan P.
Eleen A.
Elena K.
Elizabeth H.
Ellie P.
Emilie M.
Emma A.
Ernest A.
Esther T.
Eva W.
Faith W.
Grace B.
Isabella P.
Isabella McNally P.
Jaime D.
Jermaine Omari T.
Joseph H.
Joseph A.
(Thanks Isaias L.)

Joy K.
Jude C.
Judy G.
(Thanks Megean S.)
Kailey P.
Kenley B.
Kimea C.
Lauren P.
Layne C.
Leo P.
Lionel A.
Lizzie L.
Lucille C.
(Thanks Kimea C.)
Lucy W.
Macie C.
Madeline B.
Marleigh E.
(Thanks Aminah B.)
Martha L.
Naomi F.

Nico F.
Nicoli H.
Nora R.
(Thanks Lisa M.)
Nyeomi D.
Olivia P.
Ozean T.
Pamela G.
(Thanks Sully A.)
Paola G.
(Thanks Sully A.)
Rylee G.
Savannah S.
Sayori D.
Sofia J.
Troy G.
(Thanks Gregory O.)
Wilbert B.
Yaretzi S.
(Thanks Indira S.)
Zoe E.

Student "Shout Outs!"

"Judah is loving Preschool Music classes with Mrs. Angie! His favorite part is the instrument exposure - he is always so at peace when he gets his hands on them.”
~ Clayton Family

“Lydia is loving dance classes. She loves being able to show off the moves she learns in class each week to her grandparents and other family members!”
~ Fouche Family

“Virtual lessons have been going well. I sit in on lessons with Lailah in case there’s anything she doesn’t understand, but Ms. Bethany explains everything well enough to understand so we can make changes to what we’re doing if necessary! Every lesson she’s getting better and better.”
~ Davis Family

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