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Monthly Newsletters - March 2023

Articles for this month include "Making the Most of Lessons" , Student Spotlight - Isabelle Cassagne , Student News, and more!...

Getting the Most out of Lessons

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

Dear Students and Parents,

Whether you’re a brand new beginner just getting settled in your music, dance, or acting classes this year or you’ve been taking for several years now, it’s important to understand how you can make the most out of your weekly classes with your teacher(s) here. Here are five ways you can ensure that your lessons at LAAPA bring a lifetime of joy to your family!


1.) Open Communication – Over the years, we have implemented a variety of communication channels between our faculty, staff, and students. We are of the opinion that we can’t really have too much communication. Our faculty and staff want to ensure that you are accomplishing your goals and that your lessons are meeting expectations. Our faculty communicate with parents via the My Music Staff application for digital lesson planning and lesson notes. If you don’t receive weekly lesson plans digitally from your teacher, ask them about My Music Staff and they’d be happy to set that up for you. Of course, our faculty also utilize our customized student notebooks for quick and simple lesson notes, goal tracking, ticket rewards, lesson ratings, practice times, and more. For our newest students, we make every effort to check in with you after you’ve had a month or two of classes. If for some reason your classes need to be adjusted before you hear from us with a different day/time, program, or teacher, you can always let us know and we will do everything possible to accommodate you. Customer service is a top priority for us at LAAPA, and we have a team of 9 customer service professionals (and growing) to answer questions via email, text, or phone. For urgent matters, the quickest way to reach us is via text or phone!


2.) Utilize the EXTRAS – One of the biggest benefits of your membership with LAAPA is the many additional complimentary classes that are offered to our students throughout the year. Our music theory class is offered for 45 minutes each week for all private music students ages 5 - up who wish to excel in their knowledge of music fundamentals. Our complimentary improv/choreography dance classes are offered to all dance students ages 8 - up who wish to build their creative and compositional skills. Our makeup workshops are offered throughout the year for music students in private lessons. Should you miss a lesson, you may book an extra class with any of our faculty members. Workshops may be self-scheduled within the My Music Staff website. If you are having trouble finding a workshop for your instrument/age, please reach out to us, as we schedule these monthly and some classes are scheduled based on historical demand at different times of the year. We are happy to add classes as needed. Our dance students are welcome to contact us to attend a similar age/level dance class to makeup for their absences. In addition to our official makeup workshops, we host a variety of community classes throughout the year that may be of interest as well. From adult hip hop classes to improvisational jam sessions, we have something fun for everyone.Follow our calendar at or our events page on Facebook (@laapaface) to be notified of new community classes! Finally, remember that ALL private music students have the option to schedule one FREE audio recording session each year using our state of the art equipment. To schedule your recording session date, please speak with the front desk!


3.) Maximize your Lesson Time – This may sound simple, but 30 minutes or even an hour can go by quickly each week! For young students, please have them use the restroom and get water prior to class starting. If you are an instrumentalist, consider opening up your instrument and tuning before your class begins. If you are a virtual student attending on Zoom, consider rebooting your device before class if it has been on for a while. Be sure your Zoom app is updated with the latest version and your sound and video are started and running correctly (see For young students attending on Zoom, please have a parent/guardian nearby to assist for possible technical issues until the teacher has confirmed they are properly connected! Even with all of these considerations, our students of course naturally grow in their love for their lessons over time and eventually may feel the need to add time/classes to their existing schedule(s). We are always happy to work these additional classes out for students whenever possible and with the approval of your teacher(s)! Lesson times are limited (especially with our veteran teachers, but they do come up from time to time). For the most up-to-date scheduling possibilities, always check in at the front desk!


4.) Sign Up for Events – While never required at LAAPA, recitals and performance opportunities are one of the best ways to foster growth within students. Being able to experience the culmination of many weeks/months of hard work with family and friends is always a wonderful experience! Over the years, I’ve watched a lot of recitals. In fact, I’ve probably watched more recitals and student performers than anyone I know, so I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert! One thing that never gets old for me is witnessing the transformation that takes place from the young, perhaps nervous beginning student performing for the first time on stage to the semi-professional that performs in their final senior recital. Of course, we realize that performing is not everyone’s goal or reason for taking music and dance lessons, and there is never any pressure here to participate in these events. However, it is still a big part of what we do, and our mission here due to the overwhelmingly positive benefits. Despite the challenges over the last 3 years, we managed to hold a variety of recitals, both in-person and virtually!


5.) Input = Output – Once again, we understand that students and parents choose a performing arts education for a variety of reasons. Some students and parents are happy with simply having students receive a fun and educational weekly class. Others want more, and for those that do it’s important to remember that what you put into your lessons, you will get out of your lessons! Regular attendance, a consistent practice schedule, and parental involvement will do wonders! As a parent of 4 children enrolled in in music, dance, and acting lessons, I am well aware of all inherent challenges! It’s different in every house, but in our house, sometimes the children just don’t want to practice what they are assigned to practice. Doodling around on the piano for a half hour may be fun, and some creative exploration time is important, but children, especially beginners, need to be monitored to ensure they are working on the correct assignments. In general, it’s unreasonable to expect all young children to naturally want to practice and automatically stay on a set practice schedule on their own no matter how much they love music or dance. Most children need reminders to open the books, to look and see what their teacher has asked them to focus on, and isolate problematic areas instead of simply repeating the entire piece over and over. They are, after all, kids. Again, parental involvement is key!


If you have a natural “practicer” who loves to practice, awesome! You are lucky, although this too comes with other personal challenges! Let’s say the practicing is sounding wonderful, but you adore quiet time in your home (especially at night) and your house is instead loud most of the time from constant playing and singing. In these cases, it’s important to be grateful for the desire the students are showing to practice, but since I have 4 children, I have found my noise cancelling headphones to be an indispensable tool when I’m ready for quiet time. They are industrial strength from Home Depot and work great for cutting the grass too! I highly recommend them when you need quiet in your house but don’t want to discourage the practice mojo.


See you at your next lesson!

Ryan Cullen, Executive Director

Discover Your Talent - Learn to PLAY-DANCE-SING-ACT!

Learn to Play, Dance, Sing in 2023 in Covington, Harahan, and Mandeville, LA!

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!

March Community Classes

Our community classes are open to the general public free of charge. Class sizes are limited - please reserve your spot at

Monday, March 13th 7:30-8:30pm

Teen/Adult Hip-hop - Ages 13+ River Ridge

Join us for a fun and energetic dance class where you will learn the fundamentals of hip-hop dance. Beginners are welcome!

Thursday, March 16th, 4:15-5:15pm

Pre-Hip-hop/Acro – Ages 4-6 River Ridge

Students will learn fun dance combinations as well as beginner level acrobatic skills!

Tuesday, March 14th, 6:45-7:45pm

Improvisation/Choreography – Ages 8+River Ridge

This movement-based class develops young artists and helps them learn how to create their own dances as they explore through creative play.

Monday, March 20th 7:30-8:45pm

Acting II– Ages 10+ Mandeville

Students will learn acting technique and improvisational skills. Those who enroll in this class ongoing will also have multiple performance opportunities!

Monday, March 20th 6:45-7:30pm

– Improvisation/Choreography – Ages 7+Mandeville

This movement-based class develops young artists and helps them learn how to create their own dances as they explore through creative play.

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!

Abigail K. (14) , Addie F. (17) , Aleisha S. (9) , Alexander S. (9) , Alice Catherine D. (8) , Anderson B. (10) , Anna Grace D. (9) , Ashlyn T. (12) , Avery C. (4) , Bella G. (8) , Benjamin T. (13) , Brennan G. (6) , Brittany T. , Caelyn V. (8) , Caitlynn C. (8) , Callie L. (6) , Carolina R. (14) , Caroline S. (12) , Cassidy B. (16) , Charles B. (13) , Charlie H. (14) , Chloe S. (14) , Christian G. (18) , Colton L. (12) , Corine N. (9) , Daniel N. (16) , Daniela L. , Danielaa E. (12) , Declan M. (11) , Diego G. (14) , Drew G. (14) , Eduardo C. (8) , Elaine N. , Eleanor C. (7) , Eli B. (13) , Eli C. (6) , Elijah C. (10) , Eliza L. (11) , Elizabeth B. , Elizabeth P. (5) , Ema I. (9) , Emma J. (2) , Emma M. (9) , Emmalia P. (15) , Ezra H. (14) , Felicity B. (8) , Frank S. (8) , Grayson G. (9) , Hadley H. (9) , Hailei G. (12) , Henry R. (8) , Isabella P. (9) , Isabella S. (10) , Jason C. (15) , Jaxsen L. (12) , Jazlyn M. (4) , Jerrold D. (4) , Joes A. , Joel B. (9) , John G. (14) , Jolene L. (3) , Jonathan H. (24) , Jordyn M. (16) , Joseph A. (6) , Karl W. , Kasey P. (14) , Katie S. (14) , Kiley M. (13) , Kimberley A. (16) , Kylie M. (10) , Leanny A. (12) , Leena R. (5) , Lillian Y. (8) , Lily D. (16) , Lily J. (7) , Lily M. (7) , Lola R. (16) , Lucas T. (9) , Luna I. (4) , Lyla S. (12) , Lylian R. (12) , Madeline S. (25) , Marjorie S. , Mason U. (10) , Mateo W. (10) , Maya A. (11) , Merefith L . (8) , Michael P. , Michelle W. , Muza S. (2) , Neil H. (9) , Olive J. (7) , Payton C. (13) , Penelope B. (7) , Rebekah B. (17) , Remy W. (8) , Ricky M. (15) , Rodney B. , Ryan T. (9) , Ryder P. (5) , Sanvi P. (9) , Sawyer B. (7) , Sawyer S. (11) , Scarlett C. (10) , Shiloh B. (12) , Sophia E. (9) , Soren S. (6) , Stella C. (10) , Stephanie F. (15) , Suri C. (7) , Svaraathmika B. (9) , Tatum H. (8) , Thurston W. (7) , Tierstiana B. (9) , Veronica C. , Vicente G. (8) , Victoria V. (8) , Zoe M. (13)

Video of the Month - "Some Day My Prince Will Come" - Solo Jazz Guitar

Check out this amazing original arrangement of a classic Disney tune! Mr. Brian, instructor of guitar, piano, and bass just completed this recording at LAAPA! His arrangement of this recording can be downloaded at Creative Works.


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 $850

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!

Student Spotlight - Isabelle Cassagne

Student of the Month at River Ridge - LAAPA

This month’s Student Spotlight showcases Mandeville School of Music student Isabelle Cassagne! She takes Acting with Mr. Nicoli!

Outside of LAAPA, Isabelle likes to read, cook, play music, and watch movies. She likes to listen to rock, pop, show tunes, and 70’s music. Her favorite play is Chicago, and her favorite movie is either Lady Bird or First Wives Club. Her dream role is to play someone in a biography, although she isn’t sure who she’d like to play just yet. When she gets older, Isabelle wants to be an actress and perform on Broadway. Isabelle enjoys taking classes with Mr. Nicoli because he is funny, genuinely nice, and very welcoming. She loves that LAAPA feels like a home and is full of kind faculty and staff. Thanks to acting lessons, Isabelle has gained friends, a passion, and a comforting place to go. Her favorite part of lessons would be being with friends, joking with Mr. Nicoli, or being praised for delivering a line well.

Thanks for being a part of the LAAPA family, Isabelle! We love having you as a student here!

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!

Adeline R.
Aiden B.
Alani L.
Alani R.
Allison C.
Allyson B.
Alyssa G.
Andrew L.
Angel V.
Annie B.
Arianna B.
Arrington C.
Ashley Fernanda C.
August J.
Benjamin T.
Bentley J.
Brady M.
Briehanna W.
Cailan B.
Caleb C.
Caleb S.
Cameron M.
Camila A.
Camila M.
Carter G.
Cesia C.
Charlotte C.
Chase B.
Chelsi H.
Cherlyn W.
Christopher F.
Clara W.
Clare B.

Clover S.
Destiny H.
Diamond D.
Diana L.
Elijah V.
Ella C.
Emit K.
Emma H.
Emma Kate G.
Evan L.
Evelyn M.
Ezra H.
Frances S.
Giuliana B.
Hans O.
Henry C.
Henry G.
Henry M.
Hudson R.
James B.
James J.
James J.
Jaxon P.
Jimmy L.
Julia F.
Julia M.
Kaden C.
Kaiulani B.
Kanoa B.
Karen A.
Kathryn B.
Kian J.
Kylie L.

Landon C.
Lauren C.
Leighton J.
Leliana G.
Lennon C.
Lia M.
Lily B.
Logan B.
Lola P.
Lorelei S.
Macyn C.
Madeline T.
Madison R.
Makana B.
Mariana P.
Marjorie S.
Martina G.
Mary P.
Matthew F.
Maven S.
Maybell S.
Meghan H.
Melissa B.
Mia B.
Michael L.
Mirian C.
Nai B.
Natalie G.
Oliver P.
Paul B.
Ryder P.
Sage C.
Sanjali A.

Seidy L.
Serpil A.
Sofia T.
Solis K.
Sonia H.
Sophia S.
Steven K.
Theresa L.
Thurston W.
Toni V.
Travis T.
Wilman C.
Wyatt O.
Yuvraj H.
Zyeligh M.

Student "Shout Outs!"

“I have the best violin lessons!”
~ Ethan M.

“Very happy with my daughter’s piano lessons. Mr. Shawn is the perfect match for her as he can excite her for each new song and class.”
~ Julie U.

“Ms. Elle is the best teacher for Parent & Tot 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!!”
~ Rocio B.

teacher! He is so passionate about what he does, which sparks up my energy in the learning process. It’s unbelievable how much I’ve learned in just three weeks! His personality definitely plays a big part with my lessons. I can see how much I’m getting better each week and it’s just incredible. Dr. Mark is definitely recommendable for someone like me that is an adult. I look forward to his lessons each and every week!! 5 STARS”
~ Louis A.

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