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Monthly Newsletters - September 2023

Articles for this month include "Getting Started in Music, Dance, & Acting Lessons - FAQ" , Student Spotlight - Brooks Bourgeois , Student News, and more!...

Getting Started in Music, Dance, & Acting Lessons - FAQ

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

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff:

We just finished up with the busiest August on record here at LAAPA! We concluded 4 weeks of sold out Summer Performing Arts camps, held several Senior Recitals, our Northshore students and faculty put on a stunning production of “Cinderella”, and we are eagerly anticipating the auditions for our Southshore musical, “Annie JR.” (more details below). We had a blast meeting so many new families during our Community Performing Arts Day Open House, and, finally, all of our Faculty and Staff had an amazing beginning of the year meeting with many inspiring presentations and continued education that ensure we are always bringing the very best to our students!


With Fall being a popular time for new students to get started in music, dance, and acting classes, we are chatting with prospective students and parents daily and wanted to share a few common Q&A’s.


“My child is interested in getting started in lessons this Fall, and I am interested in taking lessons, too! What ages do you teach?”


We teach Kids, Teens, and Adults! Whether you’re a brand new beginner or already experienced, our faculty are excited to get you started!


“When do lessons start for Fall? Am I too late?”


At LAAPA, we operate year round and students sign up for lessons every day with us. While it’s never too late to get started, we do have a limited number of available time slots with our amazing faculty this time of year. If you’re thinking of getting started, please give us a call/text to find a spot that may work for you before the most popular lesson times are gone!


“I want my child to take music lessons or dance classes, but my child doesn’t seem all that interested.”


“Just try it; you’ll like it.” As a youngster, these were my father’s words of wisdom at Cullen family dinners. Many times, I was indeed very surprised – “This man is a genius,” I often thought to myself. Other times, I thought, “I knew I shouldn’t have listened to him.” (One of my brothers secretly opted out of all of his advice though, and a huge pile of moldy cauliflower eventually became dislodged from underneath the table near his place one evening… but I digress.)


The important thing to note here is that children need to experience a variety of things in life in order to discover what they like. Asking children ages 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. to make these kinds of decisions on their own is unfair in my opinion, and the world would surely be at a loss for many talented amateur and professional musicians, dancers, and artists had parents not insisted on private piano lessons or ballet classes for them during their formative years.


“I want my child to take lessons for fun, but I don’t want to have to make them practice.”


Sharing the joy of learning to play, dance, sing, and act is our specialty. Here at the Academy, we have the most inspiring instructors you will ever meet. The time students spend with their teachers each week will only take them so far, and in order to make progress, practicing outside of classes is paramount.


One of the biggest myths in performing arts education is that all students should be naturally inclined to just go to their instrument or practice space and get down to business every day exactly as their teacher has asked of them without any parental support, encouragement, or guidance.


If this happens in your house, that is amazing and congrats! The majority of students thrive on incentives, encouragement, and reminders.


If you read my article in last month’s newsletter (it’s ok if you chose to skip it, I know I can ramble), you’ll recall that I was certainly not a natural practicer myself. Funny how things turn out! My incentive during my lessons was that my former teacher, Associate Director Emeritus, Russell Tucker, would show me some magic tricks during lessons if I was doing well! Some of our long time families here may remember his now infamous “magic pencil trick.” Today, students can also earn tickets each week for a job well done in their lessons! Tickets can be redeemed for fun prizes from our treasure chest!


In short, every student’s success will be dependent upon parental support and involvement.


Finally, I always like to mention that music, dance and acting 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.


~ Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

Discover Your Talent This Fall - 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!



Our students, parents, faculty and staff (with the help of our fairy godmother) put on a magical production of Cinderella last month!

Congratulations to everyone involved, and a huge thank you to our students, parents, faculty, staff, designers, and tech crew! We couldn’t have done it without you.


Upcoming Drama Showcases

We hope you'll join us for the following events!

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 September Birthdays!

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

Aadhya G. (8) , Aaron M. (7) , Abby B. (8) , Adeline S. (8) , Aiden O. (12) , Aiden S. (13) , Alyssa H. (13) , Amanda J. (14) , Amelia H. (6) , Angie R. (7) , Annabelle G. (11) , Annie C. (10) , Anthony W. (7) , Arel C. (5) , Ashlye V. (7) , Aubrey C. (8) , August J. (7) , Austyn N. (9) , Ava B. (10) , Barbara M. , Bello I. (8) , Benjamin C. (11) , Bowen W. (8) , Brady M. (8) , Briggs A. (4) , Chelsea C. (10) , Clasen H. (18) , Cormen S. (6) , Dean B. (12) , Declan G. (10) , Delaney N. (9) , Destiny T. (21) , Donald D. , Dwight S. (12) , Edith J. (9) , Edward G. (7) , Elijah L. (10) , Elizabeth S. (7) , Ella B. (15) , Elle C. (6) , Erick P. (16) , Evan G. (13) , Evan L. (7) , Frances S. (6) , Gage T. (5) , Greyson H. (7) , Hannah C. (19) , Hannah G. (13) , Harrison S. (17) , Henry M. (7) , Henry M. (13) , Henry O. (12) , Isabella C. (10) , Isabella P. (12) , Isabella R. (2) , Jacob S. (13) , Jakeb N. (11) , Jasper V. (6) , Jay S. , JD A. (10) , Jeff D. , Jelhenna V. (14) , Joseph A. (12) , Julia M. (8) , Kade H. (13) , Kael S. (10) , Kahlan D. (14) , Kaidinn B. (17) , Kalilu M. (6) , Katerin M. (6) , Kendall C. (9) , Kenzie W. (5) , Kerrison C. (9) , Kinsley S. (3) , Laura R. , Liam J. (11) , Lindsey C. , Logan L. (10) , Louis A. , Luke A. (9) , Luke B. (16) , Madeline B. (7) , Madelyn B. (18) , Madison C. (7) , Madison J. (11) , Madison P. (11) , Mary C. (9) , MayLan D. (7) , Natalya E. (9) , Ofelia A. (7) , Parker L. (9) , Penny Q. , Ruby M. (8) , Sadie P. (16) , Samir P. (16) , Scotty C. (11) , Seidy L. (19) , Shadaus G. (11) , Simone K. (4) , Sofia L. (10) , Sophia L. (7) , Sophia M. (11) , Sophia S. (10) , Summer H. , Tanyra E. (15) , Tracy M. , Tyler S. (18) , Veer V. (8) , Victoria T. (11) , Violet F. (12) , Vivian R. (11) , Wysdom B. (7) , Yahanna N. (10) , Yining L. (14) , Zionna V. (3) , Zoey G. (4)

Video of the Month - "Piano Man" - Alex Fitzpatrick, vocals

Here's another great performance for you - this time by senior, Alex Fitzpatrick. Alex takes voice lessons with Mrs. Rebecca Posey at the Mandeville School of Music & Dance.

He performed "Piano Man" as a part of his senior recital this past July. He is accompanied by Mr. Nicoli Hutchison on piano/harmonica, and special kudos to student, Liam B. for the assist with harmonica placement!


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 - Brooks Bourgeois

Student of the Month at River Ridge - LAAPA

This month’s Student Spotlight showcases Covington School of Music student Brooks Bourgeois. He takes drum lessons with Mr. KC, and has been with LAAPA for 4 years!

Brooks likes taking lessons at LAAPA because everyone is nice. He likes that his teacher makes the lessons so fun that he forgets that he’s actually learning! His favorite parts of lessons include jamming out and working on pieces for recital. Thanks to music lessons, Brooks has gained the confidence to rock out on stage. Brooks always looks forward to his weekly lessons, and he hopes to play in a band one day!

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

A HUGE welcome to 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!

Abigail E.
Ada E.
Adalyn D.
Adalynn E.
Adeline P.
Adrian R.
Aiden O.
Aleksander L.
Alexander H.
Alexander T.
Alice A.
Allie E.
Ally V.
Amanda R.
Anna S.
Annabelle L.
Annalise E.
Ansley M.
Anthony W.
Arden M.
Asher B.
Asher M.
Ashlye V.
Ashlynn B.
Audrina Joile P.
Austin E.
Austyn N.
Avery R.
Barbara M.
Benjamin B.
Benjamin V.
Bonnie H.
Borne B.
Braxton W.
Brayden W.
Bronwyn C.
Cameron C.
Camille D.
Campbell M.
Candace J.
Carmen H.
Carmen V.
Catherine M.
Cecilia P.
Charlotte B.
Chloe N.
Chloe R.
Christopher G.
Claire B.
Corine N.
Corynne M.
Dalynn D.
Danielle W.
Diamond S.
Ela E.
Eli D.
Elie B.
Elin A.

Elizabeth V.
Em M.
Emerson H.
Emily M.
Emily P.
Emma U.
Eryl R.
Fortune L.
Freddie B.
Gabrielle P.
Gemma V.
Genesis C.
Gisele R.
Griffin G.
Hailey H.
Haylee B.
Heather W.
Hunter H.
Hunter M.
Imani H.
Ina B.
Isaac N.
Isabella F.
Isabella M.
Isabella O.
Isla W.
Itza B.
Ivana R.
Ivy M.
Jackson B.
Jacob M.
Jayden H.
Jayden R.
Jeremy P.
Jhett B.
J'liyah P.
Joey C.
Joulan J.
Julia C.
Kaley Y.
Karen A.
Karen C.
Kathleen G.
Kaylee C.
Kazzanang S.
Kellis M.
Kelly P.
Kyle R.
Kyrie G.
Lavender L.
Lawson D.
Layeska A.
Lea F.
Leah Z.
Leilany M.
Lexington R.
Leyann D.
Lila C.

Lilia R.
Linden C.
Louis B.
Lucas K.
Lucille B.
Luke C.
Lydia B.
Lyla D.
Macie C.
Madyson T.
Mara H.
Margarita K.
Margot S.
Marie S.
Marin B.
Marlowe P.
Martin S.
Matthew M.
May R.
Maya G.
Maya T.
Melanie D.
Michael S.
Mikyla L.
Milana B.
Myah M.
Nia J.
Nicholas G.
Nile D.
Noah H.
Nolani G.
Nora J.
Oliver C.
Olivia B.
Pamela G.
Phoebe C.
Rayquan D.
Remi C.
Riaya J.
Riley F.
Riley S.
Rita D.
Rosa L.
Rowyn P.
Saaya O.
Samantha C.
Shakeeb S.
Shelby C.
Sia A.
Simone K.
Stella P.
Sydney O.
Teagan M.
Tristan M.
Tsuan S.
Victoria S.
Victoria T.
Violet F.

William L.
Wren B.
Yasmine A.

Student "Shout Outs!"

“Great place. Great staff. Our son loves his lessons with Brian.”
~ Brandon C.

“Wonderfully supportive of my young musician!”
~ Matthew D.

“Wonderful school with great teachers and an amazing director!”
~ Klondike S.

“This is my daughter Elizabeth’s first time taking piano lessons and she is truly enjoying the whole experience. Mrs. Allison has been a wonderful teacher and made the learning process very fun!”
~ Michelle L.

“My 8 year old has loved her voice classes. All the staff are so helpful & friendly. They have given her such confidence, and she has made great improvements. Her teacher Dr. Vera is amazing! We would highly recommend the school.”
~ Jessica D.

“EXCELLENT ACADEMY!!!! My daughter attended NOCCA in New Orleans for one year, but found the commute every day along with her studies was too much. So, we had to look very hard to try and find a music school that could compare to NOCCA and this music school fit perfectly and more! Our daughter loves to go every week and the teachers and staff are exemplary. We are very glad we found this music school!!!! Thank you very much!!!!”
~ Frederick M.

“There are some music and studios in New Orleans, but none of them compare to this. I started ballet a couple of weeks ago and it’s been the best experience. Lots of support from the teachers and good environment for learning. I highly recommended this school.”
~ Perry R.

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