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LAAPANotes September Newsletter - Articles Include: "Enroll NOW for Fall Music & Dance Lessons!", Student of the Month - Emma Lapene, Student News and more!

Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts (LAAPA)

Music Lessons & Dance Classes


Piano, Voice, Singing, Guitar, Bass, Violin, Drums, Ballet, Hip Hop, Summer Camp and much more for Kids, Teens, Adults


Serving families in Covington, Harahan/River Ridge, Kenner, Mandeville, Metairie, Slidell, New Orleans, LA


Originally founded in 1978 in River Ridge, LA (just a short drive to the west of New Orleans), our mission over the past 40 years has remained the same - to foster a love of and lifetime success in music, dance, and the performing and creative arts for kids, teens, and adults through inspirational and motivational teaching methods.


As one of Southeast Louisiana's leaders in private music and dance education, we have introduced the performing arts into the lives of thousands of families since the inception of our local community music school and dance studio.


With a faculty of 60+ fun, professional and engaging instructors, LAAPA works with brand new beginners through advanced students preparing for auditions, recording sessions, etc. All programs are structured to provide students with the opportunity to tailor their educational experience to their precise interests and goals.


Classes are available either online or on campus at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance in Harahan, LA (Jefferson Parish) and on the Northshore in St. Tammany Parish at the Covington School of Music in Covington, LA and the Mandeville School of Music & Dance in Mandeville, LA.


While there are now more local music instructors and dance studios nearby today than when our doors opened forty plus years ago, the continued demand for the very best music teachers and highest rated dance instruction in New Orleans has allowed us to share our mission with families from all over the Greater New Orleans and Northshore areas including Kenner, Metairie, Luling, Destrehan, Lakeview, Mid City, Uptown, Gretna, Waggaman, Madisonville, Hammond, Lacombe, Slidell, Folsom, and more. We invite you to read on to learn more about why our students can't wait for their lessons each week!

We love working with beginners in lessons!

Brand New to Music Lessons or Dance Classes?

We understand that it can be difficult for beginners to feel like they are making an educated decision when ultimately choosing one school, teacher, or program over another. Please take some time to browse our Resource Guides for getting started in Music Lessons or Dance Classes via the buttons below!

EXPLORE MUSIC EXPLORE DANCE

Piano Lessons

(ages 5-adult)

Piano lessons as well as keyboard classes begin as early as age 5. Undoubtedly the most popular instrument off all time, the piano is at the heart of music, and many families sometimes already have an upright piano,...

Learn More about Piano Classes

grand piano, or keyboard ready to be put to good use!


Piano lessons are offered in all musical styles at LAAPA, so whether you're interested in getting started with J.S. Bach or want to learn the latest Alicia Keys piano riff, our teachers are ready to get you started on an immediate track to success!


Our piano instructors at LAAPA teach from a variety of method books and will recommend the most appropriate text based on the age and goals of the student. The most common beginning piano books that we keep in stock are Faber & Faber, Bastien, and Alfred. For jazz students, we recommend, "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine.


Our Academy Press also recently released our debut method for the young beginner titled, "Piano Prodigy Primer A".


While it's wonderful if you have an acoustic piano or have the budget to invest in one, all you really need to get started in lessons is an electronic keyboard with at least 61 keys that are full sized and touch sensitive. If the budget allows, a digital piano with weighted keys that simulates the action of a real piano is even better. Be very careful in choosing a used "free" upright piano over a new digital piano. Older uprights that have never been maintained and only used as furniture will cost you more to move/repair and sound far worse than a new digital instrument.


Learning to play the piano should be at the top of the list for beginning students and parents because: 1.) Unlike singing or playing a brass/woodwind instrument, tone production is immediate and perfect (assuming the instrument is properly tuned) simply by striking a key! 2.) The piano is one of the most versatile instruments due to its enormous pitch range and accompaniment potential. It can fulfill roles such as simulating a full orchestra to providing simple lush, chordal backgrouds or single note melodies. 3.) The core, fundamentals of music theory can be comprehensively illustrated to students on the instrument due to its visual nature. This transparency allows for an education that will translate well into any other area of music.

Piano Program Homepage

Guitar Lessons / Mandolin / Banjo

(ages 5-adult)

Guitar lessons as well banjo, mandolin, and dulcimer lessons begin between ages 5-7 at LAAPA and students will have a blast learning songs from their favorite bands...

Learn More about Guitar Classes

and musicians, reading melodies, and constructing chords. We mention an age range for guitar lessons because younger students with small hands are sometimes uncomfortable with even a 1/2 size guitar. In these instances, we typically recommend getting started with ukulele lessons instead for a year or two and then changing to the guitar as they grow a little more. The ukulele has a smaller fretboard, four strings instead of six, and is more comfortable in the hand for small children. With the physical obstacles removed for the student, they will have a lot more fun in their lessons and everything that they learn will carry over to the guitar when they are ready for the switch.


We realize that students want to learn the guitar for many different reasons and have very different goals. Some students really want to learn how to read music, others are happy with understanding guitar tabalature, others want to focus on playing chords and improvising solos. Our teachers are here to help you meet and exceed your goals!


Our guitar instructors are familiar with all styles of music, so whether you're interested in learning one of Antonio Carlos Jobim's many bossa novas, Van Halen's lead guitar solo from "Eruption", or chords to contemporary christian repertoire from your church, we're ready to help.


Guitar Program Homepage

Singing/Voice Lessons

(ages 5-adult)

Voice lessons, Singing lessons, and Vocal coaching at LAAPA all provide instruction to train, strengthen, and enhance the student's voice. For students between the ages of 5-12,...

Learn More about Voice & Singing Classes

voice lessons consist of learning fun traditional and popular music while ensuring that the student's developing vocal cords are not overburdened. For ages 13-up, the vocal cords are fully matured and students develop their full range of singing with a variety of warm ups, etudes, and of course whatever styles of music and songs are of interest!


Even for trained adults, the vocal cords are very delicate instruments. If you keep up with current popular vocalists, many times they need to cancel performances due to the development of "vocal nodes/nodules" which are the result of overuse/stress. When ignored, this can become a serious medical condition; therefore young beginners should especially use care when selecting a vocal instructor. At LAAPA, our vocal instructors are trained professionals and will nurture and develop your natural voice in a healthy manner.


Vocal coaching sessions (ages 13-adult) are available to students who are in need of intensive training and focus in a short period of time for upcoming auditions, theatre/movie roles, etc.


Singing/Voice Program Homepage

Violin Lessons

(ages 5-adult)

Our violin lessons begin at age 5 and consist of both traditional and Suzuki based methods so that students not only have access to the ease of learning key repetoire courtesy of the Suzuki method...

Learn More about Violin Classes

but also learn to properly read standard music notation. Instruction in Viola and Doublebass is also available for students ages 10-adult. If classical violin is not your "cup of tea", we also offer a variety of other styles such as cajun fiddle, celtic/irish, and jazz. Our violin teachers come from literally all over the world, and bring a variety of specialties and expertise to our students, so no matter what style you are interested in, chances are they are familiar with it!


Care must be taken to obtain the correct violin or viola size for the student as they are available in various sizes to accomodate the growing child (especially in the case of the violin). Beginning students who do not yet have an instrument and are under the age of 13 are encouraged to contact us to be properly sized for your instrument.


Also, because children tend to grow so quickly, it is usually in your best interest financially to rent an instrument that can be traded in when the time comes rather than to continually purchase a new one. For the convenience of our students and parents, we stock a variety of different sized violins available for rental. We also are pleased to recommend Keller Strings in New Orleans for violin and viola rentals or purchases.


Violin Program Homepage

Drum Lessons

(ages 5-adult)

Does your child love to bang around on pots and pans in the house at all hours of the day? Do you constantly have a groove in your head that you feel the need to physically communicate?...

Learn More about Drum Classes

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then our drum lessons and instruction here at Laapa may be right for you or your child!


All of our classrooms at LAAPA are equipped with Roland, Ludwig, Yamaha, and Pearl drumsets for the best feeling and most entertaining lesson experience. We use both acoustic and high end electronic drumsets in our studios to give students the best possible learning experience. Our drum students also receive supplemental training via specialized rhythm apps on our drum studio iPads!


It's very easy to begin drum lessons! Students may start their instruction with either a single snare drum or (during the first few weeks) even a drum practice pad.


Drum/Percussion Program Homepage

Bass Lessons

(ages 8-adult)

For those students who love the low notes, we offer instruction in both the bass guitar and doublebass/upright bass. Whether you're interested in learning jazz, funk, rock, classical country, christian, we're ready to get you started...

Learn More about Bass Classes

Topics in each lesson will generally focus on technique such as hand positions, learning bass riffs in the style(s) of music you're interested in, playing solos from your favorite bassists, and improvisation.


Since bass is most often a core component in rock/jazz ensembles, we encourage all of our bassists to sit in with one of our combos whenever they are comfortable and ready to play with other students!



Bass Program Homepage

Ukulele Lessons

(ages 5-adult)

Ukulele lessons begin at age five and are the perfect prelude to guitar lessons for the young beginner as the instruments share many similarities. The small footprint of the instrument makes it easy on beginners of all ages to become physically comfortable playing...

Learn More about Ukulele Classes

Our ukulele instructors teach folk, country, reggae and rock-n-roll styles — and classical too. Beginners work on chords, simple songs and melodies, sight reading and theory.


Each lesson will challenge you with a new technique or music theory, and ends with something fun – such as your favorite riff or song. We employ a variety of ukulele method books based on student needs and preferences, and encourage students to bring smartphones or CDs to their lessons to learn their favorite tunes.


It's very easy to begin ukulele lessons, and the instruments themselves are very affordable!


Ukulele Program Homepage

Cello Lessons

(ages 6-adult)

As one of the most versatile instruments in the string family, the cello is often called upon to fill numerous roles in orchestral music from percussive bass backgrounds to lyrical tenor melodic leads. Like the violin, the cello comes in a variety of sizes, so beginners of all ages will have no problem finding...

Learn More about Cello Classes

a suitable sized instrument to match their physique. Our cello instructors use a variety of methods including the Suzuki Cello method, Essential Elements for Strings, All for Strings and more.


Students who wish to focus on jazz, pop, and other modern/contemporary styles are welcome to bring in examples of their favorite cello players whose works they'd like to transcribe and learn from.



Cello Program Homepage

Ballet Classes

(ages 4-adult)

LAAPA's Ballet school offers instruction for kids, teens, and adults. Our ballerinas receive fundamental and technical training in the art of graceful, creative, and healthy movement in a fun and supportive environment...

Learn More about Ballet Lessons

Much like the Piano is to music lessons, Ballet is to dance classes in that its fundamental principles and techniques can be found in all other styles of dance to varying degrees. All of our Ballet instructors follow the Cecchetti method of training our ballerinas.


Ballet classes typically begin at age 4 with our Pre-Ballet program. Students younger than age 4 may begin with our Toddler Dance Classes (ages 1.5-3).


Progress in ballet and all dance classes works in tandem with muscle development which is why LAAPA offers completely free strength and conditioning classes to all students (ages 7-up) enrolled in 2 or more classes. These extra classes are designed to assist students in understanding the depth of training muscle memory in their quest to achieve their personal best as a dancer.


Ballet Program Homepage

Hip Hop Dance Classes

(ages 5-adult)

Hip Hop dance classes for kids, teens, and adults are geared towards students seeking out the latest "funky" dance moves and contemporary/popular music...

Learn More about Hip Hop Lessons

as featured in music videos, live concerts, etc. Students who enjoy dancing to music that grooves hard will love getting started in Hip Hop classes at LAAPA. Classes are offered at 3 levels and are open to students starting at age 5. Class promotions typically occur each February and July.


In addition to learning fundamental hip hop techniques such as "isolations", "pops", "locking", etc, our faculty also incorporate dance history into their classes to ensure that our dancers are receiving a well rounded education.


With popular/street-inspired hip hop music sometimes comes the occasional questionable lyric. At LAAPA, any music used for classes and performances at our recitals is assuredly pre-screened and G rated to conform to our family values and professional teaching environment.


Hip Hop Program Homepage

Dance Classes - Tap/Musical Theater/Contemporary

(ages 2-adult)

In addition to Ballet and Hip Hop classes, our dance studio also offers lessons in musical theater, tap, modern/lyrical,...

Learn More about Dance Lessons

toddler dance classes, and more for kids, teens, and adults at our campuses in Mandeville and River Ridge/Harahan. All of our dance classes at LAAPA are strictly focused on education. New students do not need to worry about "auditioning" for our programs. We accept students at all levels and ensure that each student is placed in a comfortable class environment. In this way our students are able to properly experience the true joy of learning to dance.


As with music lessons, dance classes play an important role in the personal development of kids, teens, and adults. Enrolling in dance lessons improves health, cognitive functions, creativity, expression and of course teamwork. Learn more about how dancing can impact your life here in a recent article written by our dance department chair.


Our dance classes are also smaller than the typical dance school as we limit each class to a maximum of 15 students. This ensures that our students receive the best possible attention from our dance instructors which allows for faster progress. We are also happy to work privately with couples preparing for special events. Let our instructors ensure that you look your best on the dance floor!


Dance Studio Homepage


Tap Classes Homepage


Contemporary/Modern Classes Homepage

Toddler Dance Classes

(ages 1.5 - 3 years)

Toddlers are ready to begin in our dance program at LAAPA as early as 18 months in the Parent & Tot toddler dance program. These classes are...

Learn More about Toddler Dance Lessons

the perfect introduction to the wonderful world of dance and provide students with a structured environment for discovering creative movement, learning fundamentals about their body, social development and more. While all of our dance instructors take care to ensure their classes are entertaining, age appropriate, and inspiring, our toddler dance classes are the certainly the pinnacle of these efforts. At LAAPA, we feel it's of the utmost importance to meet our young, beginning dance students where they are and allow their natural creativity, curiosities, and talents to be nurtured.


In all of our toddler dance classes, one parent attends along with the child (similar to most "Mommy & Me" or "Daddy & Me" programs. Parents attending with their child will learn just as much as their child does about dance giving them the tools to supplement their learning experience outside of the classroom!


Toddler Dance Program Homepage

Toddler Music Classes

(ages 1.5 - 4 years)

Our internationally recognized preschool music curriculum for toddlers focuses on the development of the whole child. Each class...

Learn More About Music Lessons for Toddlers

will feature engaging activities such as singing, creative movement, instrument and object exploration, storytelling, and more. In addition to a variety of percussion instruments such as shakers, bells, and small drums, teachers on occasion open up the class to explore the piano, violin, and ukulele.


These early childhood music classes help to develop the self confidence, spatial awareness, and communication skills of the student and additionally provide a solid introduction and foundation to the world of music in preparation for private lessons (beginning at age 5) in any musical instrument.


Visit Toddler Music Homepage

Flute / Clarinet / Saxophone Lessons

(ages 9-adult)

LAAPA has one of the most comprehensive woodwind programs in the Greater New Orleans area. Our highly accredited and diverse faculty...

Learn More about Clarinet/Saxophone/Flute Classes

are able to teach any woodwind instrument including piccolo, flute(s), clarinet(s), saxophone(s), bassoon, and oboe. You may not realize it, but the flute, clarinet, and saxophone all have shared, common technical characteristics (most notably fingerings and embouchure). Because of this, many woodwind artists are able to play and teach multiple instruments.


Some of our students have started on one instrument, then picked up another because they are easily translatable once you have fully immersed yourself in one. Fun fact - most professional jazz ensemble musicians are required to "double" on flute/clarinet if they are saxophone players.


Flutes, clarinets, and saxophones are not only built by many different manufacturers (we advise you to consult with us prior to making a large investment), but are also built in many different keys. Clarinets and saxophones (as well as some flutes) are transposing instruments meaning that their note "C" is pitched at a different frequency than the "C" on a piano. The different keys of each instrument are typically denoted with a letter name such as "Eb" Alto Saxophone or "Bb" Clarinet (which just happen to be the most common two beginning instruments/keys).


Visit Woodwind Program Homepage

Trumpet / Trombone / Tuba Lessons

(ages 9-adult)

Whether you're interested in learning the trumpet, french horn, baritone or any other instrument in the brass family, our University trained faculty are ready to get you started...

Learn More about Trumpet/Trombone/Tuba Classes

Instruction in the trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, baritone, and more typically begins between the ages of 8-10 depending on the physical requirements of each instrument.


When selecting a brass instrument, students should consider not only his/her interest, but also his/her physical size. Instruments such as the trombone require a long enough arm to reach all the way out to 7th position. Instruments such as tuba are fairly heavy! Researching instruments on YouTube is a great way to see and listen to various instruments of the brass families to help you choose the best one for you.


Visit Brass Program Homepage

Why Take Lessons with LAAPA?

Choose Your Lesson Experience - Attend In-Person or Online

Whether you choose to take lessons online or on campus, we offer the largest comprehensive curriculum in the area. Choose from Piano, Voice, Singing, Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Drum, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Ukulele, Trumpet, Trombone, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Composition, Music Theory, Preschool Music, Choir, Rock Band Classes, Jazz Band Classes & Dance Classes in Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Tumbling, Contemporary/Modern and more!

We understand that everyone is concerned with safety at this time. Here is a comprehensive 12 point checklist of our campus safety measures:

  • All faculty and staff receive daily temperature checks
  • All academy equipment touched is fully sanitized after each student's use
  • All HVAC systems have been upgraded with Global Plasma Solutions and NPBI (Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization) technology which kills viruses and a variety of airborne pathogens (Trusted by the Whitehouse, Google, and more)
  • Faculty and Staff sanitize hands upon arrival and faculty after each lesson
  • Hand sanitizer in each studio
  • All Faculty and Staff as well as students (who do not have breathing issues) ages 8-up are required to wear masks.
  • Social distancing in each studio observed to fullest extent possible
  • Lobby seating has been reduced to comply with current capacity restrictions. When seating is unavailable in the lobby, please wait outside the building until a few minutes before your lesson begins. Allow enough time to use the restroom and sanitize your hands before your lesson.
  • Parents may choose to observe all lessons and classes online via Zoom instead of waiting in the lobby.
  • Temperature checks required for all group classes.
  • Wait for your teacher to open the classroom door for you before entering.
  • Students, parents, faculty, staff should not enter the school if they are displaying any symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, mild fever.
  • Fun & Educational Summer Music & Dance Camps

    Summer Camps for Music & Dance for Kids and Teens in New Orleans, Metairie, Harahan, Mandeville and Covington, LA


    Our summer camps are an excellent way for students (ages 5-16) to explore their talents and interests! With over 30 music and dance programs and instruments to choose from, students are guaranteed a fun and memorable experience!

    The most diverse & inspiring music & dance instructors in New Orleans

    Music and Dance Instructors for Children Near Me

    There are many musicians and dance artists in our area who have extraordinary degrees and performance credentials who also teach students on the side when they are not busy performing. There is no doubt that they have much to offer students, however these are not the teachers we seek out at LAAPA.

    Teaching, like performing, is an art and takes hours of training, refinement, and practice to perfect. A master instructor is able to effectively communicate with students of all levels, ages, and backgrounds. They understand and are able to present concepts in a variety of ways based on their observation of how each student processes the information. All of this is accomplished with patience, encouragement, and a smile.

    These are the teachers you will find here at LAAPA who come to us with only the highest recommendations from their own teachers and students. Our faculty members enjoy teaching students at all levels from beginning through advanced. Our faculty realize that not every student is interested in the same style of music or dance.

    We teach the songs, styles, and steps students are interested in learning! From classical, to rock/pop, jazz, blues, hip-hop, funk, christian, and more. Our teachers are dedicated to learning about your personal goals and helping you to achieve them in a manner that is FUN and ENJOYABLE!

    Large selection of scheduling available - 6 days a week

    Music & Dance Class Times Near Me


    • 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Monday-Thursday
    • 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Friday
    • 9:00 am - 3:00 pm on Saturday


    No Long Term Contracts or Commitments

    LAAPA does not require semester or annual contract minimums for lessons. Newly enrolled students initially commit for just three months and continue on a month to month basis thereafter. Why do we require an initial three month commitment? In our 40+ years of experience, this has proven to be the ideal minimum amount of time for students to discover their new program successfully. Determining your future success and aptitude for dance and music after having only a couple of lessons is not practical or fair to yourself!

    Learning just about anything that is new requires patience and a lot of trial and error to fully gauge capacity. What happens if during that initial period you decide you want to change over to a different instrument? No problem! What if you decide your instructor isn't the best fit for your learning style? We have around 60 others to choose from! Ultimately, we are all committed your success, and you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    Student Success Stories

    My daughter has been taking piano lessons with Mr Daniel for almost 2 years. She was young when she started (had just turned 5) and he was very patient with her as she learned proper hand placement and the basics. He's done a wonderful job of both allowing her personality and creativity "to be" and at the same time teaching her the fundamentals of piano. It's been a joy to watch her develop over time and most importantly, to witness her love for piano. Whenever I check in with her about the activities she's doing, piano (and with Mr Daniel) is the one thing she always insists we keep. He has been wonderful for us.

    Erin K. ~ New Orleans, LA

    parent

    As a non traditional student, I must give props! I just had the most refreshing and informative drum lesson of my life! Let me start off by saying that I am waaaayyyy old to be a beginner/early intermediate drummer... 40 is old for beginners... And I have gotten alot of flack and snickers for starting this journey at 39... But not from these folks. I have found my tribe! Everyone here, from the receptionists to my instructor, have been nothing but encouraging and patient!

    Allison H. ~ Metairie, LA

    adult student

    Everything about this place is great. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a super friendly person at the front desk. Then Megan, the dance teacher, is so great with the kids. My daughter Abbey is sort of shy and Megan does a great job of interacting with each and every student and making them all feel comfortable. I highly recommend this school.

    Paul C. ~ Mandeville, LA

    parent

    My instructor, John, is so patient and supportive. I can't say enough about what an absolute pleasure it is to have him as my violin instructor and what a great institution LAAPA is. Absolutely everyone I have encountered there has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and supported. Thank you for a great experience!

    Darlene F. ~ Slidell, LA

    student

    For a Christmas Present I decided to enroll my Granddaughter for a music class but she was only 2 at the time LAAPA's staff recommended a small group in a toddler music class. Well it turned out to be so much fun that we are still there. My Granddaughter has moved up two levels of music class since then and is now taking private piano lessons with Dr. Vera. We absolutely love her. It has been even more of a wonderful experience then I thought. My whole family is so impressed with my Granddaughter's accomplishments. I highly recommend LAAPA and any of their locations. High 5 for this Music Academy!

    Tina C. ~ Covington, LA

    grandparent

    I am so happy we found LAAPA. My son started sax with Dr. Mark, and he is one talented teacher and musician. My son is playing songs with heart and soul. My daughter is now a guitar player! She is only eight and Mr. Chris is so patient and kind and an incredible musician. My kids look forward to jamming on Monday nights with their teachers. Best music school in the area.

    Erica S. ~ Mandeville, LA

    parent

    We are so happy here! This is the one class our 6 year old is always excited to attend — whether she's doing voice or piano. She always has fun and has progressed so much. The atmosphere is professional but still warm and friendly. We recommend LAAPA to everyone.

    Melanie B. ~ Harahan, LA

    parent

    We love this school! My 6 year old son attended their camp this summer and had an amazing time. He had the opportunity to play all sorts of instruments, dance, act & learn about music theory too. The recitals at the end of each week are so amazing - you can't help tearing up with pride. We decided to sign up for piano class this fall & he absolutely loves Wednesdays with Ms. Hannah. She is so sweet and patient and he has learned so much from her already. My son is autistic and every single person we have encountered at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance has treated him with kindness and enthusiasm. I feel like we have found such a special place to nourish his artistic talents. Now the only question is - what class should sign up for next!

    Katy G. ~ Metairie, LA

    parent

    My son is taking drum lesson with Bradley and he is spectacular. He will try every avenue to make him understand how to play a certain beat if he is having trouble. He is patient, upbeat and a positive person. I will always recommended him to anyone who needs lessons.

    Tanya C. ~ Kenner, LA

    parent

    Reagan really enjoys his guitar lesson with Mr. Bill that he can't wait for Monday to arrive. He says Mr. Bill makes learning fun and he doesn't feel pressured or bad of he can't get the song right away. Mr. Bill is always calm and positive and interested in what Reagan wants to learn.

    Pat D. ~ Metairie, LA

    parent

    Over 40 years of Excellence in Music and Dance Instruction

    Every year, new studios open only to close a few years later. The Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts is here to stay and has a proven track record of offering only the finest classes in piano, guitar, voice, singing, violin, drum, ballet, hip hop, toddler classes, and more here in Covington, Mandeville, and Harahan, Louisiana! Several of the former students in the photo (circa 1990's) have joined us again to pick up lessons as adults or now have their own children enrolled with us! Others have completed their college degrees and joined our faculty or administrative staff. Watching our students grow and thrive in their love for the performing arts is our greatest reward.


    New Orleans' and the Nortshore's most established music school and dance studio providing lessons in Covington, Harahan, and Mandeville for over 40 years!

    Modern and Updated Lesson Studios

    Our piano studios at LAAPA are equipped with Yamaha, Steinway, Kawai, Young Chang, and select American made pianos. Our drum studios are equipped with Yamaha, Ludwig, and Roland drum sets, and our guitar studios feature some of the latest amps with built in effects. Mirrors for vocalists are available in each vocal lessons studio, and all of our studios feature iPads with the latest music and dance apps (as well as bluetooth speakers) for a thorough and modern approach to education.

    Our dance studios feature full length mirrors and a custom built maple floating dance floor specially designed to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries. Free Wi-Fi is also available to everyone at Laapa. We additionally have four large performance halls at our River Ridge and Mandeville campuses that are available to students and faculty for performances and workshops throughout the year.


    Music and Dance Studio Technology in New Orleans, Mandeville, Covington, LA

    Digital Lesson Plans featuring Audio, Video, PDF...

    In order to remain at the forefront of music and dance education, we are always seeking out the latest technologies available to students and educators. We are one of the largest users of My Music Staff which is a digital platform for student lesson planning. In addition to text records, our faculty are able to create and share video, audio, PDF documents, links to other resources, etc. each class.

    Students may access their lessons, schedules, book makeups, record their practice log, and more from any device. Each time a new lesson is available, students receive an email inviting them to login. Our teachers especially love being able to send video summaries of the class dance choreography to review, technical examples of a new music passage students are working on, etc.


    Lesson Planning for music and dance students

    Regular (Optional) Recitals & Performance Opportunities

    At LAAPA, all of our students have the option of performing in a variety of recitals. We realize that students enroll in lessons for different reasons and that not everyone is interested in performing on stage. For this reason all recitals are optional. That being said, we've had many students tell us going in that they were not interested in performing in our productions, and now (after giving it a try) we can't keep them off the stage!

    All of our recitals are held in professional auditoriums and theatres using state of the art audio technology. Immediately after each Spring Recital, we hold an award ceremony to recognize the hard work of each student with various trophy and medal awards. We also hold an annual student festival (LAAPAFEST) with an Honor's/Faculty Recital following the festival.


    Performance Opportunities for Music and Dance Students in Harahan, Mandeville, and Covington, LA

    Original Methods/Teaching Materials by our in-house Publishing Press

    Our faculty have written a variety of teaching methods through our LAAPA PRESS division! New educational texts and print materials are released on a regular basis. Since we publish everything in house, all of our faculty members are able to make suggestions/update requests to our methods based on their years of experience ultimately creating the best educational materials for our students!

    While we are very proud of the curriculum that our faculty have developed, use of the LAAPA PRESS materials are not required and our teachers and students are free to use whatever will help them to achieve the most success in learning. Our complete catalog of titles available may be found online at the LAAPA Store.


    Visit the LAAPA Store


    Original Music and Dance Method books for students

    Healthly & Safe Family Friendly Environment

    Safety for our students, parents, faculty, and staff is paramount for us at LAAPA. Our campuses follow strict sanitation guidelines which include disinfecting all studio equipment and instruments between classes. Our HVAC systems provide constant purification to all classrooms with Global Plasma Solutions Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology (tested and proven to eliminate airborne pathogens).

    Our locations have all been carefully selected in small, safe neighborhoods. Campuses are all well lit in the evening and feature off street parking. Music and dance choreography taught to students and presented during our productions is always family friendly due to our "G Rated" policy.

    Dance attire and costumes assigned are modest. Our faculty have passed comprehensive local and national background checks and are hired only with over the top references. All studios have continously monitored, closed circuit security cameras installed. All classrooms additionally feature observation windows.


    Family Friendly music lessons and dance classes that are safe

    Awards - Voted "Best" Local Music Lessons & Dance Classes!

    Bragging isn't really our style, but our web team allocated this spot to do it, so lest we disappoint them... Honestly, we don't think we're the best because we're the biggest private school of music and dance in the area, rather we believe we're the largest because we're the best.

    Over the years, LAAPA has been awarded for "Best Music Lessons, Best Dance Classes and Reader's Choice " in local publications such as Edge of the Lake Magazine, Northshore Parent.com, Sophisticated Woman Magazine, and NOLA Family Magazine. Many of our faculty members are award winning educators, musicians and dancers in their own right, thus there is an incredible amount of talent flowing through our academy.


    Voted Best Music & Dance Lessons for Kids, Teens, & Adults in New Orleans and Mandeville

    Three Convenient School Locations serving New Orleans and the Northshore

    Covington School of Music
    1111 Village Walk Rd
    Covington, LA 70433
    (985) 590-4545
    (next to Anytime Fitness)

    Mandeville School of Music & Dance
    105 Campbell Ave #3
    Mandeville, LA 70471
    (985) 674-2992
    (located in Mandeville at I-12 off Hwy 59, across from Campbell Cabinets)

    River Ridge School of Music & Dance
    2020 Dickory Ave #200
    Harahan, LA 70123
    (504) 738-3050
    (located centrally between New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge and right next to the Shimmy Shack).


    With three campuses located in New Orleans and the Northshore, there's bound to be a campus near you! Music and Dance Studios in New Orleans, Mandeville, Covington, LA

    Friendly, Professional Office Staff ready to assist you

    Great customer service is becoming harder and harder to find these days with an increasing trend to replace human beings with computers. Computers are nice (we have one), but usually when we go to the trouble of picking up the phone these days, we are reaching out to make a human to human connection ideally with a professional customer service representative with amazing communication skills.

    We promise that when you give us a call, you'll be chatting with a human in no time. It's very rare that calls go to voicemail here since our phones are answered by our staff Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM - 9 PM, Fridays from 8 AM - 7:30 PM, and Saturdays from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM (holidays excluded). Go ahead and call the other schools for information, and when you get their voicemail, give us a call (or just call us first to begin with). In addition to our telephone hours, our customer service representatives are all on duty at the front desk during normal school hours to provide any assistance you may require.


    Fun, Friendly Music & Dance staff in New Orleans, Mandeville, Covington, LA

    Recording Studio

    LAAPA's Mandeville Campus offers a 32 track, 96 KHz, Dante-enabled, Pro-Tools based digital recording studio only open to current students, faculty, and staff. All private music students receive a free hour of studio time each year! Students of all campuses are welcome to book studio time for student demos, projects, audition prep, etc. The studio is linked to two large Performance Halls that feature Yamaha C5 and Steinway M grand pianos.

    Available synthesizers on site include the Korg Kronos II (73), Crumar Mojo 61 organ, and Nord Stage 2. Our mic closet includes AKG C414 XLS, Neumann KM 184, AT2020, AKG C2000B, Sennheiser e600 drum mic kit and more. Want to add a multi-cam video to your recording? No problem, our video equipment includes dual Panasonic DVX 200 cameras which record up to 60FPS in 4k. Projects are edited with Adobe Premiere Pro.


    Recording Studio for students in Mandeville, Covington, LA

    Bonus Music & Dance Classes for Current Students

    Each week, all currently enrolled music students have the option of attending a complimentary 45 minute music theory class to further their knowledge in the fundamentals of music. Classes cover note reading, writing, functional harmony, intervals, ear training, music composition, music history, rhythmic analysis, understanding chords and progressions, and more.

    Classes are available online or on campus. Dance students who are enrolled in 2 or more classes receive a complimentary 60 minute weekly strength and conditioning class! Attendance in these additional classes is not mandatory, but certainly helpful if scheduling and interest permit. Current students may sign up for these additional classes online within your My Music Staff portal or by giving us a call.


    Complimentary music lessons and dance classes for students in Harahan, New Orleans, Mandeville, Covington, LA

    A Brief History of the Studio

    In the late seventies, the beginnings of LAAPA were established as a private piano studio within the River Ridge home of Director Emeritus, Wanda Cullen (on Walter Road). As interest grew over the years, the original school expanded and relocated three times in the Jefferson Parish area (bouncing back and forth between River Ridge and Harahan) and is now located on Dickory Avenue in the heart of Harahan, LA.

    The River Ridge campus is now centrally located between Destrehan, Metairie, and Kenner, LA. Our music instructors from the River Ridge campus also teach private music lessons at Stuart Hall School for Boys located on Carrolton Ave in New Orleans.

    Read More...

    In 1993, our first music school was established on the northshore in Mandeville, LA (right off of the Causeway) and our Covington, LA campus opened its doors in one office at the Greater Covington Center in 2008. Our northshore schools have also done their fair share of expansions and relocations. In 2014, our Covington campus moved into it's present Village Walk location with 9 sound proofed teaching studios.

    In October, 2017, our Mandeville campus relocated from the Old Mandeville area (where it operated from 2004-2017) into a beautiful, new 4,000 square foot studio on Campbell Ave near I-12 at Hwy 59. Our northshore music teachers also provide instruction at Kehoe France Northshore Elementary School in Covington.

    Over the years our schools have brought music and dance into the lives of students and families throughout the communities of Destrehan, Harahan, River Ridge, Kenner, Lakeview, Uptown, Laplace, Waggaman, Gretna, Luling, Hammond, Slidell, Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, and Folsom, LA. With hundreds of thousands of music and dance lessons taught to over 10,000 families over the past 40 years, LAAPA is the largest and most trusted, private music and dance school in the Greater New Orleans, Louisiana area.


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