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Monthly Newsletters - January 2022

Articles for this month include A Heartfelt "Happy New Year" from our Director, Student Spotlight - Kriess and Neingala Dukes, Student News, Online Lessons, and more!...

Ring in the New Year with Music and Dance!

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

Dear Students and Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a Happy Holiday season with lots of time to rest and visit your loved ones. It’s been a bit too quiet here at the school over the break, and we’re so excited to have you all back to share another exciting year filled with music, dance, acting, and the performing arts!


Congratulations to all students and faculty for 16 amazing productions this past December! This was most certainly a record December in terms of number of concerts/performances/events! I don’t know how we all did it, but it was truly fun and exciting! From students performing on stage for the first time to our veteran professionals, everyone really stepped up their game and did a great job! For those of you who performed for the first time – we hope you had a positive learning experience and most importantly had fun up there! Each time you perform, you gain a little more experience and confidence, so we hope to see you again this coming Spring for LAAPAFEST, our Spring Virtual Recital, and this June for our Summer Recital and Award Ceremonies.


Videos of the recitals are now in production and should be completed by mid-January. You will receive your recital video at the email address you provided when signing up for the recital, so please be on the lookout! Photos pre-ordered during the recital will also be made available within the next few weeks at

A huge congratulations to our Mandeville acting class students for their staged reading of “A Christmas Carol” last month! Even with a few students who were unfortunately ill at the last minute, everyone did a great job covering the other parts. We all had a lot of fun putting the “Radio Station – WLAAPA” broadcast spin on it.


Finally, I would like to congratulate Ms. Elle, and all students, faculty, and staff who were involved in our original film Luna in Christmas Land. Our faculty spent hours upon hours of preparation and work over several months to create this unique experience for our students,and honestly we all had a ton of fun doing it. Even with the limited amount of time we were allotted, we are so excited about how this production turned out!


While our live concerts are a lot of work for everyone involved, multiply that times 10 or even 20 and you have yourself a film! From doing multiple takes, to costume challenges, long hours and delays – it definitely required a great amount of patience from everyone during an already stressful month! I’d like to thank especially the parents for their patience the days of filming, getting students to and from numerous practices, and just giving your children a really exciting opportunity. As the “audio guy” behind the scenes, I could hear that they were having so much fun with comments about their nervousness and excitement hearing their voices on the soundtrack for the first time and describing how magical the lighting made everything feel. Being able to create something like this for our students was truly rewarding for all of us! Our preliminary release has now been sent out for private viewing by cast members and their families. We hope to announce a release to the General public later this month!


Finally, if you haven’t yet met us or may be tuning in to our monthly newsletter for the very first time, “Hello there and welcome to LAAPA! I’m Ryan – your Academy Director!” In case it isn’t obvious from everything we have going on, we really love what we do and have a passion for teaching music, dance, and the performing arts to kids, teens, and adults in the Greater New Orleans area. Whether you’re a brand-new beginner or already have some experience, the New Year is a fantastic time to get started in Music Lessons and Dance Classes at any of our 3 campuses in Covington, Harahan, and Mandeville! Make 2022 the year YOU learn to PLAY, DANCE, OR SING and let’s have a great start to 2022!


Happy New Year,

Ryan Cullen, Executive Director

Discover Your Talent in 2022 - Learn to PLAY-DANCE-SING!

Learn to Play, Dance, Sing in 2022 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!

Student News

Student News: Christmas Music & Dance Recitals

Congrats to Aidan Lapene for making District Honor Band for percussion! Aidan attends drum lessons with Mr. Evan Taylor at the River Ridge School of Music and Dance.

Student News: Christmas Music & Dance Recitals

Students in Mr. Nicoli’s Acting class put a creative spin on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol! Students in the class filled all roles of the show including performers, stage management, and lighting/sound!

Participants in this show were: Cate G., Patrick C., Lillian R., Addie S., Alex F., Macey D., Bentley G., Amanda J., Mia M., Brooke C., Liam B., Tanner G. (Stage Manager) and Aaron R. (Sound).

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 January Birthdays!

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

Amelia S. (14), Aubrey C. (4), Charlie C. (1), Holly S. (14), Noah N. (6), Roman H. (9), Aaron R. (11), Aarya R. (9), Abigail D. (14), Addison H. (6), Addisyn N. (9), Adelyn F. (7), Aiden E. (14), Alaina L. (5), Alea C. (9), Alexander O. (12), Alfunzo M. (42), Amaya, Eros A. (14), Andrew B. (61), Anna L. (9), Annabelle B. (6), Annabelle R. (12),Annie C. (10), Anthony P. (13), Apollo D. (10), Armani O. (3), Ashley P. (9), Ava S. (9), Benjamin A. (10), Bill S. (70), Braxton W. (6), Bryce W. (5), Carmen V. (14), Catherine S. (29), Catie P. (16), Cayden D. (11), Cecilia V. (15), Chris B. (74), Claire W. (8), Connor A. (15), Camille C. (13), Dara F. (6), Dilan P. (7), Elizabeth D. (11), Elyza T. (6), Emery B. (4), Emily F. (11)Emma L. (8), Galilee S. (8), Georgia T. (6), Germany R. (12), Grace B. (7), Hadassa E. (17), Hanna J. (8), Helen H. (13), Holden B. (21), Jack F. (11), Jackie H. (72), Jasmin T. (16), Jesmin F. (43), Jolie T. (7), Jorden S. (12), Joseph M. (17), Jude R. (15), Julia P. (18), Kailey P. (4), Kathryn T. (29), Katie O. (14)Kayla N. (18), Kelly P. (33), Kelsey F. (10), Lanna S. (10), Layah G. (6), Levi L. (7), Lilly D. (16), Lily B. (5), Lindsey A. (8), Lucia H. (7), Lucy B. (13), Lucy B. (9), Lucy S. (10), Luke D. (13), Luke P. (8), Luke V. (8), Madison M. (16), Maison R. (4), Masen M. (5), Matthew B. (13), Nevaeh A. (10), Noelle C. (12), Nova D. (4), Orion D. (6), Owen M. (8), Owen N. (7), Patrick C. (15), Peyton K. (14), Philit J. (13), Princeton B. (12), Rhett C. (4), Rosa Maria L. (66), Sarah L. (42), Serenity H. (6), Shane F. (9), Solène L. (3), Sophia D. (14), Sophia G. (2), Sophia H. (10), Sophia T. (13), Tarini S.(7)

Video of the Month - Success in Music Lessons

Is someone in your family interested in learning to play the piano? Perhaps they have been sitting at the family piano more recently and trying to figure out songs they've heard on the radio, youtube, or TV?


If so, then it may be time to consider getting started in piano lessons! As you can tell in this video, our piano teachers absolutely love what they do and enjoy working with kids, teens, and adults from brand new beginners to advanced students.


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!

Students Spotlight - Kriess and Neingala Dukes

Student of the Month at Covington - LAAPA

This month we are excited to highlight students Kriess and Niengala Dukes! Kriess and Niengala take piano lessons with Mr. Daniel Campbell at our River Ridge School of Music and Dance. Kriess’s favorite part of his lessons with Mr. Daniel is being able to learn new music and utilize what he has learned

He is proud of the professional confidence he has gained with his education at LAAPA! Kriess plans on following his dream of becoming a professional singer by attending Loyola University and majoring in music.

Niengala, Kriess’s mother, likes how many lessons are offered in one location, as it gives her many different options for learning! She loves having the opportunity to facilitate her son’s dreams as they learn piano together. One day she aspires to be an inspirational speaker!

Thanks so much for sharing Kriess and Niengala, and keep up the awesome work!

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

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

Abigail K.
Adalyn M.
Adam I.
Alivia P.
Allison M.
Avery M.
Blake Nicole A.
Charlie G.

Elaine N.
Ellie W.
Elliot H.
Emily W.
Finn M.
Geoffrey C.
Haven S.
Hunter T.

Kai M.
Lucia B.
Mariam T.
Mazzy O.
Milan Y.
Perry R.
Peyton P.
Ryn T.

Sawyer B.
Scarlett J.
Terry M.

Student "Shout Outs!"

“I have been associated with the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts (LAAPA) and the Covington School of Music for over six years. My son took piano and guitar lessons for four years and I started voice lessons in September of 2011. The professionalism of the management and staff is commendable. Their business processes are efficient and responsive to the ever changing needs of their students. The staff at LAAPA are dedicated to their students and work hard to create venues and new opportunities for the students to perform and express their talent. They also are very attentive to the unique learning style of each student and match the student and instructor as closely as possible. I’m pleased to be part of the LAAPA family.”
~ Cindy V. D.

“Our daughter loves her ballet class at the River Ridge School of Music and Dance (6-9 yr olds)! Perfect environment for our shy daughter, she has taken to Ms. Mary, her instructor, and blossomed as a little ballerina. Best classes in the New Orleans area, would highly recommend for anybody.”
~ Jaime G.

“My experience with Dr. Vera and LAAPA Mandeville has only been positive. I’ve taken private violin lessons most of my adult life, but I’ve never really enjoyed them. However, Dr. Vera and the LAAPA staff have changed that standard and set the bar so high. The highlight of my week was my lesson. Positive staff and positive energy. I am grateful to have met Dr. Vera, she has changed my outlook and experience and has made playing the violin something I truly enjoy again. Thank you!”
~ McGowan Family

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