Meet Miss LaLa: Behind the scenes with Miss LaLa’s Arts of Cobb
Echoing in the heart of Lauren McBride is music, so much so that she even made it a part of her name! Lauren, otherwise known as Miss LaLa, is the founder and director of Miss LaLa’s Arts of Cobb, where she is dedicated to helping students embrace their individual gifts, ignite their self-esteem, and get comfortable sharing and connecting with others.
Miss LaLa knows firsthand the power of being introduced to music at an early age, as she grew up in Marietta immersed in a musical family. She became part of Marietta City Schools’ award-winning choirs, concert band, marching band, jazz band, and musical theatre productions. She also learned the in’s and out’s of musical theatre while involved with Cobb Children’s Theater, through both singing on stage and working behind the scenes.
Lauren went on to major in Elementary Music Education at Jacksonville University and later KSU, where she was again in band, choirs, and productions. She became known for singing the National Anthem at sporting events as well as being a soloist at private events. She continued her music career in the 90's with the auditioned Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Chamber Choir, and Madrigal Singers, then joined the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 2018.
Since 2003, Miss LaLa has spent her time helping others fulfill their musical potential. With group classes, instructional camps, a captivating “instrument zoo,” and custom-formatted private lessons, Arts of Cobb provides a learning setting tailored for all ages and skill levels.
“I pride myself on connecting with every individual on their level, and I think the students feel that,” says Miss LaLa. “Whether I'm teaching an infant, an elderly woman with dementia, a non-verbal autistic child who communicates with his soul instead of his mouth, a shy tween who needs to hear that I get nervous sometimes too, or a bunch of hyper three year-olds who would prefer to pretend we're all super heroes during music class… I meet them where they need to be to learn best. We are all different in so many ways, but as Maya Angelou said, ‘we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.’”
No matter where students are in their musical journey, studies show that getting involved with music can be beneficial in the long run, especially during early childhood, which is Miss LaLa's specialty. According to results of one study conducted by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, music instruction appeared to accelerate brain development in young children. However, another study from Northwestern University proved that it’s not enough for students to simply sit and listen to a music class – students must be engaged, stimulated, and fully involved to absorb all its benefits, which is encompassed in Miss LaLa's classes.
Miss LaLa’s personalized, hands-on approach to musical learning proves this study’s veracity, even in the long term. “I've had several 11 to 13 year-olds who could barely look at me or speak in an audible voice, then after finding what they're good at and building their confidence, they bust out a song with their head held high in front of an audience,” says Lauren. “The best thing is that this translates to them being able to speak to people, make new friends, ask questions at school, or whatever they want to do. The confidence is in their whole self, not just their music.”
When Miss LaLa isn’t working with students, you can find her cuddling with her dogs, hanging with her amazing daughters, or running all aspects of her business, all of which include listening to music online. “I love all kinds of music, from every generation and genre, for various reasons and moods,” says Lauren. “My go-to listening right now is Hosier Radio or Cello Fury Radio on Pandora, with so many awesome artists that come up; but if I'm in a singing mood, I go to a Broadway channel and belt those around the house. The feelings involved in each song are something everyone can relate to…finding strength to prevail, love, sadness, fun, forgiveness, inspiration, determination, and acceptance of all others, which has always been hugely important to me.”
Students can sing, clap, learn about instruments and more with Miss LaLa in a private or group setting, now tailored to accommodate at-home learning through her new video music education subscriptions coming soon on Patreon. Her new online concert series will give a place for performers to keep their talent fresh while bringing a smile to online audiences. Learn more about how to leverage music learning to accelerate your student’s development or even book a session for yourself here.