Giveaway: Music, dance, theatre or Kindermusik classes, your pick!

All moms want their kids to learn something special as they grow up — something that sparks their creativity, their passion and a sincere appreciation for the arts. This week’s giveaway will give one Motherlode reader the opportunity to get her child started on that journey, with a $200 gift certificate which can be used to pay for private lessons, workshops, classes or a Kindermusik course at MDA Central Casting Studio (located in the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville).

We recently interviewed the executive director of MDA Central Casting Studio, Michelle Scott-Chiodo, and were amazed to find out that the studio offers instrument lessons on ANY musical instrument you can think of (even the harp!), along with voice lessons, acting lessons, dance classes, and Kindermusik classes, too. Many of the studio’s teachers are also affiliated with the University of Arkansas music department and have extensive experience teaching children. And the studio is located in the Northwest Arkansas Mall, which makes it the perfect location for moms who need to multi-task. Your kids can take a piano lesson while you shop for that birthday gift or summer play clothes.

One of the things that jumped out at us during our visit at MDA was how very careful they are to protect the learning atmosphere in the studio. They have a strict dress code in place as well as a policy that allows for absolutely zero bad language, teasing, etc. If you want your kids learning in a place with solid values, this is it.

We especially liked how Ms. Michelle was quick to point out that their studio is not the kind of place that promises fame and fortune to any aspiring singer, musician, dancer or actor. Their goal is to teach and foster a deep appreciation for the arts and to prepare students for future success. They even allow their students to use their professional recording studio so that they have real-life experience in this type of setting.

Denice Pugh, a local mom whose two kids take music lessons at MDA, said this about her family’s experience:

“My name is Denice Pugh and I have two children who currently take music lessons (guitar and drums) from MDA Central Casting Studios in the NWA Mall. We first noticed the studio in the summer of 2009, researched it, and dropped in for a Q&A session. Our children have taken piano for 3 and 2 years, respectively, elsewhere and love music. They both have been begging to take guitar and drum lessons.

During the Q&A, we talked with Ms. Michelle and Dave Chiodo (a.k.a “Papa Dave”) for a couple of hours. My family and I felt right at home. We were clueless about instruments, so Papa Dave offered to go with us to buy a guitar. We started lessons last July with Mr. Corey for guitar and Mr. Matt for drums. We loved our experience right away. Once the school season began, we had to switch our lesson days which meant switching instructors. At first, I was nervous about switching but love our new instructors, Papa Dave (guitar) and Mr. Quam (percussion). As with all the instructors, they are encouraging and praise at the appropriate time. They challenge them and offer support. Unfortunately, Mr. Quam was not able to attend the Studio Concert held during the Christmas season. He had a work conflict but asked that we come by the music store where he works to tell him how our son, his student, did on stage. Of course, we did. Mr. Quam was so proud of our little drummer! My son beamed for hours!

Most importantly, Ms. Michelle makes you feel like you are one of her kids (me) and grandkids (the boys). When we were gone for a month, she hugged me as if I had been gone a year. There is such warmth and love in the studio…it is the PERFECT environment for any child ages 2-102! There is something for everyone. When MDA began teaching Kindermusik for young kids, I offered to spread the word and have. I do not give testimonies lightly…I believe MDA Central Casting Studio is a wonderful family business where everyone is family.”

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the hat for this random drawing, just click the big orange comment button below and tell us what type of lessons you took as a child and what you liked about it. Or you can tell us what your own kids would like to learn how to do. Play a guitar? Rock out on the drums? Post your comments below or email your answer to

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES: To increase your chances of winning the $200 gift certificate, just send an email about the giveaway to your friends and be sure to put on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell!

Good luck in the giveaway. If you’d like more info on class availability at MDA Central Casting Studio, give them a call at 479-251-8088 or click HERE to visit them online.



  1. My precious little boy would LOVE this. When given a choice between Karate and Piano he said “I want to take piano first” He wants to learn to play the piano, guitar, and trumpet. He loves music and dance of all kinds. This would be such a blessing to a very sweet child!

  2. I got the documentary “Throw Down Your Heart” about Bela Fleck’s travels to 4 countries in Africa, tracing the history of the banjo. Now Eli wants to play banjo. Caroline, I think, will end up managing his band.

  3. I only took short piano lessons. My daughter would LOVE to take voice lessons or guitar lessons. She sings often and her papaw helps her with guitar — she is definitely musically inclined.

  4. I’ve never taken lessons but think it would be fun to learn the guitar. I would use the certificate for Kindermusik, Nate enjoyed when we took it before or let my 13 year old take some more guitar lessons.

  5. I would love to get my daughter voice lessons. She already sings beautifully, but some confidence would really put her over the top.

  6. To be creative whether it be music or dance can be so good for the soul! My kids would love this experience!

  7. My little grandprincess would love to take gymnastics, dance, voice….anything that was offered! She’s a “ham”! Would love to feed her artistic abilities!

  8. I took a little bit of piano and guitar as a child. At church I also played in the children’s bell choir and sang in the children’s choir. I feel like the early exposure made it easier for me to get into theater and choir in high school. My little boy is young, but I would love to be able to get him into Kindermusik!

  9. My son currently takes piano and is quite accomplished. He has recently shown great interest in learning guitar. I just asked a friend whose children take here about guitar lessons. Very highly recommended! Would love to get started this summer!!!

  10. I played the piano for 10 years. We don’t have a piano now but I’d like to get my daughter started on violin lessons.

  11. My mom was a piano teacher so I took piano. I would
    love for my daughter to take piano lessons.

  12. Would love my daughter to have the opportunity to take voice lessons- she would LOVE that! Thanks!

  13. My little girl would love acting, music, and voice lessons. She is a little performer. Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. My child would like trumpet lessons. If not trumpet lessons voice and acting would be the next choices.

  15. I loved taking clarinet lessons – having fun with friends, and summer day camp offered ice cream!

  16. My 2 year-old would love to take Kindermusik and my 5 year-old would love voice and piano lessons. I loved taking voice lessons when I was younger and would have loved to learn the piano.

  17. I’ve been promising my son for over a year now that he can start taking drum lessons. This would be the perfect opportunity to keep that promise.

  18. Violin lessons! Wasn’t that great…and didn’t really enjoy. Would love my children to really ENJOY their music lessons, and pick something they want to play.

  19. My son would like to take either guitar or piano lessons. We have seriously been thinking about it lately so what great timing for this giveaway!

  20. My son has been asking to learn the drums and my daughter, the guitar! They are at the perfect age to start lessons and want to do it soooo bad:-)

  21. I took piano and really struggled with it. Music has never been my strength, but I know how important it is. I’d love to provide Charlie with the tools she needs to explore music.

  22. I never got a chance to take any lessons as a child…except dance for a short time.I never played any instrument, unfortunatly. I really wish my parents would have had the money for things like that. That is why it is so crucial that I involve my children in as many extra activities as possible.

  23. I was in band from middle school to high school…I loved it! I never had formal lessons. I’m sure my 4-year-old would love to try Kindermusic.

  24. My son would love to learn guitar… I even bought him a student guitar from a homeschooling friend who could no longer use it. My husband wants him to learn piano first though, but he’s not so gung ho about piano. =)

  25. I taught myself piano and would have loved to have lessons as a child–so I want to give my kids that opportunity. 🙂

  26. I grew up taking voice and piano lessons. It opened so many doors for me and I never outgrew the love for music. It’s amazing to see that my own two kids have that same desire and love for music. They both love to sing. My daughter also enjoys to dance and my son has the ability to learn any instrument. This would be a great opportunity to help get them started! Thank you for this amazing gift, no matter who receives it.

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